Peel Regional Police eyes BrightStor for homicide data

LAS VEGAS — Computer Associates’ latest strategy for information life cycle management (ILM) is helping both Canadian cops and NASA engineers.

The company’s CA Unicenter, Brightstor and Etrust product lines will leverage the new ILM strategy.

The first product to encompass the new strategy

is BrightStor Document Manager, which CA says can be readily adapted to many business processes and regulatory compliance.

According to Anders Lofgren, vice-president of BrightStor product management for CA, IT departments are being challenged by upper management to reduce costs, and also by the users they support for increased demand and delivery of stored data.

Those challenges reflect some of the issues that brought Peel Regional Police, which serves more than one million people in Peel and the Greater Toronto Airport Authority, to last month’s CA World conference. Peel is the second largest municipality in Ontario and Peel Regional Police is the country’s fourth largest police force.

Mike Stevenson, enterprise administrator of IT services for Peel Regional Police, said the force has found it challenging to take advantage of new technology, cut costs and better manage its IT equipment through its life cycle. Capacity planning for storage growth and centralize management of storage and backup are among the other concerns.

For example, police officers on the beat send messages when ticketing motorists to a telecom tower. That data arrives to a storage area network through Fibre Channel. Stevenson said this process is expensive, but delivers high performance.

The data is then moved to a data storage area, where it is placed on low-level hard disks. Stevenson said hard disks are a low-cost solution, but the people would still be working on this data right up until the case goes to trial.

After the case is closed, the data is archived on a StorageTek library and shipped off site.

The stakes are raised when it comes to homicide cases, said Stevenson.

“”We at Peel have some big homicide cases and police officers literally create thousands files for these kinds of cases,”” he said.

Stevenson said the need for storage is going up dramatically at the police force. And, for homicide cases, the value of the data is critical, and must be moved quickly and efficiently.

“”For the IT department, we have to manage that in a timely and secure way so it brings value and TCO to the equipment,”” he said.

With BrightStor and ILM, Lofgren said CA is looking to give customers such as Peel Regional Police a more holistic view of the entire enterprise, as well as providing a secure environment.

“”Information life cycle management is this idea to correlate or measure data and not just provide storage management, but also manage security based on the value of that data,”” Lofgren said.

Data management and delivery is also critical to NASA’s 45th Space Wing, which is responsible for managing the eastern range for the U.S. NASA also launches all of its unmanned spacecraft At the 45th Space Wing.

The 45th Space Wing comprises Cape Canaveral, Patrick Air Force base, Malabar base, Jonathan Dickinson base and Ascension AirField. The east-ern range stretches from Florida to Antiqua and up to Newfoundland.

With multiple bases providing multiple data assets, the NASA’s 45th Space Wing struggles to provide valuable data for all NASA staff.

“”Our challenge is to get the right data to the right desktop at the right time,”” said Glenn Exline, manager of advanced technologies, CSR, U.S. Air Force, 45th Space Wing. With BrightStor and the ILM strategy, Exline said NASA will be able to add more value to its data in the future.

“”We’ll be able to decide if a launch jpeg is available to NASA engineers 24/7 and the jpeg for the annual picnic is available for 30 minutes,”” he said.

CA’s roadmap for ILM includes intelligent storage management, new business content processes and a unified business and IT view, Lofgren said.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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