Eversheds Rests its Case, Proving DH2i Delivers Ideal Solution for Managing Microsoft SQL Server Environment

DH2i Software Enables Leading Law Firm to Increase Management Efficiency and Lower Costs, As Well As Ensure High Availability (HA), Data Protection and Disaster Recovery (DR)

middle

 

Overview

Eversheds is one of the largest law firms in the world. Over 4,000 people work as one team around the world, sharing a distinctive culture, which has deep client relationships at its core. Whether providing advice that is complex or straightforward, multi-national or local, it is uncompromising in its dedication to delivering only the best.

 

Challenge

Recognized as leading innovators in the legal sector and one of the most progressive law firms in the world, Eversheds continues to provide new and unique legal and business solutions to meet the needs of its own people and clients. The firm recognized long ago that an advanced IT backbone would be crucial to maintaining its leadership position. It therefore regards its IT infrastructure and the professionals responsible for its management as a highly strategic investment.

Eversheds maintains two primary data centers in the United Kingdom (UK) supporting nearly all work conducted by the firm’s global offices. Applications hosted within the two data centers include:

  • Standard finance, accounting and time-recording/billing
  • Email
  • Document management
  • Case management systems
  • Custom internally-developed legal services solutions

The two data centers are also responsible for ensuring data protection, high availability (HA) and disaster recovery (DR).

In 2012, Programme Manager Tim Connop identified the need for a significant technology review. Its purpose was twofold: to maintain and enhance the high level of service his team provided to internal employees and external clients, and to comply with internal governance and external regulatory requirements. During the review, Connop realized that Eversheds required a new solution to help it more efficiently and cost effectively manage its Microsoft SQL Server environment. This is one of Eversheds’ most business critical environments as it hosts over 40 million documents and associated metadata.

 

Solution

Eversheds turned to trusted advisor, Computacenter, one of Europe’s leading independent providers of IT infrastructure services. Computacenter recommended a relative newcomer to the market, DH2i. After initial discussions with DH2i, the next step was to conduct an exhaustive proof of concept (POC), which in this case included DH2i piloting four very large key databases.

“The POC progressed exactly as planned. Failover to, and restarting in, both data centers functioned perfectly, as well as restarting across various nodes. We also got the application servers successfully communicating directly with the databases,” explained Connop.

“Moreover, since our DBAs were already familiar with PolyServe, the move to DH2i would be seamless; avoiding the training and transition issues we would have with other alternative technology. We felt that without a platform like DH2i’s software, regular maintenance would be more time consuming and risky; also failover would incur more downtime.”

Connop added, “The fact that DH2i offers such a robust roadmap with support for applications such as shared files, Citrix, and Microsoft SharePoint was also a big plus. We look forward to learning more about these solutions and how they can help us to improve the availability and performance of our other business critical apps, as well as lower associated costs, as DH2i makes them available.”

Connop concluded, “DH2i is delivering as promised in regards to pricing, performance and ease-of-management. Moreover, it enables us to overcome the issues we had with our previous solution where we were having to consistently develop workarounds – such as severe limitations in regards to disaster recovery, LUN management, non-existent support for Microsoft SQL Server 2012, etc., all of which DH2i provides. We are really quite impressed across the board with DH2i.”

By moving to DH2i from PolyServe, Eversheds was able to reduce its physical hosts by over 50%. At the same time, Eversheds consolidated its SQL instances down by another 25%. (Eversheds had previously been through a consolidation exercise with PolyServe during which it consolidated its SQL instances from over 150 to 80.) 99.9% uptime is now maintained on all instances.