REVIEWER: Chalkley Matlack, senior network administrator, doeLegal LLC.
BACKGROUND: doeLegal LLC provides legal industry document and application services in 14 countries around the world, hosting sensitive legal data and technology resources for more than one-third of the Am Law 100 firms. The leading-edge legal technologies that the Wilmington, Delaware, company follows include collaborative document sharing, hosting of complex litigations, practice management programs, electronic billing and budgeting analysis, and legal technology consulting.
PLATFORMS: We operate an all-NAS environment using CIFS to share nearly 1 billion customer files at both our onsite and offsite offices across a WAN. User workstations and application servers include both Windows and Linux operating systems. Clients access their data and applications 24x7 over the WAN directly from their desktops.
PROBLEM SOLVED: Because of our expanding client roster and always-increasing volume of data files being hosted and served, we were approaching the maximum capacity of our EMC Celerra NAS system. Among the challenges we faced was finding an expandable NAS storage solution that could scale beyond the 16TB capacity of the EMC Celerra NAS system while handling high-availability failover and providing remote site disaster recovery. We found the solution in RELDATAs 9240 Unified Storage Gateway appliance combined with Infortrend RAID5 arrays.
PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: We deployed two RELDATA 9240 Unified Storage Gateways and an Infortrend RAID5 array with an initial 4TB of capacity at our headquarters. The redundant gateways access the 12TB EMC system via file-level replication. The critical database and indices reside on the Infortrend RAID5 array. The actual document image data also resides on the EMC system. At the remote disaster recovery site is another RELDATA 9240 and an Infortrend RAID5 array with 16TB of storage. The remote solution replicates files from the EMC Celerra NAS system via file-level replication and volumes or whole file systems of the primary site RELDATA and Infortrend solution via incremental block-level data replication every 15 minutes to ensure high availability.
STRENGTHS: With the RELDATA solution, we gain highly expandable and flexible NAS, SAN and WAN disaster recovery services at one-third the cost of the EMC Centera solution. With RELDATA, we can do block-level storage virtualization, high-availability failover, petabyte-scalable NAS capacity provisioning and global WAN replication and disaster recovery. Another high point with RELDATA is that the configuration and deployment is simple and fast.
WEAKNESSES: If there is any weakness to the solution, it is that it had to be comprised of products from different vendors. One of the reasons we originally went with the Centera NAS system was that all of the components were from EMC, which we found helpful because any problems could be solved through one vendor - the proverbial single neck to choke. Compatibility between vendors can be a concern, so we were guardedly optimistic that the RELDATA and Infortrend solution would work as promised. This has not been as much of a problem as we had feared because RELDATA makes every effort to certify its gateway with various storage vendors.
SELECTION CRITERIA: We ended up using JD Wilson at Cellenetics as an independent test lab to assist with the selection. By adopting a Unified Storage Gateway solution from RELDATA, we can confidently and securely deliver our mission-critical information to clients with the ultimate flexibility, performance and cost savings available today.
VENDOR SUPPORT: Support from one of RELDATAs certified solutions partners for the entire unified system has been top-notch. Response to technical support issues is quick and is available via phone or email. System updates, like firmware upgrades, are handled efficiently as well. RELDATA offers intensive on-site training courses led by experienced instructors who provide the skills and knowledge to properly implement, configure and maintain the RELDATA Unified Storage Gateway.
DOCUMENTATION: Documentation provides all the basic information needed to keep the system working optimally. Concise information focusing on real-world scenarios provided our IT department with the skills needed to configure and deploy the RELDATA solution.
RELDATA 9240 Unified Storage Gateway
1719 Route 10, Suite 209
Parsippany, NJ 07054
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