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Niagarafiles Keep Data Flowing

By Heidi Fosnaught, NSA/CSS Communications Officer NSA

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Technology Transfer Award Winners
The successful transfer of the Niagarafiles technology to industry has earned the NSA Technology Transfer Program the 2019 National Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer from the Federal Laboratory Consortium.
Technology Transfer Award Winners
NSA Technology Transfer Program award winners of the 2019 National Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer from the Federal Laboratory Consortium.
The successful transfer of the Niagarafiles technology to industry has earned the NSA Technology Transfer Program the 2019 National Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer from the Federal Laboratory Consortium.
Photo By: NSA
VIRIN: 190430-D-IM742-2002
Water flowing freely can cause a huge mess! Think about an overflowing storm drain, or a flooding stream. Data flows in a similar way, fast-paced at the speed of today’s business world. NSA’s Niagarafiles provides a way to stream this rapidly-flowing data across systems for automated storage, management, and manipulation in real-time. This open source technology was released by the National Security Agency in 2014 through the NSA Technology Transfer Program. 

Today, Niagarafiles (NiFi) has been adapted by several hundred companies worldwide, including Fortune 500 companies ranging from ExxonMobile and Ford to AT&T and Lenovo. For example, Capital One uses the technology to manage over 5 terabytes of secure financial data per day from more than 35 unique sources, while the United Kingdom’s British Gas used the technology to integrate 16 data warehouses with information about its 20 million customers. 

The successful transfer of this technology to industry has earned the NSA Technology Transfer Program the 2019 National Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer from the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC). The FLC is the governing body of over 300 federal labs whose mission it is to promote, educate, and facilitate the transfer of federal technologies. 

What about this was award-winning? The NSA Technology Transfer Program used the process of gaining approval for NiFi’s open source release as a template to standardize the process for releasing technology developed by the Agency—including the creation of the Agency’s dedicated presence on GitHub, which supports the continuing development of more than 30 NSA technology projects. 

As a means of fostering national security through economic development, NiFi’s open source release has allowed multiple companies to adopt and develop the government funded and created technology—both for their own use, and by providing development support for other organizations. The technology has generated significant workforce demand, creating hundreds of jobs across the country touting large salaries for NiFi specialists. NiFi’s focus on big data from multiple sources will continue to foster its open source status, giving the tool a role in the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) economy.
 
NSA’s Technology Transfer Program also continues to grow (65% overall in the past five years) accelerating the exchange of expertise and capabilities through open source, patent license agreements, and more. To learn more, visit the NSA Technology Transfer Program.