Law firms invest in flash storage

Henry Davis York and M+K Lawyers talk about their storage upgrades

Law firms M+K Lawyers and Henry Davis York have implemented flash arrays to reduce backup times and improve data access.

The two firms rolled out Pure Storage FlashArray last year.

M+K Lawyers IT support services manager Debbie Kealy said that staff were struggling with performance issues and response times when daily backups were taking place.

“Our backups were taking up to 12 hours and running into work hours,” she said.

After the implementation, these were reduced to four hours. Our practice management system nightly backup was taking one and a half hours. After moving to flash, it took eight minutes.

“We found with flash that there was an instant performance hit. We installed it during December 2014 and the feedback [from staff] has been excellent.”

Kealy said that M+K Lawyers runs a centralised Citrix environment and users expect fast performance.

“Upon implementing Pure Storage, our end users reported significant improvements and this was reflected in a large reduction of help desk tickets to do with slow systems.”

The improvements have meant that its lawyers can provide services to clients while freeing up Kealy’s team to look at other technology projects.

For example it is now looking at cloud computing services such as software-as-a-service and disaster-recovery-as-a-service.

“There is a SaaS document management system we are looking at. We also want to spread the risk and not have all our eggs in one basket.”

Henry Davis York (HDY) business technology solutions manager Alex Clonaris said there were lowered maintenance costs and a performance improvement following its storage rollout in August.

Prior to the implementation, HDY was using spinning disk.

“The increase in performance has provided us with a platform to house future business applications that are resource intensive, such as business analytics,” he said.

“It’s also allowed us to store data more intelligently thanks to de-duplication and compression.”

According to Clonaris, performing tasks such as setting up an infrastructure request to stand up a new virtual server from a template took over 10 minutes. The same task now takes about one minute.

“Slow storage means everything takes longer, from generating reports to finding information – and time is valuable in our business,” he said.

“Choosing the right storage solution removes the bottleneck from the equation, so finding the ideal match was extremely important.”

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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