Part 3: The Cloud and NG9-1-1

September 22, 2011

Todd Piett

In Part 1 and Part 2 of our Cloud and NG9-1-1 series we gave a brief overview of Cloud technology and some of the different deployment options you need to understand as a framework for the deployment NG9-1-1 services. This week we’ll map the cloud models to NG9-1-1 components.

NG9-1-1 is essentially a hybrid cloud model, allowing interoperability and sharing of data (including calls or additional data) between entities. The linchpin within this “network of clouds” is the ESInet. NENA Document NENA Emergency Services IP Network Design for NG9-1-1 (NENA, 2010) details that an Emergency Services IP Network (ESInet) is a privately managed IP transport network that is capable of supporting (but does not include) the core routing functional entities necessary for NG9-1-1 call delivery.

ESInets perform a number of key functions, including:

  • Interconnects local, regional, state, and national ESInets
  • Provides transport for service providers (i.e. VoIP, cellular, IM, etc.) and data providers to PSAPs and other 9-1-1 entities. (The connection between the SP and the ESInet is not part of the ESInet.)
  • Provides transport for requests for emergency assistance and associated data to primary and backup PSAPs
  • Provides transport for the interchange of emergency services data and media among local, state, and/or federal agencies including Police, Fire, EMS, and other public safety agencies
  • Interconnects NG9-1-1 Functional Elements on the public safety side of the i3 Border Control Function

Further, the ESIND document states that, “ESInets can be built on privately owned and managed facilities that are dedicated to public safety, or they can be built on existing IP infrastructure that is also utilized for non-emergency services traffic provided that proper bandwidth is available and QoS and security mechanisms are implemented such that NG9-1-1 call processing is not hindered.”

The ESINet is essentially a Private Cloud Platform managed by the chosen 9-1-1 service provider or public safety entity itself. It ties into the originating service networks, integrates a number of critical functions (border control functions/security, location and rules based routing, logging, appending of supplemental data, etc.), and delivers the “call” to either the next ESINet or PSAP. The envisioned NG9-1-1 infrastructure is an intertwined network of networks with business rules, including security policies, applied at each level. Trusted functional elements, or even entire separate clouds, such as sources of additional data (e.g. medical data) can be called by the ESINet and either used as part of the business rule to determine what to do with a call or simply passed along to the next step in the call processing.

Figure 3: NG9-1-1 Functional Architecture
Source: NENA Functional and Interface Standards for Next Generation 9-1-1 Version 1.0 (i3) NENA 08-002 Version 1.0, December 18, 2007


Figure 4: Example NG9-1-1 Physical Architecture
Source: NENA Functional and Interface Standards for Next Generation 9-1-1 Version 1.0 (i3) NENA 08-002 Version 1.0, December 18, 2007

The cloud-based model for NG9-1-1 enables a whole new level of interoperability. New “call” types are supported and a world of new data that will help in incident resolution is made available to public safety. Next week we’ll look at the key considerations for public safety organizations. Read part 4 here.

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