Federal law enforcement agencies today are under increased pressure to meet conflicting IT demands as they must meet goals under the Data Center Consolidation Initiative (DCOI), as well as additional security measures, all under a reduced budget. According to Dave Ulepic, Account Executive, an expert on cloud services at NetApp, “The real issues arise because agencies have to accomplish these things while ensuring security of data and the integrity of the mission. That said several law enforcement agencies have found very unique ways address these challenges by choosing to control their data in a FedRAMP environment that leverages the compute resources of the cloud.”

Leo Makowski Sr. Account Manager, Federal Team (DoJ) at NetApp, added, “Public cloud is not an option for federal law enforcement agencies that must be able to explicitly document chain of custody for all data in its possession. Agencies need to be able to have control of the data and know where it resides at all times in order to meet their mission and protect the public from crimes.”

In criminal cases, chain of custody is a requirement, as defendants may deny the knowledge of drug possession or other illegal substances, as an example. With chain of custody, documentation and testimony are presented by the prosecution to help establish the facts of the case. Having access to secure, agile systems is imperative for law enforcement to protect the public.

“The good news is that hybrid cloud solutions like those from 1901 Group paired with NetApp Private Storage allows for law enforcement agencies to securely access data quickly. If for some reason data must be taken down and moved to another platform, the hybrid solution allows for it,” Leo said.

He also shared with us that by choosing an agnostic cloud service provider or hyperscaler, agencies can have the flexibility and agility to switch from one provider to another if needed. He recalled, “A lot of agencies are weary of repeating past mistakes and being locked in with one provider if something happens either on the economic or cyber front.”

Finally, Dave advised that one of the best practices he is seeing in law enforcement is the move to the as-a-service model, in which agencies allocate operating expenses for cloud services and data consumption. With this model in place, resources are paid for on a monthly basis based on usage and contractual service. Instead of taking on large upfront capital expenditures, they can utilize their OPEX budget, allowing agencies to gain the benefits of a much more optimized environment early on in the process while saving money.

Find out more about how law enforcement agencies are protecting the public from crime with a hybrid approach.