Building, Maintaining, and Evolving One of the World’s Largest Environmental Data Archives Using an Enterprise Information System Development Model
As the managing partner of Diversified Global Partners JV LLC, DB Consulting Group is responsible for the development of the Comprehensive Large Array-data Stewardship System (CLASS), NOAA’s premier system for long-term archival and distribution of NOAA environmental data that includes diverse data sets from earth-observing satellites, in-situ observing systems, and climate model data. CLASS serves an international community by providing the capability of searching and ordering data via the Internet. CLASS customers include many scientific communities that focus their research on climate, atmospheric, and ocean science, as well as users that use the data for a variety of predictive and historical trending applications.

DB’s past performance on CLASS has been exceptional, exceeding client expectations as measured by a 100 percent award fee for the first contract year for the major system development portion of our contract. Our staff supports the development and operation of an ever-evolving system that is and will continue to experience a dramatic 60-fold growth in data holdings and users. CLASS is projected to reach 20 Pedabytes of holdings by 2018.

What makes our approach fairly unique is our enterprise information systems approach using a model that accommodates diverse data sets and scales for growth by eliminating large-scale changes and associated disruptions of daily operations. Our approach allows our team to support this growth through a carefully planned transition that introduces incremental changes that can be easily assimilated into operations and by our user community.

DB is meeting the challenging through expert management; processes that ensure repeatable high quality, availability, and performance; and the evolution of an organization that requires the blending of the many skill areas required. For CLASS, DB provides:

Program Management. Proactive management of CLASS activities and development of processes with an emphasis on continuous improvement and defining opportunities that reduce risk. Schedule and cost performance is managed using ANSI 748 compliant Earned Value Management System. Our development processes have achieved CMMI Level 3 maturity, and we are well on our way toward CMMI for services rating to further improve our operations support capability.
– Systems Engineering. This includes all phases of enterprise information lifecycle support from the development of “to be” architectures, to requirements development and analysis, to supporting hardware and software design, system integration, and system validation activities.
– Leading Edge Software Development. Our software engineers are well versed in the latest design and development techniques and software frameworks. Our software releases are iterative and moving toward an accelerated development process.
– Database Administration. DB supports the sustaining engineering and maintenance of the database that maintains a catalogue that allows the archival and access to millions of files in a secure way that ensures a high level of data integrity.
– Customer Support. Users are supported by our operations team that understands their data access issues and particular science application needs.
– Large-Scale Data Storage and Retrieval Services. DB provides data storage and retrieval services in support of CLASS. DB maintains operational availability of 99.9 percent defined as any operational site being able to ingest all available data streams, archive, and deliver data requests.
– Security Support for All Phases of Security Engineering. Our team maintains a continuous monitoring program with a high degree of automation that has consistently received high praise. We also provide engineering support that ensures system modifications are compliant with our security architecture and requirements. We work collaboratively with the NOAA OCIO to assess risks, execute certification and accreditation, and to keep all plans and procedures (e.g. System Security Plan, Contingency Plans) up to date.
– 24X7 Operations Support. Our team ensures that we meet the high availability objectives while delivering data to thousands of customers worldwide in a timely manner. Our system administrators offer a wide range of skills that are needed to support a Hierarchical Storage Management System with over 100 servers and a high capacity three site 10Gbps network.

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