Forensic IT

VfusionOS a forensic IT platform for ACM

The Forensic IT (FIT) department at the Authority of Consumers and Markets (ACM) in the Netherlands is responsible for conducting forensic investigations, enforcing trade laws, and conducting merger reviews. This work generates large datasets that require high-volume, high-velocity, and high-variety data analysis to be performed with precision.
Previously, FIT used four servers running E-Discovery applications, with three servers dedicated to running NUIX, a resource-intensive application for data processing. In order to handle multiple cases simultaneously, these three servers were in constant use, indexing large datasets (often in the terabytes) and analyzing them to produce smaller, more relevant datasets for investigators to use.

Additionally, all datasets were now organized and easily accessible. Not only did the high-density 2U Fusion Vortex system replace two racks of equipment between servers and disk cabinets, it also provided a surplus in performance.The fourth server was used for the front-end and ran Intella, allowing engineers to offer research datasets to investigators. These datasets also needed to be indexed, but because they were smaller in size, it was sufficient to index and offer them via a web portal on this server. Each server had two DAS disk cabinets to provide sufficient storage for data processing, as well as some SSDs for temporary processing storage. The complexity of this setup made it difficult to track which server held which data, and required multiple licenses for each server to run the necessary applications. Any updates or changes also had to be made on all four servers. After migrating to the Vortex Express Fabric, all four servers were decommissioned and the FIT team noticed that indexing operations were at least twice as fast as before. Operations that used to take days now only took hours.
This replacement had additional benefits, including fewer licenses, lower energy consumption, fewer service contracts, and less networking equipment, resulting in significant cost savings and better environmental compliance. The FIT engineers also used to have their own workstations and an active directory to offer research datasets to teams. Now that Intella Connect (the web portal) is offered via the Citrix workplace, the engineers were able to decommission the domain controller and all associated services, such as DNS and DHCP. The Vortex Express Fabric allowed FIT to build a next-generation, ultra-modern, high-performance platform while reducing costs and complexity. The NVMe storage provided by VFusionOS ensured data protection and integrity, and the PCIe Fabric technology enabled rapid insights for outliers in standard deviations, something previously considered impossible. Overall, the switch to VFusion’s technology has greatly improved the efficiency and effectiveness of the FIT department at ACM.