SAN FRANCISCO – November 3, 2016 – Riverbed Technology, the application performance company, today announced that the Commonwealth of Kentucky is using Riverbed® SteelFusion™ as the foundation for a statewide IT modernization effort. Through its technology partner, Tier3 Technologies, Kentucky has installed SteelFusion in 64 locations to-date, providing a more secure and less costly IT infrastructure for the remote offices of agencies such as transportation, public advocacy, corrections, state parks, medical examiners, police, and health and family services. One agency alone is saving hundreds of thousands of dollars each year through reduced bandwidth and operational costs resulting from the use of SteelFusion.
For the agencies that serve Kentucky’s citizens, IT delivery is complicated by the state’s large size, rural nature, and limited connectivity. With the exception of offices in the capital of Frankfort, most state government facilities are served by 10-mbps network connections at best. For many more remote locations, a T1 line (1.5 mbps) is all that’s available.
These bandwidth limitations, along with latency caused by long distances between cities, can jeopardize critical business operations that depend on the network, such as backing up data to a central repository, thus crippling the performance of centralized applications as well as employee productivity. Also, the distance between Frankfort and remote offices makes it difficult to deploy and maintain IT equipment. Replacing a failed server, for instance, has to be done in person and can take up to a week.
Tier3 Technologies, which contracts with the Kentucky’s Commonwealth Office of Technology (CoT) to provide IT solutions as a managed service, had previously deployed the leading WAN optimization solution, Riverbed® SteelHeadTM, across the state as a way of helping agencies get more functionality out of their limited bandwidth.
“Riverbed SteelHead was giving them an effective bandwidth increase of up to 4X,” said William Paynter, vice president of business development at Tier3. When he learned that Riverbed would be introducing a hyper-converged, software-defined edge solution that addressed the unique challenges typically incurred by organizations with remote offices and sites, he couldn’t wait to show it to the IT managers of the different state agencies.
Riverbed® SteelFusionTM is a unique solution for software-defining edge IT by integrating industry standard virtualization, intelligent storage caching that can be tiered across private and public clouds, and SteelHead’s industry-leading WAN optimization. This hyper-converged edge solution is deployed in a dual-ended appliance, with the core in the datacenter, where edge applications and data are centralized, and the receiving end on-site in the remote office to which a working set of data is projected without any compromise of application performance.
Tier3 installed SteelFusion in the transportation agency’s Elizabethtown office, one of its most problematic in terms of having backups across the network fail to complete. “With SteelFusion, instead of taking several days and never completing, the backup was instantaneous,” says Travis Wagers, information systems manager for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Information Technology.
His agency now has SteelFusion Edge appliances deployed in each of its 12 offices across the state. For Wagers, they are a “life saver,” eliminating the potential loss of project data posed by incomplete and failed backup attempts. And by replacing physical servers in those offices with virtual machines (VMs) running on SteelFusion, the agency no longer risks days-long server outages and the tens of thousand of dollars in lost productivity they caused.
“All of a sudden,” explained Wagers, “our entire environment was safe in terms of backing up data, and if we wanted to deploy something new, we could spin it up in an hour, instead of buying hardware, shipping it out there, and waiting to get a tech onsite to build it. SteelFusion really made a huge impact right off the bat.”
Cost savings related to the agency’s use of SteelFusion is dramatic – to date, the use of SteelFusion is saving Kentucky over $900,000/year on bandwidth and server hardware alone. Of that, the transportation agency’s 12 SteelFusion 3100 appliances save approximately $44,772 per month in lower bandwidth costs, and save $3,000 per month on virtualizing the servers from physical ones, totaling more than $573,000 in savings annually.
And of the 95 SteelHeads originally deployed across Kentucky by Tier3, 70% have already been upgraded to SteelFusion, enabling an IT modernization effort that saves additional money and better protects critical information, adding the operational time saved and the peace of mind that the risk of data loss is no longer a concern is priceless.
The Commonwealth of Kentucky is considering further potential opportunities to deploy SteelFusion to 450 sites in this calendar year, with a total potential of 1,200 sites in the future. SteelFusion is a critical step in the state’s IT modernization effort to make the government more responsive to its citizens.
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