CASE STUDY

DoD Contractor Reduces Costs, Boosts Security With Cloud Move

Panzura customer story - Department of Defense contractor

CHALLENGE

This contractor to the United States Department of Defense needed to move to the Microsoft Azure Government Cloud and increase security to meet NIST 800 171 requirements, without impacting performance between their multiple sites.

Solution

CloudFS facilitated their move to the cloud by consolidating the data they had distributed across sites Panzura also empowered real time collaboration between sites, while meeting mandated security environments.

Industry

Cloud

Panzura cloud partner - Microsoft Azure

A leading contractor for the US Department of Defense (DoD) was facing a number of storage and security challenges… and a deadline.

Their storage infrastructure – based on NetApp filers – was now struggling to meet their performance and security needs.

The organization had a cloud directive, but understood the potential performance impact of moving their user data and critical workflows to the cloud. Ideally, they would adopt a solution that could not only boost cloud performance, but let their engineering teams distributed across North America work collaboratively on Solidworks projects, to reduce their time to production.

Vitally, they needed to upgrade security to meet strict NIST 800-171 requirements. As a result, if the cloud were the answer, it had to be Azure Government Cloud, to keep them compliant.

The stakes were high

The security and delivery consequences of making the wrong decision were significant. While moving to the cloud would deliver substantial cost savings and efficiencies, they would need a way to overcome the inevitable latency drag of accessing files in centralized storage.

The status quo

Their series of aging NetApp filers had been vital to high file performance on a local basis, but was now falling short on service delivery. Additionally, processes like backup and disaster recovery were complex and costly.

Incoming security requirements

As a contract manufacturing organization serving the DoD, Lockheed Martin, and Raytheon for batteries that are required for military applications, they faced unique challenges with their data. 

They had to upgrade security throughout the organization to meet new and strict NIST 800 171 requirements that govern the security requirements for any non-Federal systems that store, process, or transmit Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) or provide security for such systems.

The organization works on advanced CAD designs created primarily with SolidWorks.  Empowering users distributed across North America to share, access, and collaborate on these large, complex files would make all the difference to their time to delivery.

CloudFS Changed Everything

After evaluating a number of solutions, they chose Panzura CloudFS to simplify their data management, and boost their data protection.

Data consolidation

Localized data storage sat in HQ in Joplin, MO – the site of their primary manufacturing facility – as well as in St. Louis, MO, East Greenwich, RI and San Francisco, CA, and needed to be accessible to the 1,000 employees operating in the US for their aerospace and defense divisions. 

Using CloudFS, those data silos were consolidated into Azure Government Cloud, after being deduplicated to remove redundant data blocks, reducing their overall storage footprint.

A new approach to back up and disaster recovery data

Panzura’s immutable data and regular, read-only system snapshots provided a new, simple and very granular way to restore data. IT administrators no longer needed to get involved in retrieving previous file versions from schedule backups. Instead, users could simply restore them, themselves.

I no longer have to worry about backup and restoration. The data is all there. I can pull my backup and restore files whenever needed.

—Senior Director of IT

Boosting productivity

CloudFS enabled users from all locations to access, and collaborate on files stored in a single data source, with no impact on SolidWorks and AutoCAD file open times. File locking protects them against accidental overwrites, and files edits are immediately visible to any user, in any one of their locations.

The system’s redundancy and high availability provided an additional productivity boost. Previously, if connectivity to storage was disrupted at a site, work stopped. With CloudFS, every other site has access to the same data, so can step in and continue workflows if required.

Security and compliance

Because CloudFS is FIPS 140-2 certified, the contractor was able to meet strict NIST 800-171 requirements. Data is fully encrypted at rest with AES 256-bit encryption while data in flight takes advantage of TLS 1.2 encryption.

As a further benefit, CloudFS always performs deduplication and compression of data before it is sent over the wire. That’s designed for maximum efficiency of bandwidth, however this process also provides an additional level of obfuscation for the data.