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Case Study

Howard Kennedy

Proact transforms IT architecture to support growth initiatives.

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As a growing business, Howard Kennedy required a partner who could help deliver huge digital transformation projects. Based in London, the law firm provides a variety of legal services, from financial services to real estate, and works with entrepreneurial businesses, funders and individuals. Having completed two mergers since 2013, and with a 2020 vision of growing to £100million organisation, Howard Kennedy was looking to future-proof its IT systems to ensure the underlying infrastructure had the capacity and performance capabilities to support organic growth and further acquisitions.

Challenge

Howard Kennedy sought a service provider with solid experience in the legal sector and who also had advanced technical skills. The firm’s main aim was to replace its ageing storage systems, in both its primary and secondary data centres, with next generation, fully redundant and highly performant technology. The organisation’s existing NetApp storage arrays were coming to the end of their support cycle but due to rising support costs, it was impractical to extend this support any further.

Additionally, a new environment was required to replace existing Cisco UCS compute as this was also coming to the end of its support life. Howard Kennedy wanted a solution that could offer additional capacity and memory to support the firm’s significant growth plans.

With significant legal sector experience and having worked with three of the top five law firms in the UK, Proact was selected to deliver this transformation. Supported by 20+ years’ of successfully completing IT infrastructure projects, Proact could offer Howard Kennedy the lowest risk methodology underpinned by a predictable monthly cost model.

It’s a pleasure to work with Proact. These projects have significantly improved our IT capacity and performance, ensuring the underlying infrastructure supports our 2020 vision of growth via acquisitions, with a fixed monthly cost and guaranteed cost per GB for any expansion.
Clive Knott, IT Director, Howard Kennedy

How we helped

Proact carried out a performance review of Howard Kennedy’s existing systems to establish a clear idea of capacity, bandwidth and IOPS requirements, ultimately ensuring that the new solution was what the business needed. With these findings in mind, a holistic solution was designed by Proact’s experts which offered a high performance, highly available storage and a compute infrastructure that could cope with future demands.

The solution which has modernised Howard Kennedy’s primary and disaster recovery data centres included leading technologies from Cisco UCS and NetApp, which fully integrated with Hyper-V and vSphere. In addition, Howard Kennedy opted for Proact’s Storage as a Service which allowed storage and compute to become an “off balance” expense, while also ensuring that peak performance was being obtained by systems due to Proact’s monitoring. The long-term strategy devised by Proact utilised a feature rich solution which offered the lowest risk and most cost effective route to achieve Howard Kennedy’s goals. Expected to provide a solid infrastructure for at least three years, the best-of-breed technology chosen by Proact delivered increased capacity, greater performance and dramatically reduced latency. Redundancy was also reinstated to key business workloads and due to the use of familiar technology, training needs were reduced so the IT team could quickly engage with the new systems.

Proact’s Professional Services allowed for a fast and efficient migration from the existing storage and compute systems, while also creating a platform that had sufficient bandwidth for expansion in the future.

Benefits

  • Enterprise-class technology
    Trusted technology which requires little training and can be utilised straightaway.
  • Reduced risk
    Redundancy reinstated reducing risk to key business workloads.
  • Reduced costs
    Total control of costs with fixed monthly pricing and no upfront capital investment.
  • Fast migration
    Professional Services ensured an efficient migration from existing storage and compute.
  • Future-proof solution
    Sufficient bandwidth and storage capacity for future expansions.
  • Agility
    Growth supported and visibility of how much storage operations would cost upon expansion.

Key components

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