Globally Dispersed DOD Agency Moves to an Enterprise Data Strategy
A large, globally dispersed Department of Defense (DOD) agency adopted an enterprise data strategy to gain the performance, agility and scalability needed to store, protect and maximize its data assets.
The Department of Defense (DOD) agency has an extremely broad mission in scope. To achieve its mission efficiently, it needed an enterprise approach to data center management, data storage and data protection.
The agency had a variety of storage solutions spread across multiple locations, consuming staff resources and raising support and maintenance costs. Agency leaders turned to WWT, seeking a more unified, enterprise approach that could also help in its data center modernization efforts. The agency also looked to WWT to advise on an enterprise data strategy that would help agency leaders treat data as an asset for valuable insights.
Leveraging longstanding partner relationships
Tapping into our rich ecosystem of technology solution partners, our team set up storage workshops to demonstrate Dell Technologies’ Dell EMC Unity XT family of unified storage solutions to agency leaders. WWT and Dell representatives demonstrated that we could move beyond data storage to offer data loss prevention and data protection while also expanding VMware virtual storage area network (vSAN) capabilities.
The Dell EMC Unity XT family delivers unified storage with speed and efficiency and is built for a multi-cloud world. With Dell EMC Unity as the foundation, the agency can build a modern enterprise data center, incorporating compute, storage and data retention capabilities on a unified platform, while keeping costs low.
Providing value through the Advanced Technology Center
Leveraging the labs in our Advanced Technology Center (ATC), we can simulate different work environments — remote, at home or at the office — so our customers can see how their own networks might respond. Customer or partner teams can work on-site or virtually with access to demos, workshops, labs, proofs of concepts, advisory services and training. In this DOD use case, we demonstrated products proposed by Dell as part of the solution. We compared Dell EMC technology with other competitive solutions, providing an unbiased comparison and helping speed the decision-making process from a couple weeks to a couple hours.
Coming up: Virtual Desktop Infrastructure
In conjunction with Dell, we have deployed Dell EMC Unity at the agency’s headquarters, as well as in three of its other locations Outside the Contiguous United States (OCONUS). This helped standardize the agency's previously disjointed storage solutions and provide backup capabilities. The project is ongoing, with installations scheduled across all of the agency’s areas of responsibility.
Secondly, we provided a tiered storage solution. The agency is legally obligated to retain some of its data indefinitely. However, this data doesn't need to be stored on high-speed disks and can be migrated to slower, inexpensive object storage like Dell ECS.
Additionally, we are working with Dell to make sure that the agency is properly equipped to hit the next stages of its technology plans, notably delivering virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to users. We plan to build on the existing technologies within the data center, bringing in endpoint devices to allow access and communication across the network. A three-year project, the VDI solution will be deployed with VMware vSAN — via Dell — or through another compatible hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI).
A trusted advisor focused on solutions
WWT and Dell have worked to establish a strong relationship with this DOD agency, a relationship rooted in the military service of our supporting team members.
“We worked with these guys in uniform," a WWT team member said. "We’ve been in the dirt with them, and overseas with them, so they know us from a previous life." Consequently, when the agency comes to us with an issue, leaders know that we are focused on the mission, not just the product. “The agency knows when we bring a partner like Dell in, they are going to get a solution to their problem.”
WWT and Dell will continue to work together to meet the agency's data requirements, serving as a trusted advisor as the agency furthers its mission.