Pulse


Pulse

By GCN Staff


State CIOs press federal leaders on cross-jurisdiction hot buttons

State technology officers participated in a “fly-in” this week, coming to Washington, D.C., to press federal IT officials on the need for further collaboration with states in the area of cybersecurity, broadband and public safety information sharing.

At the top of the agenda for the members of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers was a meeting with Homeland Security Department Deputy Assistant Secretary Roberta Stempfley and National Institute for Standards and Technology Acting Chief of the Computer Security Division Matthew Scholl, who provided an overview on efforts to adopt a national cybersecurity framework.

NASCIO President Craig Orgeron, who is also Mississippi’s CIO, said the agencies have been good partners in setting up the parameters of the framework.

“Now comes the hard work,” he said, “ensuring it is used to promote enterprise approaches to cybersecurity in the states rather than as a checklist for compliance.”

The group also met with Department of Justice Associate Deputy Director, Bureau of Justice Assistance, J. Patrick McCreary, who announced a partnership between NASCIO and the DOJ on cybersecurity disruption response planning and cyber threat analytics.

State CIOs kicked off the day by meeting with Federal Communications Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel. The meeting focused on providing broadband to schools and libraries and enacting reforms to the E-rate program that helps provide resources for high speed broadband.

State CIOs also met with FirstNet board member Teri Takai and Deputy General Manager for FirstNet TJ Kennedy to discuss next steps between states and the FirstNet authority in building a nationwide public safety broadband network.

Creating an interoperable public safety communications network remains an unfulfilled recommendation of the 9/11 commission, noted NASCIO, over a decade after the commission pointed out the gap in homeland security.

Posted on May 08, 2014 at 9:21 AM0 comments


DISA approves AirWatch MDM for Defense networks

The Defense Information Systems Agency’s Field Security Operations (FSO) unit has approved AirWatch’s  Mobile Device Management Software 6.5 Security Technical Implementation Guide (STIG) Version 1 for immediate use.

The STIG provides security policy and configuration requirements for the use of the AirWatch MDM software suite for administrative management of the Samsung Knox and iOS 7.X mobile operating systems in DOD.

The AirWatch MDM Software is installed entirely on DOD host network servers or virtual machines running Windows Server 2008 R2 or 2012 operating systems, and works in conjunction with several services on these servers in order to manage a mobile device fleet, DISA wrote in the STIG overview.

The certification validates that AirWatch meets the security restrictions required for use on Defense networks. STIG-approval demonstrates that AirWatch provides government customers with solutions that follow mobile code risk categories and usage guides, the company said in its announcement.

“STIG approval from the DISA FSO enables government organizations running on DOD networks to leverage our comprehensive platform with military-grade security for their next generation of mobile initiatives,” said John Marshall, senior vice president and general manager, AirWatch by VMware. “With the approval of our STIG, DOD agencies have clear documentation to implement a broader selection of mobile devices and management software.”

According to Mark Williams, AirWatch director of government solutions, DISA released its Security Requirements Guide for MDM around the time agencies began to look at mobile device options outside of BlackBerry. The AirWatch STIG supports government offices that want to move to multi-OS mobility strategies, he wrote in a blog post.

The certification process stipulated that AirWatch MDM software met all 294 NIST SP 800-53 requirements, as listed in the DISA MDM Security Requirements Guide. A DISA FSO team also conducted a thorough, third-party validation and editing process prior to awarding AirWatch STIG-approval.

Posted on May 05, 2014 at 9:21 AM1 comments


Cori, the next-gen supercomputer for exascale science

The Department of Energy’s National Energy Research Scientific Computing (NERSC) Center and Cray Inc. signed a contract for a next-generation supercomputer to support scientific discovery at the DOE’s Office of Science.

Using Intel’s next-generation Intel Xeon Phi processor, the new Cray XC system will deliver 10 times the sustained computing capability of NERSC’s Hopper system, a Cray XE6 supercomputer,

The new processor, — code-named “Knights Landing” — is a self-hosted, many-core processor with on-package high-bandwidth memory that delivers more than 3 teraFLOPS of double-precision peak performance per single socket node, says Cray. Delivery is scheduled for mid-2016.

To highlight its commitment to advancing research, NERSC names its supercomputers after noted scientists. The new system will be named “Cori” in honor of bio-chemist and Nobel Laureate Gerty Cori, the first American woman to receive a Nobel Prize in science.

