State and Local Government, Storage

Storage and Efficiency in a Flash


As agencies continue to collect data on their constituents, employees, cities, businesses, and more, their storage needs change and expand dramatically to match this exponential growth. Traditional storage methods are simply not capable of keeping pace with agency’s growing volumes of data. Furthermore, antiquated storage solutions, which rely on aging servers and physical storage areas, are not compatible with the agile methodologies and confluence of online applications that modern agencies demand. To perform in today’s economy, organizations must move to virtualized storage and servers. These systems which support growing workloads are also more compatible with the DevOps ideology, requiring less hardware to get the job done and scalable storage options. State and local agencies across the country are turning to Nimble Storage to achieve the agility, scalability, and cost performance they need to meet their IT goals.

Efficiency and Performance in Conroe, Texas

The city of Conroe, Texas, just north of Houston, is a business community that supports the overflow of the oil and gas industry concentrated in Houston. As a small municipality, Conroe has a limited IT staff and comparably small budget allocated to support the city. In 2013, Damien Tijerina, Network Services Supervisor for the city, described their storage infrastructure as “a hodgepodge of hardware and software bought when times are good and patched up when times are bad. [The city’s] aging servers hosted a mishmash of application and almost weekly, someone was asking to bring a new application online.” Demand threatened to overwhelm Conroe’s servers, so the city moved to a virtualized network. The new system performed well for only about 20% of the servers, but was incapable of supporting the other 80%. When faced with this issue, Tijerina asked himself: “Could we [Conroe] afford to switch vendors at this state of the game?” But it turned out the better question was: could Conroe afford not to?

After virtualizing 1/5 of their servers, Conroe switched to Nimble Storage for its performance, efficiency, and elegance. Nimble’s Cache Accelerated Sequential Layout (CASL) file system maximizes performance and allows Conroe’s IT department to store some of its data on less expensive hard disks. Nimble’s solution is also simple to deploy and maintain, making it easy for the existing staff to operate the tools with minimal training. Even more, the price tag was especially appealing for Tijerina; Nimble can grow incrementally, letting the city buy only what it needs without having to purchase packages in bulk and return to the hodgepodge and mismatched systems of 2013. Today, nearly 90% of Conroe’s production load lives on Nimble and performance problems are a thing of the past.

To learn more about how the City of Conroe revolutionized their storage, click here.

Cost Savings and Productivity for Cupertino, CA

Cupertino, CA was facing a similar challenge—they were asked to accomplish more with less. In fact, Cupertino’s IT budget remained the same for 12 years as IT productivity demands continued to rise. Cupertino was using single rack servers for every storage and application instance, had an aging data center where nearly every server was approaching its end of life, and had storage networks that were also in need of replacement. This presented Cupertino with the unique opportunity to rebuild their entire data center using virtualizing technologies.

Mariyah Serratos, IT Director of the City of Cupertino, described the transition, noting that adopting virtualized storage technology was the biggest hurdle in meeting their tight budget. In response to this obstacle, the city applied Nimble Storage to 12 new servers that support mission-critical systems, all of which have seen 100% increase in performance. With the new framework in place, queries that would have previously taken days to be completed now take only minutes. Additionally, Cupertino has a 30% compression rate – a stellar number for the types of data that Cupertino is storing, says Serratos.

Cupertino also plans to deploy Nimble solutions on their next project for virtual desktop infrastructure. The plan is to replace their standard desktops with virtualized ones, using Nimble to support their network and storage capabilities.

To hear the full customer testimonial of the City of Cupertino, listen in here.

The Future of Storage with Nimble

By switching to Nimble Storage, both Cupertino and Conroe have seen significant growth in performance and efficiency while saving costs. Nimble recognizes the critical role storage plays not only in meeting technical goals, but budget objectives as well. To help budget conscious agencies across the nation, the company recently announced a new, aggressive entry point for their Predictive Flash Array that will meet the needs of any size budget. The offering allows customers to start small and scale non-disruptively up to 8PB at a substantially lower cost than ever before. The solution combines flash performance with predictive analytics to anticipate and prevent barriers to data velocity caused by complex IT infrastructure.

With Nimble Storage, state and local organizations can continue to cost-effectively re-invent their storage architectures and evolve to agile storage. Learn more about how Nimble is changing the landscape of government storage here.

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