More than ever before in history, people want access to information faster in order to accelerate decision making. Consumer and enterprise organizations aren’t the only ones who have to re-tool their data center in order to keep up with demand.
The data needs of our own Federal, State and Local governments are pushed to the limits to manage increased needs for data storage, prompted by the explosive growth of population and use of mobile devices.
What’s a government IT pro to do?
At Tegile, we rely on friends all over the world to listen to the needs of storage professionals, and share those needs with us so that we can build better storage systems. Those friends include Jason Strawderman*, our Vice President, who specializes in listening to the storage needs of government agencies on the hill and around the world. We sat down with Jason to hear the latest trends and challenges for IT in the Public Sector.
Sumeet: Hi, Jason. Thanks for taking time out to chat with us.
Jason: You bet.
Sumeet: We hear that there are sweeping mandates coming out of Washington to reform Federal IT spending. Can you elaborate on that?
Here are a few of those mandates:
- 25-Point Plan to Reform Federal IT: this plan acknowledges the responsibility of government to streamline services and to deliver them faster and at a lower cost.
- Data Center Consolidation Initiative: the goals of this initiative include reduced overall energy footprints of government data centers, along with lower costs, increased security, and more efficient computing platforms.
- Telework Act: this act is intended to help support environmental sustainability, reduce travel costs, and maintain key agency operations during emergency situations.
- Eliminate inefficiency
- Reduce operational costs
- Reduce energy consumption and carbon footprint
- Improve the user experience for constituents
Sumeet: Thanks, Jason. That really gives us the lay of the land. When you chat with CIOs at government agencies, what effect are these mandates having on the way that they spend their IT budget?
Jason: That’s a good question. First, IT budgets in the Public Sector are increasing by over 4% each year.
In the United States in 2015, the total Public Sector spending on IT is estimated to be over $150 billion. Some organizations are experiencing massive budget cuts, while others have significant increases. However, one thing that they all have in common (in order to meet Reform mandates) is the shift to increased budget spending on modernization versus a decrease in operational (status quo) spending.
Sumeet: That is a good position to be in. What they are doing for modernization to put the mandates in effect?
Jason: When it comes to modernization, there are four common initiatives that we are seeing across all Public Sector organizations that are intended to enable IT Reform over the next five years. These initiatives are Server Consolidation, Mobility (“VDI”), Big Data / Analytics, and Tech Refresh.
Sumeet: Expand more on that: We obviously have some solutions to help government modernize and march toward modernization. Can you give us examples? What does Tegile offer that the gov can use?
Jason: You know, Sumeet, everyone wants to reduce costs: that is, acquisition and operational costs. If you look at what government entities are spending on legacy EMC and NetApp storage systems – they are spending a fortune; not only to acquire them, but also to maintain them because maintenance costs for legacy systems skyrocket over time.
To make matters even worse, these legacy systems cannot handle modern workloads, which leads to poor user experience and unplanned spending.
Tegile appeals to Public Sector organizations because not only are our acquisition costs up to five times less than legacy arrays from EMC or NetApp, but also, our operational costs are up to 10 times less and remain persistently flat over time — there’s no increase! In fact, with our Flash 5 Guarantee we guarantee in writing that maintenance costs will remain flat beyond the five-year lifecycle of the array.
A major contributor to our efficiency advantage over our competition is our data reduction technology that is included with all of our arrays, both hybrid and all flash. Inline compression and deduplication reduces our customers’ data footprint immediately by up to 90%. Legacy EMC and NetApp arrays do not offer this technology — and therefore are incredibly inefficient.
Sumeet: Say, for example, we take a government agency running NetApp. How much efficiency do you think Tegile arrays can drive?
Jason: We just did a side by side comparison for a federal agency. See this graph that compares the efficiency of Tegile arrays compared with the competition. We compared Tegile with the NetApp FAS series all-flash configuration. Tegile arrays were five times more efficient than even a NetApp FAS or EF array stuffed with all flash. So, yes: compared with legacy storage, Tegile arrays provide 10 times the efficiency; or five times the efficiency of legacy arrays stuffed with flash.
Sumeet: In terms of environments and tech you see coming into the software realm, what common platforms or other software do you see frequently used in government agencies?
Jason: We see a few common use cases across the Public Sector:
- Mixed workload and server consolidation; consolidating and virtualization
- Microsoft SQL
Sumeet: When we augment our Tegile staff at HQ and on your Federal Team, some have security clearances — is this useful or necessary to do business on the Beltway?
Jason: I would say it is mandatory to do business there. We have cleared some Sales Engineers. We’re also establishing a network of storage experts who are cleared; call them perhaps “intelligent hands” to support our implementations. With increased demand for Tegile among government agencies, we want to have experts ready, with security clearance, who can ensure smooth storage installations where ever needed.
Sumeet: That’s good to know. Are there any IT pain points in government agencies that their IT managers focus on?
- the need to avoid latency
- performance-related user experience issues (caused by latency)
- the need to reduce down time
- the need to reduce storage capital costs
- the need to reduce storage operational costs
We’re meeting with Public Sector organizations every day to hear about their priorities. And we share how Tegile storage arrays can serve their needs.
Sumeet: That’s great to hear what is important from their perspective. Thanks, Jason. On a different note, we heard that the Tegile Federal Team supports the Wounded Warrior Project. Can you share just a bit on that?
Jason: Sure. As people who serve public servants, we feel a strong bond with people who serve in our military. Right now, if you schedule a meeting with the Tegile Federal Team, we’ll donate $100 to the Wounded Warrior Project. We figure it’s a win-win for government personnel — and for Tegile.
In this way, Tegile supports our wounded service members in a tangible way. We also get to share how Tegile serves the government and its mission to serve and protect the United States of America by lowering costs and improving performance in the data center. Is there any thing else you’d like to hear?
Sumeet: That works well for now. Would you come back and share more war stories from the Hill with us?
Jason: Any time.
Sumeet: Thanks, Jason. Happy 4th of July to you and your friends in government IT. We salute you!
Biography: Jason Strawderman
Public Sector has been a focus throughout Jason’s 20-year tech industry career working within the Federal, State and Local, and Education market segments. In his role at Tegile Systems, Jason works closely with US Government agencies and business partners across the Department of Defense, Civilian, Intelligence Community, Healthcare, and Systems Integrators. Before Tegile, Jason served in sales, marketing and leadership roles at Hewlett Packard, LeftHand Networks, Quantum Corporation and others.