How SteelFusion Keeps the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Moving


As a state agency, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet faced a number of IT challenges due to the state’s large size, its rural demographics, and the agency’s dated branch IT architecture. Fortunately, that all changed when the transportation agency turned to Riverbed SteelFusion™ for a hyper-converged edge solution. It’s wonderfully detailed in a new case study.

For a closer look at the solution, we spoke with Riverbed Solutions Architect Jesse Goodier, who was one of the lead sales engineers on this successful project. The project yielded these results in a remarkably short amount of time:

  • Backups from remote and branch locations now happen continuously instead of taking days
  • IT rollouts in branches take far less time
  • Spending on hardware and bandwidth is down

Before we look at these benefits in detail, let’s examine the unique challenges that made the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet a great candidate for an IT makeover.

Take me home, country roads

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet faced two kinds of problems when it came to their IT needs:

  • In a large, rural state, the Department of Transportation offices are located far from the capital in communities with poor network connectivity.
  • The agency deals with very large and important CAD files, with data being generated at branch locations that if lost, could cost millions of dollars to reproduce. Branch IT was often what Goodier calls a challenging mix of servers and storage/backup solutions.

One of the biggest pain points was the process of backing up huge files from branch locations to a central datacenter; this often took more than a day to complete, if it completed, and would impact users who needed to use the same connectivity that the backups were consuming.

“All of a sudden, our entire environment was safe, backing up, and if we wanted to deploy something new, we could spin it up in an hour, and not buy hardware, and ship it out there.”
– Travis Wagers, Information Systems Manager at Kentucky Transportation Cabinet

Tier3 Technologies, which manages IT services for the state, proposed that the agency adopt Riverbed SteelFusion. Local branch IT was largely replaced with SteelFusion Edge appliances, and the results were transformative, in three key ways.

1. Backups in the blink of an eye

Traditional backup solutions just aren’t equipped to send huge files over low-bandwidth network connections. “Our highly unique architecture is the difference,” says Goodier. SteelFusion Edge appliances continuously back up only changed data to enterprise-class storage in a central datacenter, using WAN optimization techniques to keep network traffic to a minimum. Days-long, often questionable remote backup sessions are eliminated, and data stored at the datacenter is never more than a few minutes out of sync with the branch office.

2. Quick rollouts and fixes for remote locations

SteelFusion Edge appliances can be set up and provisioned remotely, so IT installations, upgrades, and new site deployments no longer mean sending a team of staffers on a days-long trip from the state capital. “The platform’s very simple to implement,” says Goodier. “It can be done over a lunch break if you have the people in the room with the authority to make changes.”

3. Cost savings across the board

Because SteelFusion optimizes backup and other traffic over the WAN, the state saves more than $40,000 a month on bandwidth cost, and reliable backups eliminate the risk of work stoppages that cost the state more than $10,000 a day, while also helping to eliminate the worry over what would happen if designs were lost due to an unplanned outage. The cost of that, as the state mentions in its case study, would be “catastrophic.”

Take it to the edge

Travis Wagers, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Information Systems Manager, succinctly described how helpful SteelFusion has been to his state: “All of a sudden, our entire environment was safe, backing up, and if we wanted to deploy something new, we could spin it up in an hour, and not buy hardware, and ship it out there.”

Learn more

If you’d like to get more details about how Riverbed helped Kentucky transform its IT infrastructure, download the case study from the Riverbed website. For more on what SteelFusion can do for your distributed enterprise, check out this new business value review from Enterprise Strategy Group entitled: “Improving Overall ROBO Efficiency with Riverbed SteelFusion.”

And check out other ways Riverbed SteelFusion is helping organizations like yours: