IST Research to Use Internap’s High-Performance Bare-Metal IaaS to Fight Human Trafficking with Real-Time Data Analysis

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internap-logo1Internap Corporation (NASDAQ: INAP), a provider of high-performance Internet infrastructure services, announced that IST Research is using Internap’s AgileSERVER bare-metal Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) offering to analyze and store research data gathered from the deep web and the dark web, as well as survey results and other data gathered across the globe, to track and combat human trafficking and related crimes. IST Research migrated its data processing and storage operations to Internap from an Amazon Web Services (AWS) public cloud environment in order to achieve performance gains and greater cost efficiency.

Some estimates place the number of human trafficking victims as high as 36 million people across the world. IST Research, which specializes in gathering data from challenging physical and digital environments for an array of causes, uses big data analytics, passive monitoring of open Internet data and active engagement with law enforcement, public prosecutors and NGOs to better understand how human traffickers operate around the world. Much of its data gathering happens on the deep web, where information from sources such as classified ads is available but not catalogued by search engines, as well as the dark web, the part of the Internet where IP addresses are masked and illegal activity often proliferates. IST Research’s efforts also involve working to improve the ways in which this data is indexed, searched, aggregated and analyzed.

Mainstream search and analysis methods can’t even begin to scratch the surface of the underground world of human trafficking,” said Ryan Paterson, president at IST Research. “Tracking and understanding an illicit network that works hard to remain hidden is a highly performance-sensitive and data-intensive undertaking. With Internap’s high-performance bare-metal IaaS, we are able to dig into tens of millions of online ads for sex and escort services on the deep web in near-real time, as well as massive volumes of other important data, so we can aid in counter-trafficking efforts, unconstrained by data-throughput limitations or latency concerns.”

IST initially hosted its data processing platforms and storage with AWS, before increased global awareness and expanded government interest in anti-trafficking initiatives prompted the company to move to a higher-performance infrastructure environment. The new environment would need to deliver higher throughput and processing power in order to handle data that was growing in volume, in some instances by as much as 10 terabytes a month, as it was gleaned from online forums, chats, advertisements, job postings, hidden services and survey responses. IST Research selected Internap’s AgileSERVER bare-metal IaaS offering to boost performance and improve cost efficiency. Combining the dedicated processing power of bare metal with the on-demand agility of the cloud, AgileSERVER helps to lower costs by achieving higher performance levels with fewer instances than would be required in a commodity public cloud environment. AgileSERVER is available for consumption on an hourly, monthly and per-second basis.

IST Research’s effort to deal with information that can be as difficult to confront as it is to gather is part of an extraordinary mission, which we are honored to support,” said Satish Hemachandran, SVP and GM, cloud and hosting, Internap. “Collecting and analyzing diverse data sets from so many difficult-to-access sources presents a highly unique technological challenge and an ideal fit for high-performance IaaS. Internap’s bare-metal IaaS is specially designed to overcome performance limitations and escalating costs commonly encountered by organizations processing and analyzing massive amounts of data in real time.”

Built on the OpenStack cloud platform, AgileSERVER features hardware, networking and management capabilities designed to let enterprises and devops teams achieve peak performance and scalability for mission-critical applications and big data workloads. Customers can hybridize AgileSERVER with Internap’s OpenStack-based AgileCLOUD virtual cloud instances, as well as colocation, managed hosting or on-premise infrastructure, in order to best address specific application needs.


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