State of California: Government Cloud


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Discover how the State of California Natural Resources Agency has reduced cost, decreased storage footprint and increased storage space with NetApp storage.

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State of California: Government Cloud

  1. 1. Executive Summary State of California: Government Cloud Operating at the Speed of Citizens With the world’s eighth-largest economy and a diverse population of more than 38 million people, California is more like a small country than a state. Management of California’s precious resources—from its coastlines to its parks, fish, wildlife, energy sources, and water—is a responsibility that impacts not only the people of California, but people around the world. Tasked with that responsibility are the 29 organizations within the California Natural Resources Agency (CNRA), which depend on real-time data access to make informed decisions and respond quickly to disasters such as flood, fire, drought, and earthquakes. “The goal of our IT organization is to provide timely information and services to our departments so that they can operate at the speed of the citizens,” explains Tim Garza, IT director for California Natural Resources Agency. In 2008, budget shortfalls brought the state to a critical inflection point. With 30% annual data growth and an ever-increasing demand for information, the CNRA could no longer afford to support business as usual. “We were in dire straits,” says Garza. “There was no funding to support information technology efforts that would enable our business areas to function effectively, let alone improve and innovate.” As agencies throughout the state grappled with the financial crisis, ­California State CIO Carlos Ramos proposed a visionary strategy to meet growing demand with fewer resources through shared IT services. The diversity of needs across the ­organizations of CNRA made the agency the perfect organization to realize Ramos’s vision. Together, Garza and his team led the California Natural Resources Agency’s transformation, bringing the agency’s IT organizations together with an internal private cloud solution built on industry technologies that utilized NetApp® storage to provide shared services and information. “Without a fundamental change in our service architecture, we would have been out of the game,” says Garza. “NetApp provided the multi-­tenant, shared services storage ­infrastructure and functions to ­support the increased data demands on resources within our agency.” Continued 1 010 1010 1 10101 1010 10101 10101 01 1010 10101 10101 01 Storage Footprint 30% Decrease State of California Sets New Standards for Secure Cloud Services in Government Across 29 Agencies 35% Cost Reduction Storage Space 300% Increase A New Standard for Government IT For Garza, deploying the state’s first ­private cloud infrastructure was the easy part. Uniting 29 disparate departments to entrust their data storage needs and services to the CNRA organization and pursue a new strategy would require nothing short of a cultural revolution. Prior to 2008, each department in the CNRA was responsible for its own IT infrastructure, resulting in “islands” of data locked away on disparate and siloed systems. “We decided not to force other depart- ments into joining the CNRA private cloud,” says Garza. “We wanted to build our infrastructure in such a way that they would want to join, because it made good business sense. Thanks to the joint leadership of the agency departments’ CIOs, that has happened.” To create an IT infrastructure that other organizations would want to join, Garza implemented what he calls the “Three-C Approach”: Continued “The goal of our IT organization is to provide timely information and services to our departments so that they can operate at the speed of the citizens.” Tim Garza IT Director California Natural Resources Agency
  2. 2. Follow us on:© 2014 NetApp, Inc. All rights reserved. No portions of this document may be reproduced without prior written consent of NetApp, Inc. Specifications are subject to change without notice. NetApp, the NetApp logo, and Go further, faster are trademarks or registered trademarks of NetApp, Inc. in the United States and/or other countries. All other brands or products are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders and should be treated as such. DS‑3577‑0414 Today, the CNRA is a model for government cloud computing. Its highly flexible IT infrastructure allows the agency to provision computer resources and storage as departments and demands grow—or shrink. “With NetApp, we have the ability to scale up and down as needed,” explains Tony Morshed, chief operations officer at the Department of Water Resources (DWR), one of the largest departments in the CNRA. “There are always business demands, external and internal, that require us to quickly and effectively ­provision storage and services.” Every department, regardless of its size, can now get exactly the resources it needs when it needs them, eliminating the cost of overprovisioning. The ­savings have been a windfall for cash-strapped departments. Despite the growth in demand for services, capital and operational expenditures for overall agency information technology have dropped 42% and 35%, respectively. Dollars and hours that would have been spent managing standalone systems have been freed for more strategic and business-aligned ­project efforts. The massive cloud computing deployment at CNRA has also transformed decision- making by breaking down information silos and enabling horizontal access to data across departments. Holistic data access is empowering the departments of the CNRA with new insights as they tackle challenges as large and diverse as the state itself. With California facing its worst drought on record, the change could not have come at a better time. At the Department of Water Resources, fast access to more than 100 years of data—on everything from water flows and soil erosion to ­climate change and population growth—is critical to keeping the water flowing. “With our old systems, it could take up to 30 days to load the data they needed,” explains Morshed. With the new shared-services infrastructure built by the CNRA team, the agency has tripled its data storage capacity, giving engineers, scientists, hydrologists, and external stakeholders on-demand access to ­current and historical data for projections and forecasting. “In a crisis situation like this one,” adds Morshed, “our customers can’t wait 30 days for data. They need that data today to know what to do tomorrow.” • Capacity to provide compute resources and support 30% annual data growth that enables the business’s information service needs • Capability to access services and data as effective business decision-making tools • Consumerization for all business users to access the capacity and capability when, where, and how they want Through this innovative approach, CNRA improved provisioning service levels up to 70%, setting a new standard for government IT. In the past, it could take weeks—even months—to provision new IT resources. “We’ve shrunk our delivery time to about two days now, and in some cases we can deliver storage to our customers within hours,” explains ­Robert Syphax, chief of Storage ­Operations for CNRA. The CNRA is also now in a better position to address a variety of needs, such as virtual desktop infrastructure, high-­performance computing, big data analytics, and mobile strategies, while simultaneously improving reliability and scalability. “We think of ourselves as a business enabler, not a technology shop,” says Garza. “Our business is not about the servers or the things in the data center. It’s about information. It’s about providing access to data and the ability to do whatever you need to do with it.” For more information, read the CNRA technical case study. “Operating at the Speed of Citizens” (Continued) “A New Standard for Government IT” (Continued) About the California Natural Resources Agency The California Natural Resources Agency consists of 29 departments whose ­mission is to restore, protect, and manage the state’s natural, historical, and cultural resources for current and future generations using creative approaches and solutions based on technology, science, and collaboration. About NetApp NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions that deliver outstanding cost efficiency and accelerate business breakthroughs. Discover our passion for helping companies around the world go further, faster at Go further, faster®