NWSTG Technical Refresh and Alternate Site Establishment

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Wednesday, 7 January 2015
Jason C. Hildreth, NOAA/NWS, Silver Spring, MD; and R. Bunge

The ability to ingest and disseminate all available meteorological data from national and world-wide sources requires a scalable system to keep up with the ever increasing quantitative products that are being produced. The augmentation to a scalable architecture of the National Weather Service Telecommunication Gateway (NWSTG) would allow for the ability to address the increasing size and scope of data products received from national and international providers. The ability to maintain an operational flow of all meteorological data in times of national emergency was also required to be met due to an executive order. In order to meet these goals a complete refresh of all components of the NWSTG was required to occur. The upgrading of the NWSTG from an older architecture to a newer, faster, and scalable hardware enables the ability to meet and exceed all Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in place with our partners. The hardware upgraded not only included the processing systems but also the storage array to a highly scalable architecture. Along with the system hardware upgrade, the network within the production facility was required to be augmented to a much faster and secure infrastructure to handle the transmission of the increasing number and size of products. In order to meet the executive order requirement that requires the dissemination of data with limited interruption due to national emergency a study for a backup facility location outside of a set distance from the primary was conducted.

After refreshing the entire NWSTG with the new architecture, the National Weather Service can now easily process the current level of data being ingest and disseminated through its system from all sources. Further, the architecture is readily capable of ingesting and disseminating all future requirements that are currently projected as well as being scalable to enable the processing of any non-projected new requirements. We have also observed that our SLAs are being easily met through multiple metrics due to the combined increased processing, network, and storage capabilities. Along with these goals for the refreshed system being met we have also satisfied the goal of having a redundant hot backup facility to enable our continuous operations to occur through emergency situations in a geographically separate location from our primary facility.

The paper provides an up to date overview of the entire NWSTG refresh project, a breakdown of the end-to-end processing of the NWSTG, Inter-connection of the alternate processing site, and quantitative analysis of the advantages gained with the new architecture.