Many organizations, both public and private, have harnessed the power of cloud technologies, but most Public Safety organizations are yet to embrace them, due to concerns over security, control and reliability. However, as advances in technology are presenting Public Safety agencies with unprecedented amounts of data, cloud technology should no longer be overlooked.
Technology innovation has fundamentally changed the world around us. We have become used to having 24/7 access to instant communication, data, and information sharing. Applications such as location services, social media, and cameras have introduced massive amounts of data – and nearly all of it is stored and processed in a cloud.
To make the most of it, we need to rethink how we collect, store, analyze, and apply data. However, this is impossible without cloud-based services and infrastructure. The data being produced is too large, the technology evolves too quickly, and the required investment in private infrastructure is too much for most Public Safety agencies.
iCERT White Paper: Rising of the Cloud
This iCERT White Paper is Part 2 of a study into Public Safety-grade cloud technology, and the many benefits it can offer Public Safety organizations. The paper examines infrastructure solutions available, addresses some emergency response applications already deployed in the cloud, and assesses trends to establish a perspective for the future of cloud in Public Safety.
It covers the things you need to consider when building a Public Safety-grade solution in the cloud and explains approaches to cloud security, reliability, and availability. It also addresses possible risks and limitations of cloud-based solutions, demonstrating the care it takes to create and build robust Public Safety cloud systems.
Check out our blog post about Part 1 of this study here.
Public Safety Technology: a Complex and Ever-Changing Ecosystem
Public Safety technology can be deployed in multiple ways: local on-premises systems, hybrid or cloud-based systems. Of these, hybrid solutions are currently gaining traction, because they allow low priority applications to be hosted in the cloud and high priority applications On-Premise, enabling a flexible route to migrating to cloud-based systems in the future. For a more in-depth comparison between these different deployment models, check out Part 1 of this study.
Cloud Delivery Models
The paper discusses the three main delivery models for cloud computing: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and SaaS, which all offer different levels of control:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): Provides access to networking features, computers (virtual or on dedicated hardware), and data storage space.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): Removes underlying infrastructure (i.e. hardware and operating systems) and allows the deployment of applications created by customers that are supported by the PaaS provider.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): An application running in the cloud infrastructure. The consumer is only responsible for how it accesses and uses that particular piece of software.
Benefits for Public Safety
The study finds that while there are many factors to consider when choosing a Public Safety cloud solution, one thing is certain: cloud technology can no longer be ignored. Cloud computing, with its scalable, virtually unlimited resources, and ability to manage complex multi-tenant environments makes it a viable option to be the foundation of the next generation of emergency response technologies.
Benefits discussed in this paper include:
- Scalability of resources: Cloud resources that are properly configured autoscale to meet demand.
- Redundant infrastructure and fault tolerance: Large, global infrastructures not only enable scalable resources but create layers of fault tolerance.
- Information Sharing Environments: Shared infrastructure enables information fusion and data sharing environments with security, access control, and auditing capabilities that are critical in shared access to sensitive data.
- Analytics: The processing power provided by the cloud enables analytics at a scale not possible in most on-premise public safety systems.
- Collaboration: The cloud enables collaboration by providing accessible and low cost networking and storage.
- Call Routing: A cloud environment, with applications developed with cloud technologies, provides resilience and surge call volume processing capabilities.
- Maintenance, Agility, and Economic Parity: Not only does the cloud lower cost and support the growth of advanced computing, it also facilitates technology innovation with reduced maintenance and increased agility.
Cloud Services: Revolutionizing Public Safety Communications Systems
As the pace of technology accelerates, more sensitive, highly available, and mission-critical Public Safety applications are being delivered via cloud-based solutions. These solutions enable more efficient and cost-effective management and support, because they are built on multi-tenant infrastructures where agencies share parts of it, with specific privileges to keep customers securely separated.
Public Safety Agencies benefit from this because the vendor can handle security patching and upgrades with minimal disruption. Also, the introduction of new features happens without the interruption of large scale upgrades, and agencies don’t have to give technicians access to their IT environment, since the environment is fully managed.
Tait Cloud Software Applications
Tait currently offers a range of cloud software applications, with more to follow in the future:
- Tait TeamPTT: Enables integration between LMR, WiFi and cellular networks and devices
- Tait EnableFleet: An industry-leading configuration management system
- Tait EnableInsight: An industry-leading performance management system
- Tait PTToX: Enables integration between LMR, WiFi and cellular networks and devices
- Tait Private LTE: These networks can utilize a cloud-based EPC (Evolved Packet Core).
If your organization lacks the skills and tools needed to upgrade and manage critical communications networks, Tait Managed Services can help: our trained and experienced professionals can provide specialist skills and tools to look after your mission critical network for you, so you and your team can focus on protecting lives and property.
Tait Services are ISO27001 certified for Information Security Management, so you can trust your interests are protected.
Through the Tait Partner Program we also integrate with a range of cloud products such as Anyline, an innovative mobile text recognition application that uses Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.
To find out more about what these or any other Tait solutions can do for your organization, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
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