Advances in earth observation satellite technology, big-data analytics and cloud computing are combining to position Earth Observation data as a pivotal source of business and organisational intelligence.
A world leader in the field is Earth-i. The UK-headquartered company uses AI and satellite remote sensing data to provide unique insights in support of strategic decision-making for governments and organisations in the commodity markets, precision-agriculture, construction, and transportation industries.
“Our Earth Observation specialists and geo-spatial analysts use high revisit multi-resolution data to provide near real-time transparency of global supply chains by identifying changes in features, objects, and activity anywhere on the Earth’s surface,” explains Gary Crowley, Head of Technology, Earth-i. “The data is multiformat including colour video, infra-red and radar from a range of sources including satellite, aerial and drone and varies in size, volume, and frequency. Data storage and processing are mission-critical to our daily operations.”
With its image analysis and AI workloads in high demand, Earth-i needed a storage and processing solution that could flex and scale with its business.
“Our legacy storage solution, which was an on-premises NAS with a cloud back-up service, no longer fitted with the way we operate,” explains Crowley. “It was costing us time and money in maintenance, support and licensing. We needed to consolidate and migrate data from our existing solution to the cloud for cost, speed and security reasons.”
How did base help us?
base provided the full solution design, build, testing, data migration and ingest setup. An initial 30 Terabytes of large-scale image data were migrated from a variety of on-premises storage and other cloud storage providers to base using custom syncing workflows.
This enabled Earth-i to mount its cloud storage with base to both local and cloud-based workstations and use it like a local shared storage device.
Crowley says, “base made it easy to find the solution that best suited our business and our use cases and were on hand to guide us through every step of the process. They assessed our requirements and came back to us with more than one option which we trialled before making our final decision.”
Instead of having multiple data silos and multiple sites of hardware, base manage everything for Earth-i as a cloud service. Data replication, redundancy, up-time and support is all provided through base, saving Earth-i the overhead in hardware, hosting, electricity and headcount for support.
“The key benefit of our new storage and processing solution is transparency to our operational workflows enabling us to continue to access data through the same processes as before. In addition, it is much more cost effective than before with low storage costs and no maintenance required from our side.”
He adds, “Earth-i has made a significant transition to the cloud in preparation for upscaling our processes as our business grows, as we’ll be ready to support the vastly increasing amounts of commercial data available from new satellite constellations that are being launched”.