White Paper: The FOUR-Color Framework A unifying approach to global-scale distributed data analytics
The world is a very complex place. Our adversaries exploit this complexity daily to cloak their intentions and mask their actions, often by hiding in the world’s vast openness, yet frequently operating perilously close among us. The role of the analytic community is to master this complexity, thereby significantly reducing an adversary’s ability to act, and eliminating their ability to hide. This mastery presents a formidable challenge. Analysis thrives on data. In our 21st century globally connected world, the supply of data is now seemingly limitless. With its exponential growth, what was once a dire analytic thirst has now become a veritable analytic drowning. The ability to collect, move, store, and process data is bounded by the availability of adequate computing resources and telecommunications infrastructure. These resources are constrained by economics and more mundane realities such as limited space, power, and cooling. The FOUR-Color Framework addresses this myriad of issues, offering a unique, powerful approach for designing, implementing, and operating an analytic enterprise with high effectiveness at global-scale and in real-time.
To manage the complexity, security, and policy issues of the Big Data challenge, a carefully layered approach is taken that is motivated heavily by global-scale operation. This approach decomposes the analytic enterprise into four distinct layers of technology and services, with each layer separated from its neighboring layers through a carefully controlled interface. Each layer is uniquely colored coded to distinguish its components and their functions.
The bottom Red Layer depicts the enormous set of source data systems. By their nature, these systems are very diverse and highly distributed, utilizing differing, often inconsistent infrastructure, formats, classification levels, and policies, with both expensive critical legacy and leading-edge emerging solutions. The Blue Layer was formulated to overlay this entire landscape to preserve investments and dramatically reduce integration costs. Through the utilization of a unique data-to-information transformation process, this layer enables highly distributed operation yet with extremely robust security isolation. As a result, the construction of a unified global analytic ecosystem is then possible. The role of the Black Layer is to provide this global-scale knowledge resource and analytic processing capabilities, and in full accordance with policy and law. This is accomplished through via the use of high-performance computing based “black box” techniques to achieve very high knowledge densities, yet ensure and preserve privacy. A powerful new Green Layer is then enabled that offers the analytic community with lawful access to the resulting extraordinary suite of global knowledge and decision support resources.
The FOUR-Color Framework establishes an end-to-end Big Data analytic architecture for large-scale systems integration with special emphasis on key interfaces to address scaling, mission management, security, privacy, and insider threat concerns.
In summary, the four architectural layers outlined serve very specific and deliberate functions to achieve the scaling, resiliency, and policy requirements of a workable, acceptable, and effective national class solution for analytic processing and decision support.