CIA: Cloud Solving Our Petascale Data Problem

October 28, 2011
FedCyber Wire, Solution Providers, Technology
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Cloud computing can help the Central Intelligence Agency do its job better, faster, cheaper, and even more securely, CIA CTO Gus Hunt said in a keynote address Tuesday at InformationWeek Government‘s GovCloud event in Washington, D.C.

“Cloud computing has emerged to enable us to deliver capabilities we weren’t able to deliver before at a scale and price and agility level we were never able to do before,” Hunt said. “I have a petascale problem and need a petascale solution.”

That petascale problem Hunt has is data, and lots of it. “The volumes are so big that the wheat to chaff ratio is miniscule and we’ve got to be able to find this stuff,” he said. “This is about being able to correlate data ahead of time, about using the computational capacity of the cloud to see how things are related before you even do a search.”

Cloud computing will help him manage that data with technologies that include distributed database management system Apache Cassandra, which was initially developed for Facebook, and cloud data platform MapReduce. Hunt said that cloud computing will help analyze numbers and patterns to help uncover the next attack, much in the same way that a company like PepsiCo might crunch data to determine how likely a consumer is to purchase a bag of Fritos. Big data will help “grow the haystack and magnify the needles,” Hunt said.

via InformationWeek Government, continued here.