Clouds in shape of Earth

NOAA fine-tunes its cloud-based Big Data Project

When the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration launched its Big Data Project in 2015, it partnered with five infrastructure-as-a-service collaborators -- Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, IBM, Microsoft Azure and the Open Commons Consortium – to make its environmental data more easily accessible. Under the terms of the agreement, the NOAA data would be made freely available to the public, with the collaborators offering value-added services or third-party processing and applications.

Over the last three years, NOAA has seen demonstrated advantages to cloud hosting, and has provided low-cost, low-risk access to an increasing amount of its data.  However, NOAA still wants to fine-tune the business model and finalize requirements for an enterprise solution for public data access.

Going forward, NOAA said it is seeking "contractual arrangements" that will give the public continued access to a significant portion of its data through a cloud platform so the "untapped value" of the data can be leveraged to create new products and services.

Such data use could include cloud-based high-performance computing as well as the integration of NOAA data into cloud-based tools to increase usage, as opposed to simply making the original NOAA data files available via the cloud.

NOAA is seeking input from users who have accessed its open data through one or more of the five collaborators' cloud platforms, as well as from cloud service providers, brokers or contracting personnel who have experience with the Big Data Platform. The agency also wants to hear about how access to its data benefited any business, technology or scientific development so it can better assess the impact of its data in the marketplace.  

NOAA said the responses from the request for information will be compiled and made publicly available. Read the full RFI here.

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