Improving Security & Technological Flexibility for Federal Government Customers

In our work with customers across the federal government landscape, we often come across challenges that highlight the complex nature of carrying out an IT strategy in the federal space. Our customers in the public sector must navigate security, compliance, and regulatory requirements that necessitate a consultative, case-by-case approach to solution implementation.

Recently, these conversations have centered on finding efficient ways to manage skyrocketing data growth and reducing data center footprints. Dell has been focused on these issues for some time and developed solutions that leverage a future-ready approach to IT. Our work is designed to help customers strike a balance between an evolutionary approach to IT, which retains their current environment, and a revolutionary approach that embrace new technologies – all while making infrastructure simpler and technology easier to use. Through continuous improvement, collaboration and certification, Dell ensures that our solutions are compliant and meet or exceed federal cybersecurity standards.

One solution that highlights this dual-front approach to future-ready IT is the Dell Compellent Storage Center, which leverages enterprise-class hardware and data management software to create cost-effective data storage that is high performing and scalable. Every federal agency is facing a radical increase in the diversity and volume of data that it must store, manage and utilize. This data holds promise to improve performance and collaboration if agencies can build an efficient data storage infrastructure that enables them to fully harness its potential.

We recently announced the next generation of Dell Compellent Storage Center array software, Storage Center 6.5, which uses the latest advancements in software-defined storage to change the economics of the data center through a “Fluid Data” architecture that automatically and intelligently places data across multiple types of storage medium. This means that agencies with massive amounts of data across the “cold” and “hot” spectrum no longer need to worry about that distinction, as data is automatically tiered to high-performance and low-cost storage tiers, respectively. Dell’s Fluid Data Architecture is totally customizable to meet an agency’s performance, capacity and cost objectives, and is also near-infinitely scalable up to 3PB and beyond.

Compellent Storage FIPS 140-2 Level 2-certified Self Encrypting DrivesToday, we are also proud to announce that the Compellent Storage solution now supports FIPS 140-2 Level 2-certified Self Encrypting Drives, providing a certified data at rest encryption for customers who have more rigid security or compliance requirements, such as agencies that are entrusted with highly sensitive health or national security data. Self-Encrypting Drive (SED) technology protects hard drive data from unauthorized access through secure encryption-decryption functions along with Cryptographic Erase, which securely erases data from the drive so that it can be repurposed or retired.

The new certification gives many of our government customers a clear path to implementing Compellent storage solutions while mitigating the most stringent cybersecurity risks and compliance requirements.  We recently released a technical white paper that details the reference architecture for deploying Compellent solutions equipped with FIPS-certified SEDs.

In addition to continuously improving the security standards of solutions like the Compellent Storage Center to meet the needs of our federal customers, we have recently extended the operational flexibility of the PowerEdge R420 rack server in collaboration with customers in the defense industry who are constantly looking to extend mission-critical data access and compute power to the front lines. Despite their constrained physical environment and incredibly harsh conditions, Dell OEM developed the PowerEdge R420xr to withstand the rigors of challenging physical locations and deployments in mobilized battalions. Meeting MIL-STD-810G specifications in addition to NEBS Level 3 and ETSI compliance, the 1u 2-socket server was designed into a lightweight and compact form factor, with a slim 20’’ rack depth so that it could be mounted in Humvees or helicopters, in addition to a ruggedized chassis that is self-contained and can be easily transported and setup within minutes or hours. The solution can operate at temperatures up to 45°C and delivers virtualization-ready power to demanding deployments constrained by size, weight and power.

Military personnel looking at Dell Poweredge servers

Dell’s enterprise solutions scale with flexible, next-generation architectures that readily adapt to organizational and operational growth and leverage evolving technologies without artificial restrictions or complexities.  As we help our customers develop a future-ready approach to IT, not only with enterprise solutions like these but also with industry-leading services as we did recently with the Centers for Disease Control, Dell continues to be focused on delivering products, solutions, and services that are integrated, modular or scalable, and automated where IT can be the innovation engine and a driver of growth to business success. The focus of this innovation is our customers, and that innovation extends to the ways we’re able to serve them as well with services that are forward deployed to the places our U.S. government customers serve outside of the U.S. so they’re mission critical solutions experience minimal downtime. Whether our customers face security, operational flexibility, compliance or budgetary constraints, when it comes to applying Dell solutions to their challenges, there is no one size fits all solution. We are proud to partner with our customers in developing tailored solutions that meet their unique needs and identifying strategic approaches to overcoming their challenges.

About the Author: Steve Septoff