Law Firm Solves Exchange Server Issues With GOexchange

The automated monthly maintenance program from Lucid8 spots and repairs the errors inherent in large e-mail server databases.

August 2, 2005

4 Min Read
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As one of the largest law firms in Texas, Jackson Walker offers expertise in many areas of the law and supports a regional base of over 300 attorneys supporting the firm's corporate clients. Those include Fortune 500 companies, multi-national corporations and major financial institutions with high profile cases in significant industries.

So, it is essential that the company have a strong system of communication, and the firm relies on e-mail as the vital component that maintains a smooth flow of business communications both internally and externally for communication with clients. Jackson Walker uses Microsoft Exchange Server with a network that supports over 620 e-mail boxes, and four storage groups with 19 databases. Exchange is a fundamental conduit for internal and external communications, and the reliability and performance of Exchange services has a measurable impact on the organization’s performance and bottom line.

Business Problem

Unfortunately, each year more and more Exchange users face the devastating consequences of server disasters caused by overloaded and under-maintained systems Like all complex database systems, Exchange Server slowly degrades and inevitably fails over time unless it is properly maintained, and Jackson Walker’s Exchange server had grown less and less stable over a period of time.

In a few instances, the information stores would randomly go offline and on one occasion, where the system completely shut down, it took an entire day to restore server functionality. In addition, Jackson Walker had been using Veritas’ KVS product for archiving, but while KVS had extracted over 200 gigabytes of data from the Exchange Server, the databases themselves were not getting any smaller, and the number of errors and warnings were growing along with the time it took to backup and restore.The firm knew that there was a database integrity issue despite the archiving tools in place, but because of the number of databases, the task of running of Exchange database to manually maintain the server was daunting and costly in terms of time, administrative manpower and the resulting financial costs. The time it would take to conduct manual maintenance could mean the loss of crucial business hours not only for the administrators doing the work, but also for Jackson Walker’s team of lawyers and clients who relied on the e-mail system to conduct business.

Without maintenance however, the company risked the threat of unplanned downtime because of Exchange Server disasters, along with the loss of crucial business information related to highly sensitive legal cases.

Business Solution

To solve these problems simply and effectively, Jackson Walker implemented Lucid8’s GOexchange. This automated preventative maintenance tool for Exchange Server now runs monthly maintenance on each of the 19 databases. The GOexchange solution addresses all of the issues related to effectively managing and maintaining the server environment.

Specifically, GOexchange enabled Jackson Walker to minimize unplanned downtime and prevent disasters caused by unstable and inefficient databases; check and correct errors; and accelerate performance by re-indexing and defragmenting databases to permanently remove deleted items and white space. The end result is increased performance and stability with a compact efficient database that's 30-55 percent smaller. When used with an archiving tool, GOexchange can reduce storage requirements by up to 90 percent.To maximize effectiveness of GOexchange, Jackson Walker uses the built in scheduling and job management of GOExchange to automate the complete maintenance requirements of an Exchange storage group. Once per month, in the middle of the night, one of the 19 storage groups is taken offline, backed up, GOExchange server maintenance is run, and then the storage group is brought back online. The following night the process is repeated on the next storage group so that each storage group is properly maintained on a monthly basis with minimal downtime for the attorneys and staff. The entire process is automated, seamless, logged and error free.

Business Results

Prior to using GOexchange, our Exchange Server had grown less and less stable. We installed GOexchange because we knew we had issues in the database. What amazed us was the number of errors and warnings that existed in the database, far more than we would have suspected. GOexchange solved every problem and our Exchange system has run flawlessly ever since. Add to that, Lucid8has reduced Jackson Walker's e-mail storage requirements by 40 percent. Today, GOexchange runs as a completely automated function that keeps Jackson Walker’s 19 databases well tuned and properly maintained to ensure data integrity and to prevent small problems from becoming big problems. Call us happy customer

Steve McHargue is chief information officer at Jackson Walker.

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