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GCN : June 2013
Moving forward, we are likely to see exponential growth in Big Data sources as society becomes increasingly interconnected. Many experts believe we are moving toward what they call the Internet of Things, in which any physical object might become a network node, collecting and sharing information with every other physical object or system. In our personal lives, this might mean having the ability to monitor and control everything in our homes, such as the oven, thermostat and other appliances. For government agencies, the Internet of Things could provide new levels of insight into their operations and services. In an April report, IDC Government Insights observed that the Internet of Things was reaching a "tipping point," becoming a "sustainable paradigm for practical applications that can change the future of individuals, enterprises and the public sector." At present, such technology primarily is used in transport, security and environmental monitoring applications. But IDC Government Insights expects to see emerging applications in public security, defense and health. The Internet of Things promises to yield a previously unimaginable wealth of content for Big Data applications. But it also will lead to extraordinary network complexity. That transformation is already underway, thanks to the proliferation of mobile devices and social media. By , the world population is expected to reach . billion. Cisco predicts that there will be billion mobile-connected devices, with global IP traf c reaching . zettabytes (the equivalent of billion terabyte disk drives), which is four times what it was in . All told, almost billion global network connections will exist, that is, two and a half for every person in the world. Four main building blocks are being added to the enterprise stack to accommodate Big Data: . Hadoop: Provides storage capability through a distributed, shared-nothing le system and analysis capability through MapReduce and Hadoop File System. . NoSQL: Provides the real-time capability to capture, read and update Recent Big Data developments The value of Big Data tools and techniques can be seen in three emerging initiatives. The Defense Information Systems Agency and the National Security Agency are looking to develop an Information Assurance Audit Management System to log, collect and analyze data from a wide array of systems in order to detect and develop defenses against potential security threats. The initiative likely will include Enterprise Email, Enterprise Collaboration, Enterprise Cross-Domain and other cross-cutting IT services. DISA and NSA are looking to develop data management architectures and manipulation tools that will enable automated identi cation of critically anomalous events that indicate both internal and external malicious activity, according to a request for information for Enterprise Services Attack Analysis, released in April 2013. The National Centers for Environmental Prediction, part of the National Weather Service at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), sees the potential to apply Big Data solutions to information streaming in from operational environmental satellites related to national and global weather, water, climate and space weather. NCEP receives 1.7 billion observations per day from satellites and other sources, from which it generates 5 terabytes of raw data and 1.5 terabytes of operational data each day, according a presentation given at the Symposium on Future Operational Environmental Satellite Systems in January 2013. NCEP of cials are focused not only on managing this massive amount of data but also on nding new ways to mine it for insights that can help government agencies and other organizations track and respond to weather- and environmental-related developments. The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) and other members of the National System for Geospatial-Intelligence (NSG) are using Big Data solutions to assist with the collection, analysis, storage, discovery, and dissemination of geospatial imagery, full motion video (FMV), and other unstructured data sets. They are also incorporating advanced visualization tools to provide actionable intelligence in support of mission objectives. The Internet of Things promises to yield a previously unimaginable wealth of content for Big Data applications. But it also will lead to extraordinary network complexity. SPONSORED CONTENT