AWS Disaster Recovery: California Department of Tax & Fee Administration

About the Company

The California Department of Tax & Fee Administration (CDTFA) is responsible for California’s sales & use, fuel, tobacco, alcohol, and cannabis taxes, among other taxes and fees for state programs. Together, CDTFA-administered programs contribute to more than 25% of all the state’s revenue. The CDTFA has offices throughout the state of California, as well as in New York, Chicago, and Houston.

The Vision and Challenge

The California Department of Tax & Fee Administration (CDTFA) was looking to update their current IT disaster recovery (DR) plan from replicating citizen and agency data offsite in a DR location to instead replicating the data to the AWS cloud. Each type of data/application needed a different storage solution. Some of the agency’s data, such as citizens’ tax information from five years ago, needed to be accessed infrequently while other data would need to be accessed daily by both employees and citizens. As a California government agency, CDTFA was also required to retain the copies of their Splunk logs for a term of seven years. The storage for the Splunk logs needed to be scalable to accommodate volume fluctuations.

InterVision had led a previous Palo Alto Networks (PAN) and F5 deployment with the customer, which included scripting. As a result of this earlier engagement, the customer knew of our expertise to execute with quality on a tight timeline and trusted us as challengers to the status quo. They viewed InterVision as a strategic partner when it came to security automation, so we were a good candidate for the project.

The Outcome

CDTFA engaged InterVision for a solution to meet their unique needs using our proprietary Cloud Migration Lifecycle Assurance (CMLA) program. Instead of a one-size-fits all approach, InterVision provided a multi-level storage solution based on how frequently the data would be accessed. New data (0-1 years) remained on-site, while less frequently accessed data was moved to an AWS storage solution. At year two, data would be moved from on-site to AWS Simple Storage Solution (S3) – GovCloud (US), and from years 3-7 would be moved to AWS Glacier – GovCloud (US). CDTFA currently requires storage for 20TB’s of data, but anticipates the GovCloud account to grow rapidly over the next three years. They are using InterVision’s self-managed CMLA service tier.

InterVision delivered a highly-effective AWS DR environment including the following:

  • S3 Storage for Splunk logs
  • S3 Lifecycle to move logs to glacier after three years
  • S3 Storage for Veeam backups

AWS Services Utilized:

  • AWS S3 – GovCloud (US)
  • AWS Glacier – GovCloud (US)
  • AWS – File Storage Gateway GovCloud (US)
  • CloudFormation

Third-Party Applications or Solutions Used:  Splunk, Ruby, Github

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