Accelerating the Department of Veteran Affairs

Accelerating the Department of Veteran Affairs

[Tweet “Better service to U.S. #veterans with SanDisk #allflash #bigfix”]

It seems much of the industry is screaming for blazing speed, and rightfully so. Databases, Big Data, analytics, transactions – milliseconds can sometimes make or break a deal, or help turn a bad business decision into a good one.

It’s no doubt that IOPS matter, but IOPS are just one metric among many that influence application performance. Every implementation needs to be carefully evaluated as each use case can differ.

Real-World Scenarios

The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) was looking for a new hardware solution to run the IBM BigFix solution (which until June 2015 was known as EndPoint Manager), software for monitoring a wide variety of on-demand endpoint management services that include asset inventory/discovery, security vulnerability detection and remediation, software distribution, IT compliance reporting, patch management, software license management, security policy enforcement, and endpoint device power consumption management.

To give you a sense of the needs of this massive installation, in 2014 the VA had 400,000+ endpoints (desktops and servers) across over 1,400 field offices managed by two Endpoint Manager core servers and two web reporting severs.

The IT team had virtualized the software across the servers, but whenever one or more of the servers would go down, they weren’t able to access the data or migrate it off due to how resources were shared across the clusters. This caused continuous downtime and problems for the network.

The VA IT department started looking for a solution that provided a shared storage environment in which multiple VMware servers would connect to it. In this architecture if one of the servers would go down, the resources would still be available to rest of the system, and the whole system wouldn’t be interrupted if there was a failure.

When looking for a new solution, performance was dependent on low latency in a shared storage environment, paired with high availability and superior reliability.

Leveraging Fusion ioMemory Across Architectures

The VA had seen great performance using low latency Fusion ioMemory PCIe application accelerators in their previous storage solution. But the lack of shared environment proved to be a bigger obstacle. We were thrilled to introduce them to the SanDisk®’s all flash shared storage solution which enables server-side Fusion ioMemory to be shared storage for database acceleration.

Any customer moving to a new environment is looking to test and compare their options, and this is a rigid requirement for federal offices.

For the ‘storage bake-off’ we configured the SanDisk all flash shared storage solution, that we had set up in a federal lab, with a 16GB Fibre Channel and multiple 12.8TB Fusion ioMemory PCIe application accelerators in a RAID0 configuration to show the full performance capability of the solution in their test environment.

The multi-lane PCIe architecture of SanDisk’s solution scales performance with capacity and reduces bottlenecks from slower storage protocol interfaces used by other systems, and when deployed in a High-Availability configuration, simultaneously accelerates performance for volumes distributed across two systems.

Accelerating the Department of Veteran Affairs

So what all-flash system won the storage bakeoff? I’ll keep the suspense short and simply share that the Department of Veteran Affairs is now running BigFix on SanDisk’s all flash storage solution in multiple locations.

We’re extremely proud to be enabling the VA to deliver better services honoring the men and women who are America’s veterans with award-winning all-flash performance.

To learn more about SanDisk’s all-flash storage solutions with game-changing performance for database users in physical and virtual environments, visit

Related Stories

What is the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy?