IDR Cloud Migration Will Simplify Infrastructure Upgrades
Cloud migrations don’t come much bigger – or filled with more potential – than the one involving the Integrated Data Repository (IDR).
The IDR is one of the federal government’s largest data repositories. It is used by several agencies including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Department of Justice (DOJ), and Office of the Inspector General (OIG). Housed at CMS, it contains all Medicare and Medicaid data, including information on claims, beneficiaries, and providers.
The IDR is a high-volume data warehouse that provides integrated views of data across Medicare Parts A, B, C, and D, Beneficiary Entitlement, Enrollment and Utilization data, provider reference information, drug data, contracts for plans, and Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The benefits of migrating the IDR to the cloud are commensurate with the repository’s size, scope, and importance to CMS’s operations.
To modernize the Teradata-based IDR system, the IDR cloud system is being built by leveraging the CMS AWS cloud environment and the Snowflake Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform. Snowflake is cloud-native, self-maintaining and FedRAMP-authorized.
The key tenets of the IDR Cloud data warehouse architecture include:
- No physical hardware restrictions
- Elastic scalability and separation of storage and compute
- Workload isolation for customers
Implementing these tenets will help avert any system resource contentions, enhance system throughput and user experience, and use modern methods to securely share data with the customers.
Now in its third year, the migration achieved a significant Phase 1 implementation milestones in 2022 with the migration of about 600 terabytes of historical data, the redesign of major data engineering processes to keep the data current and in synch between the IDR on-premises and cloud environments, and implementation of the IDR Cloud virtual data marts (VDMs) and associated data security.
As a result of these changes, users can now go to either the cloud-based or on-premises environments to run queries and get the same results. Phase 2 of the migration started in June 2022 to onboard downstream interfacing systems, applications, project teams, and users. As planned, when Phase 2 is complete in November 2023, the IDR will be fully operational in the cloud, and the on-premises IDR system will be decommissioned by the end of 2023.
“The key expediency here is not having to do all these things that we would normally do, or contract a vendor to do, for infrastructure upgrades,” says Murari Selvakesavan, Director of OIT’s Division of Enterprise Information Management Services in the Enterprise Architecture and Data Group. “With the IDR Cloud system, from an infrastructure standpoint we are pretty much renting the house. If the window is broken, or the door is broken, or the key isn’t working, the landlord is going to fix that for you. We’re just paying the rent to be there.”
To learn more about the IDR migration and what it means for CMS going forward, check out our Q&A with Murari Selvakesavan.