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GCN : January 2014
22 GCN JANUARY 2014 • GCN.COM disturbed by revelations about the National Security Agency's freewheeling digital information gathering. Bit9 CSO Nick Levay says that cooperation between the public and private sectors was strong in 2013. However, reports that NSA has been tapping fiber-optic cables, as well as gather- ing data directly from carriers, could sour these relationships. Major Internet players have been embarrassed by news that makes it seem that they either are in bed with the NSA or are not doing enough to protect their networks and data. As a result, customers will demand greater transparency from their technology providers this year, says former White House advisor Howard Schmidt, now executive director of SAFECode. "Companies, individuals and governments reeling from the surveillance disclosures will increase and expand their use of encrypted products, keys and data flows to try to get a better handle on controlling their information," he said. 6. IN-MEMORY PROCESSING SPEEDS DATA RETRIEVAL AND ANALYTICS. Retrieving big data sets from disk storage systems tends to slow analytics processing. Consequently, demand for in-memory processing tools will rise as managers seek faster access to information this year, according to Charles Lewis, principal information systems engineer with the Mitre Corp. To address the problem, database admins normally prepro- cess data through query sets or aggregated tables. Instead of accessing such data from a disk, in-memory processing loads relevant data into fast RAM memory. In doing so, it's possible to see the data at a deeper level of detail, what Lewis calls "analyt- ics at the speed of thought." The downside is that only so much data can be stored in memory, whereas a hard drive can store petabytes. In such cases, in memory databases can be used for critical processing after which the data can be swapped back to disk. Agencies that need real-time information about people enter- ing the country, such as the Homeland Security Department or the Transportation Security Administration, will be primary candidates for in-memory processing, Lewis noted. "Solutions for in-memory computing architectures are well thought out, can be very secure and can also be designed for long-term storage that spans multiple physical locations for backup," said CrucialPoint's Gourley. "Traditional storage --- disk and tape --- will be with us for a long time, but these new in-memory methods are very compelling." 7. EXPECT DISRUPTIONS IN THE DATA CENTER. Of all the technologies that government uses, data centers will be among the fastest to evolve this year, IT watchers say. Some of these changes will shrink data centers only a few inches; oth- ers may have more profound effects or cause them virtually to disappear altogether. Recently, much effort has gone into finding more efficient ways to cool down hot computers, since heat slows down pro- cessing and can ultimately lead to hardware failure. In 2014, water cooling, even in traditional IT environments, will become more and more prevalent, especially in new builds. In the government arena, the trend is best illustrated by WHAT'S AHEAD IN 2014 #6 #5