NERSC Director Sudip Dosanjh said the new supercomputer  “will provide a significant increase in capability for our users and will provide a platform for transitioning our very broad user community to energy-efficient, many-core architectures. It will also let users analyze large quantities of data being transferred to NERSC from DOE’s experimental facilities.”

Cori will have over 9300 Knights Landing compute nodes and provide over 400 gigabytes per second of I/O bandwidth and 28 petabytes of disk space. The contract also includes an option for a “Burst Buffer,” a layer of NVRAM that would move data more quickly between processor and disk, allowing users to make the most efficient use of the system while saving energy. The Cray XC system features the Aries high-performance interconnect linking the processors, which also increases efficiency.

Cori will be installed directly into the new Computational Research and Theory facility currently being constructed on the main Berkeley Lab campus.

Posted on May 02, 2014 at 9:21 AM0 comments


Massachusetts invests in open cloud project, big data

Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick announced a $3 million capital investment in the Massachusetts Open Cloud (MOC) project, a university-industry collaboration designed to create a new public cloud infrastructure to spur big data innovation.

Unlike existing proprietary public clouds, where all of the technology is controlled by a single entity, the goal of the MOC is to establish a marketplace where hardware capacity, software and services can be supplied, purchased and resold by many participants.

The MOC will provide a range of services, including infrastructure as a service, which offers on-demand access to virtual machines, as well as application development and big data platform services via the cloud.

MOC is hosted at the Massachusetts Green High Performance Computing Center in Holyoke.

The MOC project is a collaboration that draws from all five MGHPCC universities, including overall project leadership from Boston University, operational leadership from Harvard University, development from Northeastern University, community building from MIT and related research by faculty from the University of Massachusetts, Boston University, Northeastern University, Harvard University and MIT.

Industry partners, including Cisco, EMC, SGI, Red Hat, Juniper, Canonical, Dell, Intel, Mellanox, Brocade, DataDirect Networks, Mathworks, Plexxi, Cambridge Computer Services, Enterprise DB and Riverbed are contributing engineering and operational talent, equipment, financial support and business guidance. The hardware platform for the Massachusetts Open Cloud will be housed at the MGHPCC.

Gov. Patrick also announced the 2014 Mass Big Data Report, which confirms the continued growth and competitiveness of the commonwealth’s big data industry.

“Massachusetts’ competitive edge lies in our exceptional academic institutions, cutting-edge private companies, highly-skilled workforce and above all our willingness to work together to address the increasing demand for big data solutions,” said Governor Patrick.

Overall, the report finds that the global big data market is expected to top $48 billion by 2017, up from $11.6 billion in 2012. While hardware and services are expected to continue to account for the greatest share of revenue, the fastest growing sector is likely to be in big data-enabled applications.

For Massachusetts, big data applications in healthcare, life sciences and financial services appear highly promising, and local firms are seeking to fill as many as 3,000 big data-related jobs in the region over the next 12 months.

Posted on Apr 28, 2014 at 10:09 AM1 comments


IBM offers big data technology to federal healthcare

With the federal government expected to spend $13.95 trillion on healthcare-related operations and programs through 2024, increasing attention is being given to technology that can improve health care outcomes and cut costs.

To that end, IBM announced new investments in its US Federal Healthcare Practice, adding big data services for advanced clinical care from its IBM Watson Group and a new collaborations with IBM Research focused on data management. 

"Government leaders recognize that there is a tremendous opportunity to combine new and existing data sources with advancements in technology to find innovative ways to build a sustainable and affordable healthcare system," said Anne Altman, General Manager, IBM US Federal.

The solutions from the Watson Group include:

IBM Watson Engagement Advisor to manage interactions and experiences with patients.

IBM Watson Discovery Advisor to identify insights into diseases and innovative therapies, and speed medical research.

IBM Watson Explorer designed to consolidate and visualize information and help users uncover and share data-driven insights more easily.

The data management program for healthcare, called IBM Advanced Care Insights, uses the company’s analytics, predictive modeling and natural language processing to extract trends in unstructured data such as physician notes, lab results and other narrative content within electronic health record systems.

IBM also announced that it has added Keith Salzman, M.D., to the team as chief medical information officer for IBM Federal.  Dr. Salzman, early pioneer in health IT for the Army, comes to IBM from CACI.

Posted on Apr 25, 2014 at 11:27 AM1 comments