Why Big Data Storage doesn’t have to be a Big Problem  

Did you miss out? Yesterday, GovLoop hosted its Second Annual State and Local Government Innovators Virtual Summit, an all-day, virtual event with 6 different online trainings, networking opportunities and resources to help state and local govies do their jobs better. You can now watch past sessions and be sure to read the other recaps here.

Melanie Stevens Newland, Director of Public Sector Sales at Pure Storage, and Vaughn Stewart, Chief Evangelist at Pure Storage, led our last online training of the day. They spoke on When Flash Makes All the Difference: Delivering Constituent Services in the Age of Instant Gratification. They confronted the issue of data storage for government agencies, and how to remedy the problem of lagging storage and employee inefficiency.

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The reality is clear: data storage is a massive budget drain for government agencies. Considering the incredible amount of data that a single government agency possesses and utilizes, all of that needs to be stored in an accessible location. The cost of running a cloud system reaches far beyond the physical operating system – with power, cooling, manpower and secure housing for the systems, the budget takes a hit. On the other hand, data recovery is exponentially more expensive, and comes complete with a migraine and citizen frustration. For government agencies, data storage is a necessary evil – but there are ways to optimize it.

First, Newland and Stewart discussed the common challenges government agencies typically face when it comes to the operational burden of storage. “When we talk to customers and try to understand their operational burden of storage, we found that it’s grown significantly in the last few years,” said Stewart. “As a result, employees are unable to make larger contributions. They’re in need of a larger flash storage infrastructure.”

Newland said, “Problems are rampant in the government space, with citizens demanding access but the expectations are diminished. So we decided to figure out how to ensure citizens and constituencies had more intuitive services, and make transactions more efficient and pleasing. The average citizen could access the offerings of a typical government agency.”

A City in Need

For the city of Kent, WA, the fourth largest manufacturing and distribution center in the US, data storage and performance was a big issue. The issue meant an inability to provide consistent VDI performance to their internal and remote workforce, as well as an all-time high buildup of citizen frustration when attempting to access public services. It had gotten to a point where daily login times were long enough for people to get up and start talking to one another before the computers finally came online.

Yet with the integration of Pure Storage system, all these issues were rectified. There was a 20x improvement in login times, a 19:1 VDI data reduction, and consistent <1ms response times. Employees out in the field had phenomenal responsiveness accessing data, and performance within the office increased ten times over.

What can Flash do for Government?

With government agencies increasingly dealing with new data challenges, many organizations have to learn how to be more efficient and optimize how they acquire, store, utilize and analyze data. As a result, flash storage is being increasingly eyed to replace disk-based storage, in an effort to help government agencies achieve their goals. “It’s time for new thinking,” Stewart noted, “We need to begin using technology and data to deliver better support and that happens when we fully modernize the data.”

Customers at Pure Storage can rest assured that they are receiving the highest standard of data storage, with a three pronged approach being utilized: technology innovation, citizen experience and an evergreen model. Pure Storage’s evergreen storage never requires a disruptive upgrade, data migration, and has a rapid innovation cycle – versus others who require 3-5 years to turn around a new, optimized product. On top of that, they pride themselves on never leaving a customer behind by the architecture. With an effortless experience that over performs on both product and support, Pure Storage brings a massively different experience for customers.

What will happen in times of disaster?

In polling the govies that attended the seminar, only 64% had a disaster recovery strategy. More than 20% of the attendants noted they had yet to determine a disaster option. As a result, there is the possibility of an even larger impact should an emergency affect a government agency and its data storage system. Considering that many agencies are still with their current, inherently-faulty data suppliers, there is a need for a swift decision to be made: upgrade and be protected, or stick with the old, obsolete solution and risk being affected during a time of need. The answer lays in the hands of people like you – and it’s up to you to make the right choice.

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