Rich data analytics, centralized information, and flexibility all play a critical role as file data grows more sophisticated, increases in volume, and becomes more complex to manage. Law enforcement is no different than other public sector organizations when it comes to massive file data but faces particular challenges.

Like all law enforcement agencies, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) runs on unstructured data, or file data. This ranges from file data generated from field and 911 dispatch systems, records management, and the jail management system – to data from body-worn cameras, investigations, video security systems, and even DNA. Police have long relied on data sources, including intelligence files and photo evidence. But making sense of unstructured data has become more difficult.

This is because unstructured data sources like DNA databases and surveillance footage are generating huge, fast-growing data sets that legacy IT storage systems can’t handle. Without real-time data analytics and modernized file data management, law enforcement agencies like the RCSD don’t have the data awareness and capacity to support day-to-day file data workloads. 

To help them keep pace, the RCSD looked to Qumulo to overhaul its aging file data system with modern file data management and storage that would provide data analytics, and the scalable performance and capacity it needs to carry out its mission. 

Protecting employees and the public to save lives

“When our deputies stay safe, they can keep the public safe. Our technology helps to ensure their safety and makes a hard job easier.”
David Emery, Supervising Systems Administrator, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

Modern law enforcement and government agencies face three main challenges  when it comes to managing file data. First, investigations require multiple sources of unstructured data, which demands a centralized file data management system. Then, law enforcement agencies need a massive amount of backup and storage capacity to handle growing archives like video surveillance. To accelerate investigations and allocate resources, they also need access to real-time data analytics. Here’s how the RCSD overcame these challenges with the Qumulo File Data Platform.

To accelerate investigations and allocate resources, law enforcement needs access to real-time data analytics.

When the RCSD started its search for a more modern data platform, it needed real-time analytics to help provide decision-making insights. For example, the IT team keeps yearly crime trending statistics so the RCSD knows where to apply its resources. Much of police work depends on anticipating crime trends before they happen, so police can improve their ability to be in the right place at the right time. Law enforcement agencies also rely on real-time data analytics to carry out other day-to-day tasks like monitoring traffic patterns and mapping burglaries. Access to accurate real-time information helps save lives. 

“Moving from no analytics on the legacy systems to rich analytics on Qumulo has been a game-changer. All the events, file copies, moves, and creates were hard-to-impossible to see before. Now that we have that kind of information available to us, we are able to improve our day-to-day operations and better plan for the future. Accurate and real-time trending information improves decisions, which saves lives.”
David Emery, Supervising Systems Administrator, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

RCSD’s IT team moved from no analytics on legacy systems, to rich data analytics on the Qumulo platform. Using Qumulo’s system, RCSD now has the performance capabilities to access that data in real time. All the data that was impossible to see before is now available, enabling the RCSD to make better decisions and improve public safety.

Investigations require multiple sources of unstructured data, which demands a centralized file data management system.

Law enforcement agencies have to access data from multiple departments, locations, and functions. The workloads include field and 911 dispatch systems, records management, the jail management system, and data from body-worn cameras, investigations, and video security systems. Without a central system, police could be forced to log into many different databases just to look into one incident, slowing down the time-sensitive investigation process.

The RCSD’s IT team needed a solution that would provide a centralized data location for all of these workloads to support day-to-day operations with the visibility provided by data analytics. With Qumulo’s file data platform it was simple to consolidate and centralize all their data. RCSD moved file data from both IT and the Specialized Investigations Bureaus, which included a broad spectrum of case files from Robbery/Homicide to Forensics to the Gang Intelligence Unit. 

Over the past year, the RCSD has continued migrating the remaining data from each of its 40 physical locations to the centralized Qumulo File Data Platform.

Law enforcement agencies need a massive amount of backup and storage capacity to handle growing archives like video surveillance.

As the second largest sheriff’s department and third largest police agency in California, RCSD covers over 7,300 square miles. It’s the fourth largest county in California, which means the Sheriff’s Department has a lot of ground to cover when it comes to the growing amount of data it needs to store. Video surveillance in particular is a challenge in such a large area, since there are hundreds of thousands of surveillance devices gathering video footage 24/7. As recording resolutions grow, these video files get larger and larger — and increasingly complex to manage.

“Flexibility is key for us. Qumulo gives us the flexibility to grow quickly with little or no impact to the users. This is something we never had with our legacy systems, and it’s going to be a huge benefit moving forward.”
David Emery, Supervising Systems Administrator, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

RCSD’s existing backup storage solution had gone end-of-life, and its all-flash environment was too expensive to consolidate both production and backup data onto it. It needed the capacity to store the growing amount of massive case files and video surveillance data. At the same time, it needed an environment that is fully protected from failures and data loss, since lost security camera footage could be devastating in the event of a crime. 

Qumulo is purpose-built for demanding, data-intensive video workloads of any size, making it the clear choice for RCSD’s video surveillance needs. Unlike traditional scale-out NAS storage, Qumulo assures the most cost effective fail-proof data protection for small and large files with the use of erasure coding. Qumulo also offers the flexibility and scalability to support petabytes of additional capacity when and where you need it. 

Read the full case study to see how the RCSD is managing high file data volumes and complexity with rich data analytics, centralization, and the flexibility they need to grow on demand.

Learn More

Video Surveillance File Data Solutions
Qumulo Core high-performance file data platform Technical Overview
Cloud Migration for Government Agencies in 3 Simple Steps

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