IT Services Company
Stats: 2,200 full-time employees
Location: Toronto, Ontario
A technology company that specializes in helping law firms manage massive volumes of data implements a converged infrastructure, positioning the company for cloud service delivery.
The IT company provides document management services to law firms, processing paper documents into digitized data that is more quickly accessible and searchable. The legal documents, which range from hand-written notes to PDFs, are scanned, processed and converted into digital data. The data is transferred to CD or hosted in the cloud for the requisite period mandated by the client.
Improving the reliability and scalability of the current environment
The data infrastructure was an aging assortment of servers with no centralized storage environment. “The existing infrastructure had reached its limits,” said the IT Manager. “As a result of the old fragmented design, things were taking too long to process and we were unable to expand. With local storage, if a server or hardware fails you lose all of that data.”
“CDW is our No. 1 solution provider – they are certified in and support all the technology and software we put in, so that’s a match made in heaven.”
• Replace aging and fragmented local storage with a centralized storage environment
• Address performance issues and improve processing time
• Support client’s continued expansion
The team was experiencing occasional breaks in operations as a result of the aging infrastructure. These periodic shutdowns were unacceptable for the 24/7 operation – they were getting to the point of maximum capacity and needed to do something quickly.
To complicate the situation, the infrastructure was a combination of older products – some at the end of life and some on lease with the cost of maintenance getting higher toward the end of the lease. “Costs were much higher, yet they didn’t have all of the benefits of a new solution, such as scalability and performance,” says Pat Misasi, Account Manager, CDW.
The client reached out to CDW to upgrade its technologies. “We have worked with CDW for five years to manage our core technologies,” said the IT manager. “CDW is our No. 1 solution provider – they are certified in and support all the technology and software we put in, so that’s a match made in heaven.”
“CDW is a highly skilled group, they take a lot of time and pride in their technical abilities and are very responsive… They get to the point quickly and it’s done right and there’s a beauty and elegance to that.”
A converged infrastructure offers speed and scalability
CDW implemented a converged infrastructure to build upon the client’s existing technology skill sets, which included VMware, Cisco UCS and NetApp storage. The benefits have been immediate. “It’s noticeably faster and more efficient than what was in place previously,” says Misasi. “The day-to-day operations are more streamlined with processes responding more quickly in everything they do.”
• NetApp 8020 Cluster
• Cisco UCS servers
• VMware vSphere
The NetApp storage provides a secure environment with improved redundancy and reliability. It also helps the client’s team meet their customer compliancy requirements. In addition to speedier processing and storage management improvements, the new infrastructure is scalable: if the client gets a new contract requiring more capacity, it can be scaled up very easily.
Replacing the infrastructure made sense financially. “We compared the existing infrastructure and what we were paying for that with what it would take to expand the infrastructure to meet the new requirements,” says the IT Manager. “The costs were pretty much equivalent. Plus we get all the non-financial benefits: the new solution is highly scalable and vastly improved in terms of performance.”
Future opportunities for business growth
The new infrastructure creates opportunities for business growth. “I think this client will be spending a lot less time putting Band-Aids on a broken infrastructure,” says Misasi. “They will be able to deploy more customers, more work and more revenue with less time spent on keeping things up and running.”
The firm is well positioned for its continued growth in cloud services. “We’re all feeling it and the direction and drive is: how do we continue to innovate, and at the same time run as efficiently as possible, so we can supply to all the business requirements as fast as possible, and get it done safely and securely? The new infrastructure is one of the foundation pieces we have in place and will allow future activities to happen,” said the Director of IT.
The new infrastructure represents another successful CDW integration. “CDW is a highly skilled group,” the Director continued. “They take a lot of time and pride in their technical abilities and are very responsive. Things get done fast, they get to the point quickly and it’s done right, and there’s a beauty and elegance to that.”
• Modernized infrastructure at the equivalent cost of maintaining the old environment
• Improved scalability and ability to deploy cloud-based solutions
• Built-in redundancy and improved security