Bergen County Sheriff's Office Case Study

22 Feb 2017

Law enforcement agency combines VDI, long-term storage and video storage arrays within single hyperconverged platform

Project Highlights

→ All-in-one, single vendor solution that scales economically to meet system expansion needs

→ Easy to implement, maintain and upgrade, allowing BCSO to run 400 new VDI workstations

→ Deploys in minutes with an easy migration of EOL systems

→ BCSO added 30 new Pivot3 HCI appliance clusters to manage a total of 2.5 PB of storage

→ Reduced server count by 75% - from 30 down to seven - resulting in lower energy costs and more floor space for system expansion

→ Single-pane-of-glass management increased flexibility and reduced complexity for IT teams by 25-30%

→ Pivot3's extreme availability and resiliency ends downtime and simplifies disaster recovery process; servers can be physically replaced with no interruption of operations

About the Customer

The Bergen County Sheriff's Office (BCSO) is the largest law enforcement agency in Bergen County, New Jersey. The county, just across the Hudson River from New York City, is the most populous in the state, with almost a million residents spread across roughly 70 small municipalities. With more than 700 officers and staff members in seven locations, the BCSO assists the public, supports the county's municipal police departments with an advanced forensic lab, and maintains order and security at the Bergen County Justice Center and the Bergen County Jail. Philip Lisk, BCSO Director of Information Technology for the past 12 years, supervises its networks and serves as the technical consultant to the entire county for video and data security needs.

The Challenge

In recent years, the BCSO’s staff and responsibilities have grown rapidly at the same time that the agency has increased video security coverage for more county facilities. Ultimately, the BCSO had to deal with an overburdened data center as it looked to add more capabilities for both video surveillance and desktop support. “Given our pace of growth,” Lisk says, “we were quickly outgrowing our available rack space and running into cooling and power issues.”

Video surveillance is a key storage challenge for many law enforcement agencies. Having started many years ago with 100 cameras to monitor doors inside the jail, the BCSO began adding more cameras to maintain security in courthouses and other buildings. It now operates more than 3,000 cameras, with more on the way as the county continues its rollout of in-car and body cameras for peace officers.

Retaining and accessing footage is crucial. The BCSO needs high-availability access to video that might be used in law enforcement cases, and also lowers the county’s exposure to legal liability. To maintain this capability with so many more cameras, the BCSO needed to expand its storage from 1 petabyte (PB) to more than 2.5 PB.

Meanwhile, the county has consolidated another administrative unit into the BCSO, bringing in 100 staff members, many of whom were working with outdated equipment. As Lisk explains, “the whole idea for realignment of our IT infrastructure was to streamline and make the county more efficient as a whole.” He and his team sought to implement virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) so they could get away from Bergen County Sheriff's Office Law enforcement agency combines VDI, long-term storage and video storage arrays within single hyperconverged platform

siloed data systems, upgrade existing equipment, control costs, and simplify future technology rollouts.

The Solution

The BCSO has been using Pivot3’s hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) to manage their video surveillance data since 2006. When it came time to build out a virtual desktop environment, BCSO evaluated all the available technology and infrastructure providers and again selected Pivot3. Running their VDI solution on Pivot3’s HCI allowed BCSO to combine VDI, long-term storage, and video storage arrays within a single hyperconverged platform for efficiency and simplified management. “After an extensive review of competitive offerings, Pivot3 clearly came out on top with the only all-in-one, single-vendor solution that met all our needs,” Lisk says. “The ability to buy only what we need now, and economically scale as we grow by adding additional nodes sealed the deal.”

Pivot3’s hyperconverged infrastructure provides server and SAN solutions purpose-built for video surveillance. Unlike traditional SAN and DAS infrastructure solutions, Pivot3’s HCI is optimized for write-intensive video surveillance workloads with 99.9999 percent uptime and high data availability to prevent image degradation and video loss, while maintaining system performance even during degraded modes. With petabyte scalability and advanced resiliency, Pivot3 meets the needs of the most demanding surveillance environments and is ideal for installations up to 10,000 cameras — allowing plenty of room for the BCSO’s future expansion.

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