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Considerations in Storing Government Data

Updated: Jan 29, 2019



The Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative set out to make a significant shift in the government’s data storage practices, with the goal of closing at least 1200 data centers - roughly 40% of existing facilities - by 2015. The intent was to save taxpayer dollars and improve systems and efficiencies across multiple departments, redirecting funding, resources, and manpower to other government initiatives. As government agencies embrace data storage solutions utilized by the commercial sector, unique considerations must be taken to control access, protect information, and manage data storage and storage technologies in such ways as to remain compliant with regulations.


Types of Data Determine Best Practices

While every agency has specific regulatory requirements that affect data storage, there are basic guidelines government agencies should consider in managing data storage. These guidelines are determined by how that managed data is categorized, and these categories determine what storage solutions will prove to meet the needs of the agency in question.


  • Level of Confidentiality: What level of security must be maintained to protect the data?

  • Retention and Access Requirements: Regulatory requirements often include timelines data must be kept active and accessible before it can archived or destroyed.

  • Large Scale Data Requires Scalable Solution: Government agencies often deal with data at scale - whether it’s research or survey data, there’s often significant amounts of it and it accumulates over time due to the retention requirements.

Cloud Storage Often the Right Data Storage Solution

Government clients in many ways have a clearer understanding of their networking and data storage needs based on the relevant government regulations Through consultation, government agencies can clearly identify their needs and leverage the benefits of data management via cloud storage solutions.


Scalability

Cloud data storage solutions can easily and quickly maintain network performance while scaling to the massive amounts of data many governments can generate.


Security and Compliance

While complicated, cloud storage solutions can be customized to the security needs of clients. This is especially useful for agencies that are built around stringent compliance levels and complicated security requirements such as the management of financials and and security information. Cybersecurity concerns are paramount when it comes to protecting government data, and leveraging systems with significant levels of security and the ability fight off a breach regardless of the source are key drivers in the use of cloud storage solutions.


Accessibility

Government agencies often employ complicated hierarchies of access to data and information within the organization based on security levels, positions, and other factors. Managed data storage solutions are able to limit and provide access according to the government agency requirements, regardless of whether those limits are due to various implemented frameworks or limitations specific to the agency.


Ready Made Solutions

SANDirect, via partnerships with a mixture of cloud and physical data storage solutions providers, gives its clients access to data storage solutions for every occasion. Government agencies can benefit from such services in order to best identify solutions that meet the complicated needs structured around scalability, security and compliance requirements, and accessibility needs.

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