Software // Information Management
Commentary
6/4/2009
01:44 PM
Michael Biddick
Michael Biddick
Commentary
Connect Directly
LinkedIn
Twitter
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%

IT Fusion Centers

Many IT organizations are seeking to adopt the Fusion Center model as a means of obtaining a better overall view of their operations. They want to maximize resources and streamline operations just as their peers in the field of counterterrorism have done.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, law enforcement and national security establishments determined that traditional information sharing methods among public safety, intelligence, and emergency management agencies no longer met the information needs of those communities. Thus was born the concept of a Fusion Center.The Fusion Center consolidates, analyzes, and distributes information through the many different organizations in order to enhance the ability to foresee and hopefully forestall terterrorist activities.

Many IT organizations are seeking to adopt the Fusion Center model as a means of obtaining a better overall view of their operations. They want to maximize resources and streamline operations just as their peers in the field of counterterrorism have done.

IT organizations, both commercial and federal, are looking to consolidate the information currently received through multiple inputs, in order to obtain a single, consolidated management view of all of the organization's infrastructure elements. This single view can then be used to better understand how the failure, degradation, or alteration of any individual element in the network will impact the network's overall performance; and how to make decisions regarding network resources, processes, and procedures more pro-actively than before.

The good news is that many of the necessary data tools required for he Fusion Center may already be in use in the various service centers of the enterprise. In that case, the key to establishing a Fusion Center is learning how to maximize the organization of data and processes.

A key component of the success of a Fusion Center is ensuring the relevance of the data that is eventually presented to the NOC personnel. As the Center's architecture expands, however, this task becomes increasingly difficult to accomplish-the establishment of new service centers inevitably creates more infrastructure events.

As a first step, it is important to carefully describe and document the lifecycle of event management in the light of the enterprise's business requirements. This will ensure that events, once created, are moved through the system efficiently and retired quickly with minimal impact on the quality of service delivery.

Once the event management process has been defined and documented, the next step is to design the Fusion Center. The key is to collect, analyze, and present relevant data from all service centers on a single dashboard. The combination of a three-tier architecture, along with well-documented event handling processes, will provide the scalability required to expand infrastructure management efficiently to the organizations' various service centers.

While exploring tools, look for scalability to handle the large numbers of infrastructure events emanating from all functional areas across an enterprise. It enables functional division of labor over multiple Enterprise Management Solutions, thereby balancing the processing load. This balanced distribution of event processing leads to better, more efficient event filtering, which in turn leads to a more efficient workflow within the NOC.

This balance and efficiency is achieved by assigning one of three roles (collection, aggregation, and display) to each within the architecture. In order to keep the model modular and scalable, each role is clearly defined.Many IT organizations are seeking to adopt the Fusion Center model as a means of obtaining a better overall view of their operations. They want to maximize resources and streamline operations just as their peers in the field of counterterrorism have done.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
The Agile Archive
The Agile Archive
When it comes to managing data, donít look at backup and archiving systems as burdens and cost centers. A well-designed archive can enhance data protection and restores, ease search and e-discovery efforts, and save money by intelligently moving data from expensive primary storage systems.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014
Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.