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HPE Hyper Converged Systems deliver data to first responders in 15 minutes vs. 16 hours


Last week I witnessed several apartment units on fire and saw firsthand the devastation caused by fire. Although I was a safe distance from the blaze, smoke was everywhere, making it difficult to breathe and see what was going on.  For the firefighters who worked to control this fire, access to everything they needed was close at hand. Yet in wildfire situation, conditions are much more hostile.

“Wildfires are incredibly dynamic, fast-moving, and always changing,” explains Nathan Johnston, Chief Technical Officer at FireWhat?, a Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and technology company that maps emergency incidents and creates technologies to track responders and assets in and out of the field. “A wildfire creates its own weather and environmental conditions. It’s smoky, it’s hot, it’s dusty—it’s a horrible place to spend any amount of time.”

Co-Founded by Sam Lanier, a retired Fire Captain for the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, FireWhat? is dedicated to helping firefighters perform their jobs more safely and effectively by equipping them with the most up-to-date information possible. When a state or federal agency calls, FireWhat? arrives with highly trained technical and GIS staff in a technology-filled trailer, outfitted to deliver the most accurate mapping data in the timeliest manner possible.

Recently, Lanier and his team decided to partner with HPE to develop a solution based on pre-configured hyperconverged technology. The solution turns FireWhat?'s trailers into mobile, centralized data hub for any disaster command center.

FireWhat? selected from a variety of vendors, but kept coming back to HPE. “First, we had already had a great experience with HPE gear in our initial trailer units,” Lanier says. “Secondly, we wanted the technology to come from a single vendor, and third, we needed this stuff to be able to operate in some of the most hostile conditions on the planet without downtime.”

The HPE solution provided various benefits to FireWhat? such as:

  • Faster data delivery times to field workers
  • Centralized compute and storage for team access to common data
  • Command center intranet for sharing data in real time

FireWhat? can now provide emergency responders with faster access to more accurate information. “With the reliability and power of [the HPE Hyper Converged Systems], we’re able to deliver new data to our responders in 15 minutes instead of 16 hours,” explains Johnston.

Click here to read how the HPE Hyper Converged System is the hardware behind helping firefighters reduce wildfires from spreading.


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