XOsoft, a provider of continuous application availability solutions, has provided its business continuity solution, WANSyncHA, to Jones Walker, the largest law firm in Louisiana with offices in Baton Rouge, Lafayette and New Orleans. With WANSyncHA, Jones Walker completed a successful failback during Hurricane Katrina and Rita to its high-availability servers and remote replica site, providing attorneys, staff and clients continuous communication and allowing attorneys the ability to retrieve vital documents quickly.

As one of the South's largest and most diverse firms, Jones Walker must provide immediate client assistance, ensure its data is highly available, and guarantee that clients have access to attorneys and legal staff at all times. With last year's hurricane season aggressively attacking the Southeast U.S., Jones Walker emphasized the need for solutions that would cut the amount of downtime and provide continuous, uninterrupted access to business applications and information resources. The potential revenue loss that could be associated with a potential outage is tremendous, making the importance of uptime equal to its bottom-line.

With its primary set of servers located at its New Orleans office, Ken Orgeron, CIO at Jones Walker had to make preparations to ensure the Firm's data and critical applications could be completely recoverable. Prior to Hurricane Katrina, Orgeron instructed his team to conduct a test failover to their high-availability servers. With a different solution, The failover was problematic and took nearly eight hours, proving to be a long and laborious process at a very stressful time.

"A law firm doesn't make gadgets or anything tangible; our product is the legal advice of our attorneys, the written word, and the accessibility of our legal teams is critical -- especially during a hurricane or natural disaster," said Orgeron. "We felt we had to replace NSI's software, not because it didn't work, but just because it was too time consuming. With documentation that was several hundred pages long, eight hours of actual failover time -- during a real-world hurricane situation -- is alarming."

To provide a higher level of service for its sophisticated clientele, Orgeron replaced their solution with XOsoft's WANSyncHA to protect its corporate exchange servers. WANSyncHA delivered seamless service availability through application-aware, automatic failover capabilities and maintained identical replicas of its Exchange servers through continuous real-time replication. With the approach of Hurricane Rita, Jones Walker used WANSyncHA to replicate four Microsoft Exchange servers to their hot site at the LexisNexis data center in Miamisburg, Ohio. When the firm returned to New Orleans using WANSyncHA, the recovery to the production exchange servers took minutes in contrast to the eight hours it took to failover, enabling immediate, uninterrupted post-Katrina communications.

Orgeron emphasized the importance of its Exchange servers by further explaining, "Following Katrina and Rita, many of our clients were e-mailing our attorneys looking for legal assistance and disaster recovery advice and were able to reach them immediately, which was key to maintaining confidence in our law firm and the ability to handle their matters in an emergency.

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