New data storage services for Norfolk and South Wales

Fujitsu Services is to deliver an Operational Data Warehouse (ODW) to Norfolk Police.

Oct 4, 2007
By David Howell

Fujitsu Services is to deliver an Operational Data Warehouse (ODW) to Norfolk Police.

It will allow data within the force to be combined and linked under one umbrella giving more flexibility and better value for money than supplying the Home Office data returns via the National Management Information System (NMIS). It will also be more practical to front line policing, allowing the force to carry out many activities that cannot currently be achieved.

Fujitsu’s strategy in its work in data warehousing with police forces across the UK is to extract important data from the many disparate information systems used by individual forces in order to consolidate and improve its quality, thus improving forces’ ability to respond to the national policing requirements that emerged from the Bichard enquiry.

These requirements include the Management of Police Information (MoPI) standards to help forces to meet common standards for police information management through a statutory code of practice and associated guidance, and ultimately the provision of data to the Police National Database, which will provide a single access point for searching across all of the forces’ main operational information systems.

Fujitsu will work with its partners, SAS Software and Amadeus Software to combat the common range of problems caused by multiple information systems with different collection and storage techniques. In the first phase, Norfolk Police has already been able to bring together information from its crime and HR systems in order to improve its ability to be able to provide the annual Home Office Data Returns. Future phases will enable the force to make links between external events such as economic trends and population movements to help to predict patterns of crime.

Data storage is also high on the agenda for South Wales Police which is investing £1 million in an advanced Storage Area Network (SAN) that will enable it to integrate it mission-critical and operational systems into one platform. B2net will implement the data centre.

The SAN will become the largest of its kind in the Welsh force and will contain information systems to support the force’s 6,000 staff. The five data silos that are currently in place will be reduced to just two with the new B2net platform. The system itself will be based on NetApp 3050 HA Clustered Filers and NearStore R200 replicating to a second set of NetApp Filers/R200 for Disaster Recovery.

Centralisation is one of the key components of the new system that aims to reduce the number of servers that South Wales Police currently have in place spread over a wide geographical area and running a disperate group of applications. Streamlining these systems was one of the key goals of the new data platform.

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