October 24, 2016 | Kriti Adlakha
Cloud solutions can prove to be a very attractive option for nonprofits, charities, and emergency services provider organizations because they can reduce infrastructure costs, as well as provide secure and improved ways to collaborate and share information. It also presents an agile platform to handle large amounts of data originated from various sources including organizations and individuals. AWS Cloud provides a scalable environment provided with flexible information access, easy communication and real time collaboration from all types of computing devices. It allows the system to be accessible, scalable, and transparent for all users.
WICS is a California incorporated Nonprofit Public Benefit corporation created for two purposes:
- to transition tools, technologies, CONOPS (concepts of operation) and services from R&D to a fully sustainable, reliable, resilient, secure, and properly supported operational platform (Raven), and
- to further evolve the CONOPS and components of Raven to meet worldwide challenges in emergency management, humanitarian assistance, and disaster relief.
The organization developed their extreme-scale, emergency management R & D application, Raven, a mobile, web-based command and control system, to deal with dynamically escalating incidents, from first response to extreme-scale, facilitating collaboration across all levels of government, commercial, and private use for all-hazard events. Raven was designed to serve a specific category of operator: The Tired-Dirty-Hungry Responder Under Extreme Stress. WICS faced a challenge to migrate Raven, their extreme-scale, emergency management R & D application, to a reliable, resilient and secure operational platform for worldwide use.
REAN Cloud assessed the requirement to develop a futuristic technology strategy and its Technical Implementation Services team provided the software and systems development for engineering Raven’s transition to AWS Cloud. REAN Cloud’s development work was to take the code from MIT Lincoln Labs, posted on the open source library GitHub, debug and make it operational on AWS. The REAN Cloud team assessed WICS operational needs developing a technology strategy that incorporated the following core requirements:
- Security – To protect and keep people safe by providing access to tools and information used and shared by first responders.
- Scalability – To support auto-scaling based on the magnitude of the an emergency incident.
- Customization and Differentiation – To allow transitioning from the original R&D version technologies to a WICS-owned and managed platform for building the next generation Raven with significantly advanced technologies.
- Performance – To manage application workloads for handling thousands of concurrent users and hundreds of concurrent incidents.
- Storage and Archiving – To process and store permanent records of information developed during an incident that is fully discoverable for rapid development of shared understanding, decision making and distribution of tailored information to incident stakeholders.
In addition to hosting Raven onto AWS for the purposes of scalability and resilience, WICS instituted REAN Cloud’s enterprise-level Managed Services to provide comprehensive 24x7x365 support of their cloud infrastructure. REAN Cloud handled the technology strategy while also educating the WICS team on Managed Services. The insights that the REAN Cloud team shared with the WICS staff expanded their knowledge on the capabilities of Managed Services without over-reaching the needs and skill set of the first responder. This exchange of information and insights has enabled WICS to catapult Raven to the next level by focusing on innovation instead of technology.
The collaboration between WICS operational staff with the technical team at REAN Cloud resulted in a successful collaboration. Through the security framework, the AWS tools are enabling the following:
- Secure Emergency Platform – That preserves homeland defense and national security by preventing hacker attempts by state and non-state actors who want to aggravate an emergency, or use the occurrence of an emergency as a diversion for some other hostile act.
- Robust Cloud Architecture – That mirrors the response to a large-scale emergency ensuring a resilient, reliable and redundant response to meet the four main needs of all emergency operations: Preparedness, Planning, Response, Recovery.
- Self-Hosting – That supports the capacity for adding more capabilities according to localized needs.
REAN Cloud proved to be the perfect Cloud Consulting Partner for WICS by allowing their team, who are subject matter experts on emergency management, to focus on their mission.
To learn more or download a copy of this customer success story, please visit http://www.reancloud.com/success-story/worldwide-incident-command-services-corporation-wics/.
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