Edmonton Police Service’s modern data storage platform offers more actionable insights and enhances the way officers perform their jobs while saving millions in public funds.
Today’s police departments and law enforcement agencies are quickly becoming technology organizations in their own right — they rely heavily on data that includes everything from body camera and CCTV video footage to crime scene evidence and yearly statistics. All of this information is highly sensitive and must be stored for the long term in a secure, cost-effective manner.
For Edmonton Police Service (EPS), the department faced a host of new challenges when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Namely, how could they continue serving the community in a safe and efficient way? The answer required new remote network access capabilities, video communication and collaboration tools — all of which put greater strain on their legacy infrastructure.
The Alberta, Canada-based department employs almost 3,000 people, including roughly 2,000 police officers and 900 civilians who work as administrative support, 911 operators and IT staff. The department had to enable remote work for many of these individuals while also keeping sensitive data securely stored.
The department’s director of technology services quickly realized the old way of doing things wouldn’t suffice, especially in light of the supply chain crunch. Global supply chain disruptions meant that data infrastructure tools required more agility to accommodate changing needs.
He explains: “Suddenly, we had to deploy a large amount of compute and storage infrastructure, but how could we provision this in a timely manner with supply chains simultaneously grinding to a halt? To go from an idea to something being prepared and implemented would take six months to a year previously. We just couldn’t operate that way anymore.”
Sizing up the police department’s needs
EPS needed a modern platform that would enable rapid deployment and expansion — while bypassing extended procurement cycles. They also needed an agile solution to help staff adapt to new technologies — both the remote capabilities they required right away as well as those they will implement in the future, such as police-related smart city functionality.
Another challenge came from a new content management system that EPS installed to store evidence in a more organized and streamlined manner. Previously, officers had to spend time tracking down various forms of evidence (paper, video on CDs, audio recordings, etc.) in disparate systems. Having data uniformly and centrally stored in the new system is a vast improvement over their previous storage approach — now officers have more time available to serve the citizens of Edmonton.
Yet the CMS also led to a massive increase in the workload for digitally converting and storing huge volumes of evidence. The legacy system simply could not handle the load of petabyte-scale data.
“The scalability of our legacy solution did not meet increasing demands for storage, nor did it accommodate our unstructured storage needs for projects, such as CCTV video, that place greater demand on our infrastructure,”EPS’ infrastructure section manager.
“We were looking for a solution that could meet our needs, was cost-effective and would provide us with reliability for the future.”
That may sound like a tall order, but a joint solution from Scality and HPE delivers precisely what the organization was looking for.
A much-needed unstructured data storage upgrade
EPS’ new solution brings together the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform, HPE scalable object storage with Scality RING, HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8000 storage, and the HPE Apollo 4510 Gen10 and HPE Apollo 4500 system.
Scality RING on the HPE Apollo platform effortlessly supports the department in handling the massive amounts of unstructured data they deal with. Another benefit is that the department doesn’t have to pay for all of it upfront, giving them the flexibility to meet the needs of the organization as they change and grow.
And with Scality RING with S3 Object Lock as their backup repository for Veeam Backup & Replication, EPS achieves high-speed, scalable and ransomware-immune data protection.
Flexible, scalable storage with Scality RING + HPE GreenLake
Currently, the Edmonton Police Service stores 1.4 petabytes of data on its new storage platform. The HPE + Scality solution undergirds the virtual infrastructure supporting EPS’ new digital asset management system. The flexibility required to scale out the platform, store unstructured data, and place it on powerful hardware that affordably satisfies the organization’s demands is provided by Scality RING.
HPE GreenLake’s pay-as-you-grow model means EPS won’t have to invest as much money upfront on features they won’t use for a while. Over the next five years, switching from a capital expenditures model to a consumption-based approach will save the organization around $2 million Canadian dollars over the next five years. In addition, EPS has decreased backup times from 13 hours to 3 hours — a 77% reduction.
A storage transformation brings big benefits
The EPS has seen significant changes that impact how police officers do their jobs and how the organization stores data. Officers are now using new data insights to serve the community better and faster. The new data management system gives officers more time for proactive police work, too. The combined Scality and HPE storage platform improves workflows and saves millions in public funds.
“The Scality and HPE teams collaborate to make sure we’re getting the best investment for our dollar. Knowing that it’s a holistic overview and they take into consideration everything within our environment gives us confidence we’re going to be able to continue to leverage this solution for the long term,” concludes EPS’ infrastructure section manager.
Read more about Edmonton Police Service’s storage modernization journey here.
Interested in learning more about how Scality solutions can help law enforcement and government agencies? Check out our government and public sector use cases page.