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The Iowa Flood Information System (IFIS) is a web-based platform developed by the Iowa Flood Center (IFC) to provide access to flood inundation maps, real-time flood conditions, flood warnings and forecasts, flood-related data, information and interactive visualizations for communities in Iowa. The key elements of the IFIS are: (1) flood inundation maps, (2) autonomous “bridge sensors” that monitor water level in streams and rivers in real time, and (3) real-time flood forecasting models capable of providing flood warning to over 1000 communities in Iowa. The IFIS represents a hybrid of file and compute servers, including a High Performance Computing cluster, codes in different languages, data streams and web services, databases, scripts and visualizations. The IFIS processes raw data (50GB/day) from NEXRAD radars, creates rainfall maps (3GB/day) every 5 minutes, and integrates real-time data from over 600 sensors in Iowa. Even though the IFIS serves over 75,000 users in Iowa using local infrastructure, cloud computing can improve scalability, speed, cost efficiency, accessibility, security, resiliency and uptime. In this collaborative study between the Iowa Flood Center and the Nimbus team at the Argonne National Laboratory, we have analyzed feasibility and price/performance measures of moving the MPI-based computations to the cloud as well as assessment of response times from our interactive web-based system. Moving the system to the cloud, and making it independent and portable, would enable us to share our model easily with the flood research community. This presentation provides an overview of the tools and interfaces in the IFIS, and transition of the IFIS from a local infrastructure to cloud computing environment.


Session R07, Web Services and Cloud Computing



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