California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Avoids Nearly US$2 Million in Technology Expenses, Boosts System Performance with Engineered System
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California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Avoids Nearly US$2 Million in Technology Expenses, Boosts System Performance with Engineered System

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) works to improve public safety through evidence-based crime prevention and recidivism reduction strategies and programs. It is one of the largest organizations in the country for offender management—operating 33 adult institutions and 3 juvenile facilities, in which it also provides general education, mental health, vocational education, and substance abuse programs and services for approximately 132,500 inmates. In addition, CDCR supervises approximately 55,000 parolees.

Like many public sector organizations, CDCR has faced budget constraints in recent years and continually looks for opportunities to optimize use of available resources in its IT department and elsewhere. In 2012, the IT department migrated several databases that support business-critical applications, including its parolee management system, to Oracle Exadata Database Machine. With the move, CDCR significantly improved the availability and performance of applications that must be available around the clock. As a result, it avoided US$400,000 in annual support costs, due to license and server consolidation. CDCR also avoided the need to purchase an additional US$1.5 million in technology licenses to support a separate initiative.

Building a New Foundation

A word from California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

  • 'Oracle Exadata presented an ideal solution for our critical inmate, juvenile, and parolee data and management systems. We achieved significant performance gains—including the ability to run reports up to 70% faster—and ensured system redundancy. We also consolidated servers, reduced the number of Oracle licenses needed for legacy applications, and transferred those licenses to another initiative, reducing costs as well as avoiding the need to purchase an additional US$1.5 million in technology licenses.” – Joe Panora, Director, Enterprise Information Services, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation

In 2012, as CDCR planned to migrate some of its applications from its own computer room to a centralized data center as part of a statewide consolidation initiative, it reevaluated its enterprise application environment, including its database and hardware requirements.

Hardware upgrades were imperative as many of the department’s servers supporting key applications were at their end of life. In addition, the department also faced the prospect of increased maintenance costs.

After careful consideration, CDCR migrated databases that support seven of its business-critical applications, including systems that track information on inmate populations and parolees and share information with local law enforcement, to Oracle Exadata Database Machine, an engineered solution that provides optimized servers, storage, and database software in a single system. The databases migrated included those systems supporting lifer scheduling and tracking (LSTS); revocation scheduling and tracking; juvenile scheduling and tracking; disability and effective communication; field information; and the law enforcement automated data system (LEADS), which shares information on parolees with local law enforcement personnel and must support more than 60,000 users. Most recently, CDCR migrated its CalParole parolee management system, one of its largest and most critical applications, to Oracle Exadata.

With Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-2 Quarter Rack, CDCR has consolidated five databases and 12 servers onto a single machine, each with its own instance. As a result, CDCR avoided US$400,000 in annual license support costs. As important, since CDCR requires fewer Oracle database licenses with Oracle Exadata, it was able to transfer those legacy licenses that are no longer required to its business information system program (an enterprise resource planning solution), which is migrating to Oracle Database. In doing so, CDCR avoided the need to purchase US$1.5 million of additional technology licenses. The department expects to achieve full return on its investment in two years.

A Win-Win Solution

Streamlined Maintenance




  • Ensure high availability of important inmate and parolee data and performance of data management systems to protect public safety and ensure due process
  • Optimize IT budgets, staff resources, and assets, including software licenses
  • Ensure database scalability to support tens of thousands of system users across the state


  • Deployed Oracle Exadata Database Machine and created a highly reliable, scalable, and cost-effective data infrastructure to support many of the department’s most critical applications, including the state’s parolee management system and an application that shares information on parolees with law enforcement organizations across the state
  • Accelerated report creation, running most reports 100% faster than with the legacy environment
  • Avoided US$400,000 in annual support costs, thanks to license and server consolidation, and avoided US$1.5 million for additional technology to support a separate initiative
  • Provided a modern infrastructure that supports the state’s data center consolidation initiatives

Why Oracle

“Oracle Exadata provided a superior value proposition. It delivered the scalability and performance we require to support our inmate and parolee management and information systems, and provides powerful pre-built systems management and troubleshooting capabilities. We also have a single source for hardware, software, and storage, and a single point of accountability with Oracle—driving faster issue resolution,” Ghods said.

Implementation Process

Oracle helped the department to deploy Oracle Exadata in just three days and provided training and knowledge transfer. CDCR worked with Oracle Advanced Customer Support Services throughout the Oracle Exadata planning and implementation process. CDCR created new databases on the Oracle Exadata Database Machine and migrated the data from the Oracle Database 10g to Oracle Database 11g, using the Oracle Data Pump utility.

CDCR began its initiative in August 2012 and migrated its first application to Oracle Exadata in October 2012. It transferred its largest application, CalParole, in February 2013.

“We were able to partner with Oracle and create a real win-win scenario by leveraging our existing Oracle investment to achieve modernization while reducing our total cost of IT ownership, improving performance, sustainability, and realizing IT Green benefits,” said Joe Panora, director, enterprise information services, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.