Case Studies

US State Department

US State Department

Computer Investigative Forensics Division (CIF)

Project Summary

Services: IT

CIF has need of extremely high end, custom built systems to perform the specialized, top secret work they do for the State Department. Because of the nature of that work, we cannot divulge details of the system’s actual use.


Challenges

In the past, machines they had gotten from other vendors have proven unreliable. Because of the workload placed on the machines, they had to be extremely durable and highly available. They needed to be machines with a long life cycle under extremely high loads. Also, components used for the machines had to meet very strict RoHS guidelines for security reasons.

We had to physically secure a location where we could work on the builds in a lab environment and control access to the components and build process. Further, since the majority of the build work was to be completed by persons with disabilities, we had to make sure the location was accessible.

Once assembled, we had to create a process by which to test and burn-in a large number of machines at once. This had to be done while adhering to earlier mentioned security processes and accessibility standards. Once assembled and tested, we had to facilitate safe, secure transport of the machines to their final home at CIF’s home office.


Solution

By leveraging our current stable of manufacturers and distributors, we were able to design a system using components that would stand up to the wear and tear of the environment they were to be used in, while meeting all RoHS stipulations. Not only that, but the machines were very high speed and performance optimized to make short work of the tasks CIF would place on them.

We locked down one of the floors of our building and arranged access in such a way that not only could product flow freely from between floors, but access to the area could be controlled and monitored while providing an accessible entry point for the persons with disabilities on the project.

The build process was executed in such a way that a large number of machines were able to be assembled, checked for quality, tested, burnt in, zeroed, and packaged in a very short time period; a turnaround time that actually exceeded CIF’s expectation by several weeks. We simulated the environment and tasks for which the machines would be used and ensured all machines met our expectations.

For the shipping process, our relationship with FedEx proved to be invaluable. We were able to get the machines to their destination timely and securely. Because of this relationship, our depot warranty services will be executed timely and reliably.


Result

CIF has had some of the most reliable machines they’ve ever bought. Through the grueling workload, they’ve not had a single failure in over a year in service. And, they’re machines that they can trust to be up to spec with not only performance and reliability, but security as well.