REVIEWER: John Greiner, CTO, Legal Services for New York.
BACKGROUND: Legal Services for New York (LSNY) is the largest provider of free civil legal services to low-income residents in the U.S. Each year, LSNY's programs serve more than 25,000 low-income clients throughout New York City in the full range of their civil legal needs. LSNY has kept more than 10,000 families in their homes and has produced tangible, monetary benefits for more than 70,000 people, while saving New York taxpayers more than $70 million. LSNY's programs and offices are located in transportation hubs and low-income communities, and serve people based upon their ZIP code. Several programs and projects are available citywide, such as Legal Services for the Elderly, the LSNY Legal Support Unit and South Brooklyn Legal Services' Foreclosure Project.
HARDWARE PLATFORMS: Microsoft SQL and Exchange Servers.
PROBLEM SOLVED: The 16 LSNY offices were functioning as separate firms and needed to centralize IT administration, consolidate systems and collaborate to work better. LSNY also needed to make sure data being produced was protected across all offices, in the most effective way possible. Additionally, any lost time and lost data would equal lost money. Lost productivity could cost an average of $60 per hour for each of LSNY's 400 employees. Because each office was relatively autonomous, with an average of 25 users per site, even a single server going down could impact LSNY by $18,000 per outage. Double-Take by Double-Take Software provided the continuous data protection and failover capabilities that were needed in order to keep the company running in the event of any disaster or system failure.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: The implementation team established a primary data center in lower Manhattan where they consolidated the Microsoft SQL Server, Exchange Servers and case management database and installed Double-Take. We were then able to create a disaster recovery center in Harlem so that all offices could securely and reliably access critical applications from a central location. From the redundant data center, we have reaped added benefits. We are better able to analyze and use critical client and staff records.
STRENGTHS: Double-Take is hardware and application agnostic, can integrate into any business environment and allows users to transmit select files or entire volumes from one or more source servers to one or more target servers in a local or remote location. This allows LSNY to function as a collective whole rather than as disjointed offices. With common applications and centralized data, we can manage and evaluate data coming in from all offices.
WEAKNESSES: Because we chose to implement Double-Take on multiple servers, we assumed deployment time would be lengthy. However, with the help and knowledge-sharing of IT Resolutions, a Double-Take Software partner, the implementation was not as time-consuming as expected.
SELECTION CRITERIA: LSNY turned to Double-Take because of the affordability and flexibility of the product. At a reasonable price per license, this technology ensured application availability and real-time replication over a standard network connection, enabling businesses to recover quickly and easily after a disaster or a system outage.
DELIVERABLES: Double-Take gives us constant access to the critical files and information we need in order to stay up and running. It allows us to remain disaster tolerant which, in turn, means quality legal services are provided to our customers - fulfilling our ultimate goal.
VENDOR SUPPORT: With the help of IT Resolutions, Double-Take was up and running in only eight days. Having the support of IT Resolutions was a big help to us. We were able to implement both technologies relatively quickly, with great ease.
DOCUMENTATION: The documentation is very complete and easy to understand. We could certainly run the product if left to rely on the documentation provided by Double-Take Software.
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