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Law Firm Builds Blade-Server Data Center

Dickinson Wright, a Detroit law firm, revealed Tuesday that it's building a blade-server data center in suburban Bloomfield Hills, Mich., utilizing EqualLogic Inc.'s PS200E IP-based storage arrays. The data center, scheduled for completion this summer, will have five PS200E arrays providing tier-one application storage for 140 servers companywide, including more than 50 IBM BladeCenter servers.

The move to blade computing will allow Dickinson Wright to consolidate servers. "We have 50 blade servers now, and we will continue to migrate and consolidate servers and have about 90 blades by the end of the year," says Alan Hunt, manager of operations at Dickinson Wright.

The Bloomfield Hills data center will house enterprisewide apps such as E-mail, document management, and accounting, and will also serve as the company's primary backup and disaster-recovery site.

The blade servers will allow Dickinson Wright to more easily deploy systems at its four smaller offices, each of which will "consolidate down to a single rack containing a BladeCenter server blade and a PS200E array," Hunt says.

"We don't have support staff in any of our remote locations, so if we wanted to deploy a server, we had to travel there to install it," he says. "With blades, a secretary or receptionist plugs it in and we're up and going." The Bloomfield Hills and Detroit locations will consolidate to about five racks each, he says.

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