Edmonton Police Service

Frontline officers are leveraging new data insights to better serve their community

By modernizing its storage platform, the police service is saving $2 million CAD and reducing backup times by 76.9%

Edmonton Police Service (EPS) relies on data-driven evidence to assist officers in reducing crime and promoting public safety. Being able to react quickly to the changing needs of the community is vital to keeping people safe — and it’s a top priority for EPS.

The onset of COVID-19 in March 2020 put EPS to the test. Not only did the organization have to quickly transition to a remote work environment, the pandemic also triggered changes in the way police officers conduct their work.

The pandemic expedites the need for modernization

A new reliance on remote network access capabilities, video communication, and collaboration tools would help staff conduct work safely — both internally and with the public. But the move to a mobile-enabled workforce wasn’t something EPS had planned for. The implications on infrastructure had to be considered.

“Suddenly, we had to deploy a large amount of compute and storage infrastructure, but how could we provision this in a timely manner with supply chains simultaneously grinding to a halt? To go from an idea to something being prepared and implemented would take six months to a year previously — we just couldn’t operate that way anymore.”

Nathan Wong

Director of technology services, Edmonton Police Service

This fundamental change highlighted the need to transition from a legacy system (with inadequate provisioning) to a modern platform that would enable rapid deployment and expansion — without extended procurement cycles.

EPS needed built-in agility to aid staff in responding quickly to a rapidly changing environment and new technologies — whether that be a video solution, cameras installed around the city, or other innovations coming into operation.

To facilitate more efficient use of police resources, EPS had recently implemented a new electronic content management system that stores evidence in a more organized, streamlined fashion. Evidence was previously stored in many different forms — everything from physical pieces of paper, to video on CDs, to audio recordings — in disparate systems. Having data centrally and uniformly housed frees up officers’ time so they can better serve Edmonton citizens. 

But with the workload for digitally converting and storing massive volumes of evidence increasing, the question became: Where would this petabyte-scale data be stored? The legacy system simply wouldn’t suffice.

“The scalability of our legacy solution did not meet increasing demands for storage, nor did it accommodate our unstructured storage needs for projects, such as CCTV video, that place greater demand on our infrastructure. We were looking for a solution that could meet our needs, was cost-effective, and would provide us with reliability for the future.”

Gary Wong

Infrastructure section manager, Edmonton Police Service

VISION

Better serve communities with enhanced policing by leveraging technologies that use data more efficiently

STRATEGY

Improve data clarity, availability, and accessibility by implementing a scalable storage solution that saves public funds

SOLUTION

Scality RING software-defined storage on the HPE GreenLake Cloud Services platform

lower cost of data

Saves $2 million CAD over five years

Data storage server
Reduces backup times by 76.9%
speed of data access
Provides infinite scalability & reliable performance
Data integrity
Achieves multisite resiliency with data center rapid recovery

A new solution achieves more storage, flexibility and cost-savings

The need to transition to a flexible, scalable, and cost-effective solution prompted a major overhaul of EPS’ storage infrastructure environment.

The deployed solution includes the HPE GreenLake edge-to-cloud platform, HPE scalable object storage with Scality RING, HPE 3PAR StoreServ 8000 storage, and the HPE Apollo 4510 Gen10 and HPE Apollo 4500 system, as well as Veeam for backup.

“With Scality RING on the HPE Apollo platform, we have a great base for all the unstructured data that we know is coming down the line, such as video footage and audio recordings. When you layer all those things together, plus knowing we don’t need to pay for all of it up front, it really gives us the capability to meet the needs of the organization.”

Gary Wong

Infrastructure section manager, Edmonton Police Service

The EPS is currently storing 1.4 PB of data on its new storage platform. The HPE + Scality solution acts as a base layer for all the virtual infrastructure that supports EPS’ new digital asset management system. While the HPE GreenLake platform provides mission-critical, scalable performance, Scality RING offers the flexibility required to scale out the platform, store unstructured data, and put it onto performant hardware that cost-effectively meets the organization’s needs.

“The Scality and HPE teams collaborate to make sure we’re getting the best investment for our dollar. Knowing that it’s a holistic overview and they take into consideration everything within our environment gives us confidence we’re going to be able to continue to leverage this solution for the long term.”

Gary Wong

Infrastructure section manager, Edmonton Police Service

Thanks to the pay-as-you-grow flexibility of HPE GreenLake, EPS doesn’t have to outlay so much capital at the beginning for things they don’t need. Switching from a CAPEX model to a consumption-based model will save about CAD$2 million over the next five years. And with Veeam rounding out the overall solution, EPS has reduced backup times from 13 hours to 3 hours.

Since deployment, EPS’operations team hasn’t experienced any challenges with performance reliability.

“To just throw in a brand-new platform and have it run without any ongoing challenges, failures, or performance problems, I think speaks to some of the benefits that Scality has provided us.”
Gary Wong

Infrastructure section manager, Edmonton Police Service

CASE STUDY

Edmonton Police Service

INDUSTRY

Government and Public Sector

Maximize the value of public sector data

USE CASE

Big data analytics

Accelerate data insights. Boost performance.

APPLICATION PARTNER

Splunk

Capture, index and analyze data

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