Empowering a smart city with trusted, reliable storage technology

Tyler, Texas modernizes its IT infrastructure to better serve the community during and beyond the pandemic
IBM Systems
5-minute read
Female informatic engineer working inside server room database while wearing face mask

There’s more to Tyler, Texas than meets the eye. Look past the lush rose gardens and bustling city center, and you’ll find a close-knit, tech-savvy community committed to the greater good — a community that applies innovative technology to improve everything from emergency response times to remote work access.

The City of Tyler is no stranger to digital transformation.

Previously, it implemented IBM Cloud® for VMware technology and IBM all-flash storage systems to enhance its central data platform. These solutions helped the City of Tyler, the rose capital of America, blossom into an inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable community.

The real-time insights and advanced data management capabilities allowed the city to improve citywide departments and connect people, networks, applications and devices that span a vast range of services — police, fire, utilities, traffic and city centers — all in real time, with continuous reliability and security.

Flowers

Login times for virtual desktops are

3X

faster than industry standard

Hundreds of active VDI sessions run with

zero

latency or performance issues

How quickly can we deliver rapid service to our first responders? How can we be transparent with our citizens? These are the questions we looked to one another, and IBM technology, to answer as we responded to the pandemic.
Benny Yazdanpanahi
Chief Information Officer, City of Tyler

Despite these forward-thinking innovations, the COVID-19 pandemic raised new challenges for Tyler’s city council, government employees, volunteers and residents. Work processes and resources had to be virtualized, data access needed to increase in speed and availability, and city operations would require additional technological support — all without sacrificing the quality of these services.

City of Tyler officials knew that to better understand and respond to changes in the community, they would need to upgrade their IT infrastructure again.

Fireman with radio set
woman working from home during the Covid lockdown
IBM FlashSystem 7200 was a game changer for us. The ability to deliver modern, efficient applications and deploy virtual desktops allowed us to quickly transition to a work-from-home system that worked for everyone.
Jeremy English
IT Infrastructure Manager, City of Tyler
Becoming a smarter smart city
IBM FlashSystem 7200 was a game changer for us. The ability to deliver modern, efficient applications and deploy virtual desktops allowed us to quickly transition to a work-from-home system that worked for everyone.
Jeremy English
IT Infrastructure Manager, City of Tyler

When faced with the pandemic-driven demand for more remote data access, the City of Tyler decided to expand on an already successful VMware-enabled virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) operation. The city contacted Mark III Systems — an IT transformation solutions provider and IBM Business Partner — to help it upgrade its infrastructure and find technology solutions that deliver the highest levels of protection, privacy and security.

Mark III Systems helped the city integrate IBM FlashSystem® 7200 technology into its IT stack. The IBM FlashSystem 7200 brings high-end capabilities to organizations in need of enterprise mid-range storage. Once this solution was deployed, the city was able to use the storage virtualization capabilities of IBM Spectrum® Virtualize software within IBM FlashSystem 7200 to extend data services to its existing storage, improving the performance and efficiency of these systems.

“IBM Storage technologies give us the ability to capitalize on our current infrastructure,” says Benny Yazdanpanahi, Chief Information Officer for the City of Tyler. “IBM Spectrum Virtualize optimizes and refreshes our existing flash storage so we can modernize while keeping infrastructure costs low.”

“IBM FlashSystem 7200 was a game changer for us,” adds Jeremy English, IT Infrastructure Manager for the city. “The ability to deliver modern, efficient applications and deploy virtual desktops allowed us to quickly transition to a work-from-home system that worked for everyone.”

This storage system serves as the back end for the City of Tyler’s VDI operation. The platform provides access to flash modules and enhanced processors that reduce latency and improve performance for the virtual systems.

The city’s IT team relies on the automated monitoring and predictive analytics of IBM® Storage Insights, a storage-management feature of IBM flash storage solutions, to ensure that problems are resolved quickly while availability and performance remain at the highest level. The upgraded virtual desktops that these solutions support enable city employees — from law enforcement to IT staff — to quickly access the information they need to serve the community, whether they are in an office, a patrol car, or at home.

Answering the call to S.E.R.V.E. with IBM technology

The City of Tyler relied on IBM Storage technology to cost-effectively support the virtual systems, workloads and applications that are crucial to its workforce, which strives to embody the city’s motto, “Called to S.E.R.V.E.” – an acronym for Streamline, Empower, Respond, Venture and Evaluate.

These virtual systems allow users to log in faster than they could with physical desktops, with average login times of about 20 seconds — three times faster than the industry standard. This speed enables the City of Tyler to achieve higher levels of efficiency and empowers its employees with information that’s readily available, anytime and anywhere.

IBM FlashSystem 7200, built on IBM Spectrum Virtualize software, and IBM Storage Insights have dramatically improved the city’s data access and provided its employees and citizens with greater transparency, better public services and a stronger community.

“We all come together to be a smart city. The council invests in new technologies that empower our employees and the amazing work they do, and in turn, we’re able to create services that make the City of Tyler a better home for our citizens,” concludes Yazdanpanahi.

the City of Tyler logo
About the City of Tyler

The City of TylerExternal Link, in Texas, is the county seat of Smith County. The city government offers public safety, transportation, parks and recreation, and sanitation services for the community. The city’s motto, “Called to S.E.R.V.E.,” is an acronym for Streamline, Empower, Respond, Venture and Evaluate — the goals established under the Tyler Blueprint.

About Mark III Systems

Mark III SystemsExternal Link, an IBM Business Partner for 25 years, is a multi-disciplinary, “full stack” solutions provider with enterprise, public sector and service provider clients of all sizes. Its unique enterprise full stack capabilities comprise of a team of data scientists, developers, DevOps/Automation engineers, and systems architects and engineers, all working to help clients innovate and power forward with digital and IT transformation.

Solution components
the City of Tyler logo
About the City of Tyler

The City of TylerExternal Link, in Texas, is the county seat of Smith County. The city government offers public safety, transportation, parks and recreation, and sanitation services for the community. The city’s motto, “Called to S.E.R.V.E.,” is an acronym for Streamline, Empower, Respond, Venture and Evaluate — the goals established under the Tyler Blueprint.

About Mark III Systems

Mark III SystemsExternal Link, an IBM Business Partner for 25 years, is a multi-disciplinary, “full stack” solutions provider with enterprise, public sector and service provider clients of all sizes. Its unique enterprise full stack capabilities comprise of a team of data scientists, developers, DevOps/Automation engineers, and systems architects and engineers, all working to help clients innovate and power forward with digital and IT transformation.

Solution components