Enabling Government to Do More with Less through Data Infrastructure Technology

Recently I had the chance to speak with Chad Story, Enterprise Storage Business Director at EMC, about the current capabilities of mobile data storage and how this technology can enable agencies to operate more efficiently to carry out mission critical functions. The interview was part of our recent guide, Making Mobile Matter, which explored best practices and strategies to implement mobility in government. Story provided great insights on how government can utilize the latest data infrastructure technology—specifically storage federation and virtualization—to better manage their applications, eliminate downtime and operate within budget constraints.

Across organizations, data sets are becoming larger and employees are calling for faster and easier access to data. Government agencies are increasingly faced with the issue of how to utilize and manage separate pools of resources to cooperate and act as one entity performing a single mission. Many organizations must now look at how to innovate and efficiently use their IT infrastructures to meet new demands. Federated storage is one solution, enabling data mobility between data resources.

Story highlights several key rewards of mobile, he stated “ Storage federation within data centers provide the ability to create a unified pool of resources that can be allocated for on-demand applications as an agency’s data centers or projects grow.” Additionally, this provides a more streamlined ability to manage an agency’s data centers. Story states, “Being able to manage a single resource saves lots of government manpower. This enables doing more with less, and being able to manage all the different storage arrays through a single pane of glass.” Mobile data can also empower end users in how they are able to perform mission critical operations. Specifically, storage virtualization allows agencies:

  • To create storage federations within data centers or across data centers
  • Move data workload between storage arrays with no downtime

These features greatly benefit government employees who often rely on online applications to perform their key operations, such as military personnel in the theater. For example, an officer tasked with logging troop information into an online system would no longer have to plan his operations around downtimes. Story also highlights that systems can continue to operate for users during emergencies as “failover between data centers can occur with no downtime, which means a higher uptime, no impact to the end users, no impact to the mission at hand.”

Prior to unlocking the rewards of mobile data technology, government agencies must first consider key challenges. Story underlines that agencies need to “look at how they can utilize their current assets that the government has already purchased and how to leverage those without dumbing them down or taking away any necessary features or functionalities.” The good news is that virtualization technology makes it possible to leverage existing government IT investments, while innovating for data mobility. To meet the challenge, Story recommended that agencies “make sure that the storage virtualization solution will work across all the different storage arrays, all the different applications, the different server virtualization technologies that are out there today.”

As government agencies continue to face a number of constraints, while also being tasked to maintain everyday operations, utilizing the right technological tools is key. Mobile data solutions have the power “to save tax dollars, decrease budgets and provide a higher return on technology investments for government,” stated Story. Leveraging mobile data to seamlessly coordinate and singularly manage systems and vast amounts of data unlocks significant opportunities for government to perform more efficiently and effectively.

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EMC Corporation, a global IT leader, enables the federal government to transform its operations and deliver IT as a service. Fundamental to this transformation is cloud computing. Through innovative products and services, delivered in partnership with leading government contractors and federal systems integrators, EMC accelerates the journey to cloud computing, helping federal IT departments to store, manage, protect, and analyze their most valuable asset—information—in a more agile, trusted, and cost-efficient way. Additional information can be found at www.EMC.com/federal.

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