Federal Government Agency Cuts AWS Costs, Eases Cloud Migration

Securely Delegating FOIA Requests Also Frees 25% of the IT Team’s Time


  • Data preparation for a cloud migration would heavily burden the IT team
  • Difficulty in responding to FOIA requests meant IT couldn’t offload it
  • Growing frustration with the complexity, cost, and poor support of incumbent backup solution


  • Growing frustration with the complexity, cost, and poor support of incumbent backup solution
  • Rapidly finds and exports records with Commvault® eDiscovery and Compliance to ensure efficient, timely compliance with FOIA requests
  • Relies on Commvault Complete™ Data Protection for automated backup and recovery


  • Shrinks its cloud footprint by hundreds of terabytes for considerably lower AWS costs Up to €20,000 reduction in hardware costs per year
  • Offloads FOIA requests to a security professional, freeing an estimated 25 per cent of IT staff time
  • Properly classifies sensitive data prior to migration, reducing the risk of cyberattacks
  • Automates backup and recovery for less complexity and lower costs


Federal government


Washington, D.C.

Key Assets Protected

  • Protecting classified, secret, and top-secret government data
  • Replicating between data centres and Amazon Web Services

The Challenge

Easing the cloud migration burden and FOIA request

For the lean IT team at a major federal agency, the day-to-day challenges of managing a massive amount of data and fulfilling Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests were enough. Preparing for and completing a cloud migration would demand even more time and attention.

As the move to Amazon Web Services (AWS) neared, the agency needed a conscientious approach to data purging to avoid migrating unnecessary information. Meanwhile, the team had grown frustrated with its incumbent backup solution’s complexity, cost, and support experience with, leading it to search for other options.

Shrinking the cloud footprint by hundreds of thousands of terabytes lowered AWS costs considerably

The Solution

A single source to simplify backup, migration, and FOIA compliance

The agency’s storage provider, NetApp, recommended Commvault to replace its backup solution. In a test of Commvault Complete™ Data Protection against other options, the team found that Commvault integrated easily with NetApp – an essential requirement – and was also simple to use.

In Commvault Complete Data Protection, the agency gained a single backup solution with one interface for its entire infrastructure, with less cost and complexity.

At the same time, the team found answers to other top data challenges. With Commvault® File Storage Optimization (FSO), they could analyze and classify backup data at scale to prepare much more readily for the upcoming cloud migration. And Commvault® eDiscovery and Compliance (DC) would simplify FOIA requests with fast and scalable data collection.

The Results

Freeing 25% of IT time

The agency initially rolled out Commvault Compete Data Protection, quickly followed by FSO and DC, across unclassified, secret, and top-secret data.

Using FSO, the team rapidly uncovered redundant, obsolete files the agency doesn’t need to preserve. As they moved forward with the migration to AWS, they employed user-defined policies to dictate what to move and managed it all through the Commvault Command Center™.

By properly identifying and securing business-critical data before the migration, they also reduced the risk of cyberattacks. Plus, in cutting its cloud footprint by hundreds of terabytes, the agency lowered its AWS costs considerably.

Using eDiscovery and Compliance, the team can quickly search for, review, and export relevant records to ensure efficient, timely compliance with FOIA requests.

Instead of that burden falling on the IT team, Commvault simplifies it so that they can now delegate it to a security professional. Using the solution, the IT team grants outside access to a limited dataset securely. Now, they expedite FOIA response time and free an estimated 25 percent of the IT team’s time to focus on other tasks.

Moving forward, the team has a sustainable, scalable way to protect and manage its data while meeting the demands of FOIA.

Delegating FOIA responses frees 25% of the IT Team’s time