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Agami Systems Eases Access Critical Disaster Relief Imagery in Near Real Time

In an effort to help the front-line responders and command center groups trying to facilitate a rapid response to hurricane Katrina, SDSU initiated the creation of an online clearinghouse (see here) to house imagery and GIS data related to the Katrina disaster. By typing in a residential or commercial address in New Orleans or Biloxi, the user was able to view satellite imagery of the area. Copyright AFP.
by Staff Writers
Sunnyvale CA (SPX) Mar 08, 2006
Agami Systems has announced that its AIS3004 information server with industry-leading throughput performance was selected by San Diego State University's Visualization Center and TelaScience to quickly aid first responders in coordinating relief efforts and identifying travel routes to disaster-stricken areas.

By greatly reducing the processing time from weeks/months to days, the real-time storage and retrieval capabilities of agami's technology played a key role in the GIS (Geographic Information Systems) and geospatial imagery for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. The AIS3004 was deployed at SDSU through The Pinnacle Group, one of agami Systems' valued partners.

In previous natural disasters, NOAA (National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration) typically produced satellite and aerial photos of over 5,000 images consisting of up to 200MB each for processing detailed area maps to be used by various federal agencies. This process took weeks, sometimes up to months to complete, but the SDSU Visualization Center created a process using a variety of leading-edge technologies to produce these detailed area maps within 48 hours.

In an effort to help the front-line responders and command center groups trying to facilitate a rapid response to hurricane Katrina, SDSU initiated the creation of an online clearinghouse,, to house imagery and GIS data related to the Katrina disaster. By typing in a residential or commercial address in New Orleans or Biloxi, the user was able to view satellite imagery of the area.

"The success and quick delivery of this project is thanks to several high-performance server products including the AIS3004 Information Server from agami Systems," said John Graham, senior research scientist at TelaScience. "Due to this close collaboration, most of the web maps were up and running within 48 hours of receiving the imagery. What is most exciting is to see how various organizations have been able to work together, in near real-time, to help bring critical information to a wide audience."

Displayed as Web-based interactive maps, the imagery supports initiatives by the National Institute of Urban Search and Rescue (NIUSR, to assist with the recovery effort by integrating location information about housing and people. It showed flooding extent, levee break locations, and damage to structures such as bridges and buildings.

The imagery was also used to estimate impacts on public health due to water volume, damaged infrastructure, and storm debris to support response and reconstruction efforts by front-line responders and command-center groups, including the National Red Cross.

"We were excited about having the opportunity to participate in such an important project and contributing the agami Information Server," said Joe Szalkiewicz, Vice President - Western Region of The Pinnacle Group. The AIS3004 lived up to its performance and ease-of-use capabilities and played a critical role in the success of the SDSU Katrina hurricane imagery project.

Also contributing was Dr. Eric Rasmussen, a medical doctor and SDSU adjunct faculty, deeply involved in the front-line effort and command and control using technology. Rasmussen was also engaged in the relief efforts after the December 2004 tsunami in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where the Visualization Center did similar type of work.

"As with the tsunami that recently struck Banda Aceh, the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina were almost unimaginable. The quick responses of the dedicated relief organizations, such as the Red Cross, are critical in the hours immediately following such an event," said Dr. Rasmussen. "In the aftermath of natural disasters such as Katrina, the SDSU team with their compute and storage technologies provided the visualization and imagery tools to meet the needs of these agencies, who then are equipped to quickly to save lives, reunite families and rebuild communities."

About AIS

agami's next-generation AIS3000 and AIS6000 information server product lines deliver industry-leading performance with enterprise-class functionality, ease of management, reliability, and an unprecedented price point. The groundbreaking AIS6000 provides throughput performance over 1,000 MB/sec from a single 5U NAS module. The AIS3000 offers streaming read throughput in excess of 500MB/sec in a 4U rack mount system. The AIS3000 is available in 4TB, 6TB and 9TB configurations; the AIS6000 is available in 12TB and 19TB configurations.

Other key features of AIS

- The world's first NAS system that incorporates symmetrical multi-processing (SMP) with ccNUMA based on the 64-bit AMD Opteron(TM) with Direct Connect, HyperTransport(TM) bus and I/O link technologies - Enterprise-class features and reliability provided by the agamiOS(TM) software that includes agamiFS(TM), an easy-to-use, policy-based management GUI, 64-bit file system, and agamiFSR(TM), an integral network-efficient file system replication - Supports a wide range of Microsoft Windows®, UNIX and Linux client platforms using industry-standard NFS and CIFS protocols, as well as backup and restore using NDMP and industry leading backup systems

"We've designed the AIS series from the ground up to deliver unmatched performance and capabilities in a single information server," said John Wernke, Vice President of Marketing at agami Systems. "Clearly, we've addressed a significant market need. The growing list of companies and organizations that rely on our technology in a mission-critical environment, such as the Katrina relief efforts, is testament to the value we provide."

Related Links
San Diego State University's Visualization Center
The Pinnacle Group
agami Systems

Study Finds Californians Unmotivated To Prepare For Next Disaster
Los Angeles CA (SPX) Mar 03, 2006
Californians believe that their state is prone to disasters, but see little motivation to prepare for nature's crushing blows, a new poll has found. The poll, sponsored by the Insurance Information Network of California and Fireman's Fund Insurance Company, found that only 22 percent of Californians consider themselves to be prepared or very prepared for a disaster in their area.

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