Information Management Chief hopes databanks may still come out on top after Scarif
Posted 49 minutes ago
By staff writers at Imperial Navy Headquarters, Coruscant
“Moving forward, I think it’s an exciting opportunity for us to re-invigorate how we approach our information management for major weapons systems,” said Imperial Adm. Geddard Fenn, Director of Imperial Information Management Bureau (IIMB), during his testimony before a Senate Armed Services Committee last week.
His words came in the wake of an explosion on the Outer Rim planet of Scarif that destroyed the Imperial Information Banks in the Citadel, a Class-4 databank facility.
According to Imperial Army Command, the explosion on Scarif also destroyed the local Imperial Garrison. Imperial Navy Outer Rim Fleet Operations Public Affairs Office did not respond to questions before deadline regarding whether any starships were also lost in the explosion.
An investigation convened by the Senate Armed Services into the loss of the Citadel will examine whether the facility came under attack by an armed militia shortly before its destruction, and if information from its data banks could have been stolen in such an attack.
“It’s unlikely the information could have been stolen, and that’s emblematic of the problem,” Admiral Fenn said. “The process of accessing that information, and transmitting or transporting to where it is needed, is grossly inefficient even for our own personnel.”
“Engineers and technicians in the field are privately relaying their concerns to me that they’re not receiving spaceworthiness directives in a timely manner, often putting their lives at risk when they face pirate fleets and militias.”
Instead, Admiral Fenn said the loss of the Citadel should be a catalyst for reinvesting in the Empire’s galaxy-wide information management systems.
”It’s not a popular view amongst my colleagues, but I’m less concerned about the plans lost on those databanks than I am about the state of our information management,” Admiral Fenn said.
“Retrospective analysis of what might have occurred before the Citadel was vaporised won’t help us understand how we can more efficiently manage information in the future.”
“We can make a fresh start on everything, from universal policy on datafile naming conventions, metadata policy, right up to the user interface and inter-agency file sharing protocols and Holonet data transmitters.”
“Winning this information battle will bring true peace to the Empire.”
Appearing before the Committee for the first time, Admiral Fenn came to the top post within the IIMB two years ago following the resignation of his predecessor Admiral Carvall, who left in controversy following the loss of 30,000 astronavigation maps from the Imperial Library.
When questioned about the financial cost of losing the Citadel by Senator Ainlee Teem of Malastare, Admiral Fenn said the facility had imposed a significant annual obsolescence burden on his organisation.
“We’re still carrying a lot of bad practices from the Republic, which quite frankly, doesn’t allow the Empire to work as efficiently as it could,” Admiral Fenn said.
“The Class-4 standards practiced on Scarif, for example, had a wildly inefficient user interface, involving file access paddles more akin to a parlour game than an information management system.
“The communications antenna mounted on top of the Citadel was fitted for, but not with, an interstellar transmission suite – meaning it could only send data within line-of-sight.”
In his closing statement to the Committee, Admiral Fenn announced the IIMB was close to completing an audit of its databank facilities across the galaxy, with a view to present findings on how to improve its practices.
“If we’re to function as a force that can effectively defend the Empire, we need to think beyond Stormtroopers and Star Destroyers, and more about databanks and dataports,” Admiral Fenn said.
“The plans for the galaxy’s most advanced battle systems can’t be kept on facilities that pre-date the Clone Wars,” Admiral Fenn said.
The loss of the Citadel however remains of concern to a number of senior leaders within the Imperial Army and Navy, including chief engineering figures.
Admiral Lavel Marquen (retired), previously head of the Imperial Star Destroyer Sustainment Office, said former staff had privately shared their concerns that the explosion on Scarif would send shockwaves throughout the fleet.
“It’s not just the plans for new battle systems that would have been lost in the Citadel – it’s the engineering data on a good number of ISDs that we’ve accepted and are now out on patrol,” Admiral Marquen said.
“Each ship purges its engineering records at regular intervals, and the archive datatapes with that information winds up planetside on facilities like Scarif.”
“Without the Citadel, there’s no clear record of any structural damage they may have sustained during their life-of-type, much less the software block configuration that they’re carrying.”
Although Admiral Marquen declined to suggest how many ships might be affected by the explosion on Scarif, he said the dangers were significant enough for Imperial Regional Governors to demand a follow-on investigation by the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“The loss of this databanks puts the Imperial Navy in a very tender position going forward,” Admiral Marquen said.
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About the Author: Today’s guest post comes from Eamon Hamilton. Eamon Hamilton (@eamonhamilton) likes Star Wars and is a military air mobility enthusiast, and enjoys bringing the two together on occasion. His blog is here: http://eamonh.wordpress.com.