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Law Firm Ditches NAS, Saves Cash

Sometimes, more means less: Law firm Bowman and Brooke has shaved more than $300,000 off its IT costs over the last couple of years, despite experiencing an eight-fold increase in data.

Randall Vogsland, infrastructure supervisor at the Minneapolis-based firm, told Byte and Switch that back in 2004, with just over 2 Tbytes of data, the firm was almost at its storage limit. At that time, the company's storage comprised the internal disk drives within 46 Compaq DL360 servers and a half dozen Quantum NAS devices. The servers and NAS devices, he adds, were spread across six separate sites.

Vogsland's group decided to ease the strain on its servers by deploying a Magnitude storage system from Xiotech at each of the six sites in early 2004. That turned out to be just in time for a data explosion prompted by clients' compliance pressures and increasing use of multimedia by the firm's lawyers.

"Now we're closer to about 16 Tbytes and we have the [potential] for a lot more than that," explains Vogsland, adding that the six SAN boxes offer a total of 25 Tbytes.

Vogsland also saved money by moving away from internal server storage -- and away from NAS. "I don't need to buy disks, I don't need to buy [disk] upgrades, and I don't need to buy RAID controllers," he explains, adding that this has probably saved over $125,000 since 2004. "Then you can lob in around another $200,000 just for the labor cost saving."

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