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The Problem

With seven million files of regulatory compliance data residing on their Enterprise Content Management System (ECM), this Southern California Municipality was running out of primary storage and had no viable cloud backup. Considering this particular municipality served more than 50,000 residents, projections estimated that the ECM system would grow to house more than 10 million files by 2023.

The existing seven million files also had no protection against ransomware, making the data that the city was gathering from branches such as police departments, finance departments and the mayor’s office vulnerable to cyberattacks. With ransomware attacks evolving by the day, the city wanted to address this immediately to safeguard the millions of files that were integral to their operations.

Furthermore, city administrators also wanted to implement a California Trusted System, which would prevent the city from having to retain paper copies of their compliance documents. This would also allow the city to shred a significant amount of documents and lower handling/preservation costs.

 

The Barriers

Constant data growth coupled with long retention terms were consuming precious capacity on their server. It was only a matter of time before the growth would outpace the storage capabilities—maybe a few years at most.

That being said, the city did not have the budget to replace existing storage equipment outright. They couldn’t just shred documents because their retention schedule would not allow it.

They looked into cloud storage options that included Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure in an effort to replicate their ECM system in the cloud, while providing a cloud-based disaster recovery solution. But these conventional cloud storage solutions missed the mark when considering the Trusted Systems Mandate in California, as they could not provide immutable, unalterable storage of the data files.

 

 

Since most ECM servers rely on standard window file systems, this data was also still vulnerable to ransomware attacks with traditional cloud storage providers, so the city continued to search to find a solution that could check all of the boxes.

 

The Solution

With time of the essence, the city had a meeting with a restorVault reseller to inquire about how they could address all of the issues that were present with their current storage solution.

The city learned that restorVault’s virtual cloud storage for compliance data was the solution they had been seeking, because the Compliant Cloud Archive (CCA) offered by restorVault was able to comply with the Trusted Systems mandate, while freeing up storage and providing protection against ransomware.

Why was restorVault the best option on the market? Because restorVault is tailored for long-term compliance data retention—storing files on redundant, tamperproof, immutable WORM storage. These strict retention policies can be implemented for up to 30 years.

Since restorVault utilizes object storage, there is no file system to attack, making the files stored in the Compliant Cloud Archive impervious to ransomware.

 

The Benefits

After what seemed like searching for a needle in a haystack, the city found the perfect solution in restorVault that would encompass all of their compliance assurance goals.

The city now had a Trusted System in place in advance of the mandate deadline, but also made their ECM data immune to ransomware by moving it to the Compliant Cloud Archive. Furthermore, it allowed them to make their data accessible in the cloud, which eliminated the need to retain paper copies in their regulatory workflow processes.

“The deployment has been a great success,” said the city’s IT Director, “Our data is safer than ever before and we have more control over our long-term storage costs.”

All told, nearly 60% of the storage capacity that was being taken up by their data was freed up, extending the life of their existing ECM server. Other departments were still able to access the data in the cloud by using Copy Data Virtualization, but no additional cloud storage was required.

In a similar predicament? Contact the experts at Western Integrated Systems and we will examine your current storage situation, compliance concerns and processes to see how a solution like restorVault could help you realize the same benefits as this municipality in Southern California.