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View Diary: Data Storage and the NSA (121 comments)

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  •  Some clarifications (6+ / 0-)

    Disclaimer: IT is what I do for a living.

    You don't need VPN or SSL ports to collect data. If you are mirroring the data (which is what has been said happens in many carrier NOCs) then you can either:

    A) Forward the packets to the end destination with no local caching/buffering


    B) Have a local caching unit that caches and buffers the data to prevent loss in the event of network outage.

    Option B is the most likely because it helps deal with network issues.

    For storage --

    In an enterprise setting, massive data on the scale of petabytes (1 petabyte = 1,000 terabytes = 1,000,000 gigabytes) then typically the storage is handled via SAN storage.  The largest vendors are EMC and NetApp. They could roll their own to try to prevent the order showing up in a vendor quarterly statement.

    If you wanted to build a bunch of SANs with a few hundred petabytes of storage, you could do it with a few hundred million dollars. Maybe less. Probably chump change for the NSA.

    •  True, you don't need a VPN or SSL to collect data (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ColoTim, StrayCat, Cliss

      You'd probably require it for off site retrieval or any interactive data transactions.

      I think Option B is more likely too, but I'm not a network O/S expert. I usually "sell" (write grants, pitch the decision maker) whatever IT specifies as needed. To do that I have to describe the proposal in pedestrian terms.

      I decided to go with consumer grade storage because it's more understandable to non-technical people. Most people are just now grappling with terabytes, I didn't want to go into petabytes. I saw a couple pages about EMC and decided to simplify Storage Area Network (SAN) more than you would likely do.

      In fact, I simplified everything down to the point that if you rake through this post you'd probably find a few more issues here and there. On the whole, I think this post makes the NSA data project a little more understandable.

      Thanks for the catch on VPN and SSL, I'll see if I can correct it in the diary when I update it.

      If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never has and never will be. Thomas Jefferson

      by JDWolverton on Mon Jul 01, 2013 at 06:44:50 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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