Monday, July 21, 2008

Boost GIS Mapping Performance; Increase Accessibility without Upgrades to Server, Network or Storage

Alacritech Inc., the leader of innovative data-delivery technology, today announced that Boone County, in central Missouri, has improved its GIS software application performance and provided seamless and quicker availability to thousands of maps and aerial photos of the county through the use of Alacritech’s Network Accelerator cards. The GIS information provides valuable information used by tens of thousands of home owners, architects, contractors, hunters and hikers as well as mortgage companies and banks, with more than 150,000 requests for maps processed each month. Provided free of charge to residents and local businesses, the maps contain data ranging from traffic, zoning and geologic information to registered offender lists and voting districts.

Since the GIS mapping requires heavy image and data loads, it previously wreaked havoc on the county’s GIS systems, taking up nearly 2 TBs of storage capacity, 98 percent of which include high-quality parcel maps and aerial photographs. With the adoption of Alacritech’s Accelerators, the TCP processing burden has been taken off of the processor and placed on the network card. Jason Warzinik, GIS Program Manager for the county, estimates that by allowing the server to focus exclusively on application processing and data serving, the Alacritech Scalable Network Accelerators have improved Boone County’s server throughput by 50 percent, shortening the average map generation time from five seconds to two.

“Performance was really weighing heavily on my mind as I deployed the new GIS applications,” Warzinik said. “It was really important that people actually used the software, and if it took more than five or ten seconds to pull up a map, they weren’t likely to use it. It was important that we got this right the first time.”

As a result of the performance increase, Boone County GIS users are able to load each map in a few seconds, ensuring that the GIS mapping applications are more convenient than phone-in or walk-up requests. Users are able to access the maps from anywhere, making GIS data more available to those who need it. And, county employees are simultaneously able to log into the desktop application at work.

Prior to the implementation, each county department was responsible for managing their own hardcopy maps, much of them redundant with other departments. Now a single group manages the service, standardizing how the maps are generated, backed up and disseminated to the public. In addition to increased performance and accessibility, a time-consuming, manual process has been taken out of the hands of individual departments, allowing staff members to focus on other projects.

“Our I/O meter performance testing shows that throughput has doubled,” Warzinik said. “But most importantly, users noticed a notable performance increase in map refresh rates once the Alacritech card was installed, and that means that they are likely to continue to use the online service.”

Alacritech’s storage and network accelerators are specifically designed to increase both file and block transport while achieving system scalability. Deploying Alacritech’s dynamic TCP offload cards results in fewer servers required, less capital, fewer licenses, fewer support requirements and less power consumed.



Post a Comment