Cloud Data Centers Improve Police Performance
Information Technology (IT) is playing an increasingly important role in maintaining public security and social order.
By Li Jun
Enterprise Business Group, Huawei Technologies Co., Ltd.
Police departments the world over are challenged by insufficient investment in IT infrastructure, incompatible software and hardware, and poor interoperability of their legacy systems. Outdated technology not only wastes resources but — because obsolete systems are typically siloed by department — also creates extra work for busy officers who need to collaborate with officers in other locations or in different roles to complete their assignments.
Legacy police IT systems have been designed to support structured data, such as the 200 TB of data captured daily by the ten thousand video surveillance cameras deployed throughout a medium-sized city, or the minimum of 20 million checkpoint records for cities with 5 million vehicles.
What is new are the forms of unstructured and semi-structured data from external sources, such as email, text, and social media messages. Today, data inputs from Facebook and Twitter are important references for correlating all available information surrounding an event or incident. Cloud computing systems designed to handle structured and unstructured data concurrently have become a necessary investment for police departments that intend to keep up with current best practices.
The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) lists five essential characteristics of cloud computing: (1) on-demand self-service, (2) broad network access, (3) resource pooling, (4) rapid elasticity, and (5) measured service.
When applied to police IT systems today, these architectural characteristics support multiple ways of confronting challenges:
- Unified system planning at the top layer
- Hardware and software consolidation
- Sharing data across systems and departments
- End-to-End (E2E) application development
- Enhanced disaster recovery and backup
- More stable and reliable equipment rooms
Flexible Service-Driven IT
FusionSphere, Huawei’s Distributed Cloud Data Center (DC2) operating system, meets the growing demands of police work worldwide. Using Software-Defined Networking (SDN), the DC2 platform and FusionSphere implement a virtual data center that supports automated management of physically scattered resources.
Based on OpenStack, FusionSphere enables the unified management of virtualized resource pools, physical servers, storage equipment, and networks that can be deployed based on demand.
With FusionSphere, services and functions formerly provided by independent servers run on Virtual Machines (VMs). These include Computer-Aided Dispatch (CAD) and a Geographic Information System (GIS) for the command center, the Video Management System (VMS) for the monitoring center, Business Intelligence (BI) for police investigations, and office software for detectives and patrolmen.
VMs eliminate the expense of dedicated hardware in favor of generic x86 servers packaged in high-density arrays that deliver the identical services at a fraction of the cost. Load-balancing functionality assures the efficient utilization of CPU and memory resources, and fast failover when faults occur.
Mass Data Processing
FusionSphere manages resource pools of servers and other physical devices. In the Huawei DC2 cloud solution, a customized Hadoop platform is used to host Big Data processes that include data query, data mining, analytics, and real-time streams of structured, semi-structured, and unstructured data.
Unified and Refined
Huawei ManageOne simplifies the Operations and Management (O&M) of Software-Defined Data Centers (SDDCs) by integrating SDN with Software-Defined Storage (SDS). The results are unified E2E solutions that boost overall performance and allow multiple facilities to be managed as a single data center.
Most medium-sized city-level police bureaus and their multiple sub-bureaus each have their own data centers. Because these data centers operate independently from one another and, they were not built to support information sharing. With Huawei’s Police Cloud solution, the resources of geographically separated data centers can be managed in a unified way to support a broad range of police services. Through virtualization, physical data centers can be divided logically into multiple Virtual Data Centers (VDCs) able to support multiple Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs). Each one of these VPCs can deliver a single type of police service, such as case investigations or traffic management.
The ManageOne solution enables the physical resources of each data center to be allocated on demand to meet service the requirements for police department employees at different levels and from different departments. ManageOne reduces data center workloads and prevents conflicting demands for physical resources by different services.
The Huawei Police Cloud solution has reduced rollout times for new public services throughout China. Previously, departments required weeks to install and configure new equipment whereas Huawei’s automatic deployment functionality is designed to provision all resources within 24 hours.
The FusionSphere-DC2 cloud computing system supports on-demand resource allocation that facilitates application submissions, which previously took days or weeks to come on line but now are completed in as little as 10 minutes.