Clifford Chance implements centralised data protection system with Commvault

Top five global law firm Clifford Chance has implemented a centralised, global data centre protection system using NASDAQ-listed data and information management solutions company Commvault.

The 2,992-lawyer firm previously used Symantec in London, while Commvault covered its other facilities. However, having taken the strategic decision to adopt a global, centrally managed data protection system for its data centres, Clifford Chance conducted a rigorous tender procedure and last year selected Commvault as its single worldwide solution.

Ian Llewellyn, Clifford Chance’s Infrastructure Manager (pictured), said: “Our global central management allows us to implement global backup standards and manage them centrally. That wasn’t something we could do before, so this ties in with our strategy to standardise all our applications and systems globally.”

See below a short case study from Commvault detailing the process, key drivers and outcome.


Case Study

The Challenge

Main office in London had a different backup system from their other locations worldwide
Needed to be able to offer same service levels from all data centres
Implement a standardised global, centrally managed data centre protection system
Migrate from existing platform to Commvault with minimal disruption

The Solution

Commvault backup and protection software managing critical global systems

The Benefits

Global, centrally managed data protection system aligned with the firm’s two key business objectives for standardisation of IT and global procurement model
Ease of management
Ability to expand functionality beyond backup and to leverage Cloud capabilities in the future as a Cloud model is developed
Service levels are significantly enhanced compared to the previous system


Headquartered in London and a leading global law firm, Clifford Chance is one of the largest law firms in the world, serving 27 countries from 37 offices around the world.

As a huge legal firm, the lifeblood of Clifford Chance’s IT system is SharePoint, its document management standard. Commvault technology manages the protection of this critical system globally from a centrally controlled management console.  Commvault also protects the firm’s other critical systems, including its Oracle based billing system and VMware private cloud.

As a global law firm, it is of prime importance that Clifford Chance offers the same service level worldwide from its primary and DR data centres in the US, Hong Kong, Germany and London.

Clifford Chance keen to standardise systems across worldwide locations

The firm took the strategic decision to adopt a global, centrally managed data protection system for all of its data centres. The key site in London was using Symantec while the other facilities were covered by Commvault so Clifford Chance had to decide whether to consolidate its other data centres onto the Symantec system or bring the London data centre onto the Commvault platform.

After a rigorous tendering procedure and a stringent evaluation process, the firm selected Commvault as its single worldwide solution and the decision was taken to migrate the London data centre from Symantec to Commvault. At the same time, it also decided to upgrade its existing Commvault installations in the other data centres.

Among the reasons for selecting Commvault were:

Single platform for centralised global management
Same vision around integrated, scalable technology fitting with the company values
Single license covering all possible agents
Ability to import backup policies from the incumbent system to enable a smooth transition
Capability to provide additional functionality beyond backup when required in the future

Ian Llewellyn, operations manager, Infrastructure at Clifford Chance says the firm also believed that Commvault had a vision that would offer it “a lot more down the line rather than just a simple straightforward backup solution.”

Migration of data smooth and secure

Clifford Chance was keen to ensure that the transition from Symantec NetBackup (NBU) to Commvault was safe and orderly with zero disruption and delivered in a short timeframe so that it did not have to pay for two different products in parallel. With this in mind, it opted for a like-for-like install.

To ensure a smooth and risk-free transition, Commvault’s External Data Connector was used to extract the configuration information from the NBU master server. This enabled Commvault to import the existing protection setup and provided tools for staged migration and consolidated reporting during the swap.

Commvault services ensure continuing success

Commvault professional services were used for the upgrade and global integration projects that were delivered successfully with no escalations. Training was also provided to the Clifford Chance team to ensure it would be able to take full advantage of the Commvault solution.

Attendee feedback from the Commvault Core Fundamentals course reported that: “Training was well delivered and pitched to the level of the group taking the training. The group was not large and there was plenty of time available for the trainer to answer questions on their environment. Overall, it was a good experience and you left feeling that you understood the product.

Now that the migration from Symantec is complete, the Commvault managed support team is working with Clifford Chance to explain best practices and suggest potential improvements to help optimise the initial deployment.

Llewellyn says: “The service level that we get from Commvault is excellent. With the level of engagement and proactive service we get, as well as the knowledge sharing, I feel the managed support team is like an extension of our internal team. That’s where I really see the day to day value in my Commvault experience.”

He cites the stability of the Commvault platform as a key benefit. “We’ve had virtually no issues, no outages, no performance problems in the past 6 to 9 months which is a testament to the stability of the product.”

Llewellyn also highlights the fact that moving to Commvault has enabled Clifford Chance to adopt a globally standardised platform. “Our global central management allows us to implement global backup standards and manage them centrally. That wasn’t something we could do before, so this ties in with our strategy to standardise all our applications and systems globally.”