SOURCE: Cisco

Cisco

December 17, 2009 16:00 ET

TASER International Enhances Evidence Capabilities for Law Enforcement Agencies With Innovative Cloud-Based Service Built on Cisco Unified Computing System

New Evidence.com Cloud Service Analyzes and Securely Preserves "Chain of Evidence" Video Data; Cisco UCS Delivers Cost Reduction, High Performance, and Scalability

SAN JOSE, CA--(Marketwire - December 17, 2009) -  Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) today announced that TASER International®, the market leader in electronic control devices (ECDs), has deployed the Cisco® Unified Computing System to support its innovative new service called Evidence.com. Developed specifically for law enforcement agencies worldwide, Evidence.com is a massive cloud-based virtual data warehouse hosted by TASER that is available via a secure Internet connection. Evidence.com enables agencies to store video data according to their own retention policies, access it on demand with industry leading security, and use powerful mapping and analytics software to synthesize it with location and other relevant information.

To deliver a service on this scale with the reliability and performance that law enforcement customers demand, the company needed an advanced yet cost-effective computing platform to provide scalable processing and storage access, end-to-end encryption, and fault tolerance. Cisco UCS was ideal for the project because it provides the high bandwidth, scalability, and performance capabilities required to process massive amounts of video data. Cisco UCS bridges data center technology silos with a unified architecture that unites compute, network, storage access, and virtualization resources in a single energy-efficient system using industry-standard technologies.

Facts:

  • How Evidence.com works: When a law enforcement agency subscribes to the Evidence.com service, a small video camera worn by the officer captures video of officer encounters. At the end of their shift, officers dock the unit to upload the encrypted video over a highly secure link. Video and ECD data are stored according to each agency's retention policies, and authorized users need only a broadband connection to retrieve their video on demand.
  • Massive data: TASER projects the new service will attract tens of thousands of global law enforcement agencies, which will collectively generate millions of video streams annually. This breadth of video traffic requires a compute platform with the capacity to initially manage 10 petabytes of video and ECD data, increasing to 200 petabytes within three years. 
  • Virtualized Data Center: The Cisco Unified Computing System is configured with two chassis and 16 server blades, connected to redundant Cisco Nexus® 7000 Series Switches over 10Gigabit Ethernet, providing ample bandwidth to move huge volumes of video data to and from TASER's customers. The system accesses an IBM storage area network (SAN) using a Cisco MDS 9124 Multilayer Switch and uses VMware ESX for the virtualized environment. Cisco Catalyst® 4900 Series Switches provide access to the Gigabit Ethernet servers.
  • Security: To help protect evidence from being altered, or accessed by unauthorized people, the company developed an extensive defense-in-depth strategy with eight levels of protection, using solutions including Cisco firewalls, the Cisco Intrusion Prevention System, and Cisco physical security solutions to monitor the facility.
  • Cisco Advanced Services: TASER's tight deadline required completion of the new data center in under 100 days to support its planned Evidence.com service. The company engaged Cisco Advanced Services to provide design, planning, and deployment services to help ensure that the project proceeded smoothly and on schedule.
  • Future: TASER plans to implement Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), a cost-effective technology that combines networks within the data center, to realize further cost savings and plans to deploy a second remote data center for disaster recovery.

Technology and Business Benefits

  • Capital savings: TASER saved $900,000 in upfront capital costs with the combined Cisco solution, including UCS, Nexus, and Cisco security technology, which was 35 percent less than the next closest option.
  • Lower energy consumption: Cisco UCS also uses less energy, providing $37,000 in annual energy savings, which supports TASER's commitment to environmentally sustainable business practices.
  • Responsiveness: TASER's UCS system can address memory in nanoseconds instead of the milliseconds needed with any other server, providing an extremely responsive environment for Evidence.com users.
  • Memory: The 384 Gigabytes of on-board memory in the Cisco UCS eliminates slowdowns during database access, usually the slowest aspect of cloud services. 
  • Scalability and simplified management: TASER plans to rapidly scale Evidence.com as a global service, so the ability to easily add additional chassis and blades to the UCS architecture and manage up to 320 blades as a single cohesive system was key to supporting their business goals.
  • High performance: The Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus platform provide 10 Gigabit Ethernet access from the server to the core network, enabling users to rapidly retrieve video data.
  • High availability: Built-in redundancy and automatic failover help ensure the availability of critical applications and a customer Web portal at all times.

Supporting Quotes
Vince Stephens, vice president of network operations, TASER Virtual Systems:
"We realized we couldn't build the data center of the future with yesterday's technology. With its scalable processing, huge memory capacity, and tight integration with VMware, the Cisco UCS was ideal to meet our needs out to the foreseeable future."

Jas Dhillon, chief strategy officer and general manager, TASER Virtual Systems:
 
"Cisco met our needs for innovation, financial stability, and ability to support our business for the long term. Cisco is a trusted name to our customers. In addition, the economics of the Cisco UCS and Nexus switch platform are superior and will become even more so as our service grows."

Scott Clark, global lead, Unified Computing and Virtualization Services Practice:
"Companies today require more than compelling technology -- they require complete solutions and business outcomes that address their broader business challenges. By partnering with Cisco Advanced Services in the planning, design and implementation stages, TASER was able to accelerate Evidence.com's time to market."

Supporting Resources:

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