Delaware Energizes Vital State Services with VNX2 Hybrid Flash Storage

There’s a tried and true rule of thumb in IT that when you hear nothing from your users, everything is running normally. So you can imagine our reaction when we started getting calls from the governor and the chief justice about why they had trouble getting email. Our systems simply weren’t keeping up with demand.

As the central IT arm for Delaware’s 50 state agencies, we serve everyone from the executive branch offices to the state police, court system, DMV, and health and social services. And we depend on a solid IT infrastructure to make sure they can get to the applications and information they need so Delaware citizens have 24/7 access to vital state services.

When we ran Exchange on our old Compellent storage, we had constant problems because the disk performance just wasn’t there. On top of that, we consolidated systems from our 50 state agencies onto a centralized IT infrastructure and launched a major virtualization initiative. These projects pushed our data from 200 terabytes to about two petabytes in just 18 months. We needed a new storage solution that could handle that growth and still perform reliably.

After considering our options, we chose EMC VNX2 unified hybrid flash storage.  It all came down to which company offered the best value and that was EMC, hands down. A big factor was the way VNX2 lets us optimize flash.

We figured if we took full advantage of EMC’s FAST Cache, we could reduce the number of spinning disks on the back-end. That would lower cost and increase the total I/O throughput at the same time.

Our strategy worked perfectly. We’re getting a crazy amount of I/O from the array and the VNX2 is up all the time. It’s really energized the services we provide Delaware’s citizens and state employees.

Web sites now come up instantly so parents can see if there’s a school closing or some other alert. Our DMV has a 97 percent satisfaction rating, which is surprising given that DMVs in most states are notorious for slow service. Our DMV benefits from quick and reliable access to data, whether citizens are chatting with agents live, getting information online or waiting in shorter lines at the DMV.

Best of all, those problem calls about Exchange went away.  Instead, people now tell us how their searches are lightning fast and accurate, and how they can go through their email so much more efficiently. That’s what we like to hear.

VNX2’s performance also was essential when we migrated to Exchange 2013. To minimize the impact, we moved all 20,000 employees in one weekend. We could only do that because the VNX2 handles such high I/O rates.”

When it comes to running critical state services, there can’t be any compromise on technology. That’s why we rely on EMC technology like VNX2. Would you take a risk on anything else?

About the Author: Douglas Lilly