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DLA go for secure data hosting service

At DLA Piper, Chief Information Officer, Daniel Pollick is aligning all aspects of the organisation's IT systems to world-class quality to meet the high-level expectations of its lawyers and clients. As a result, DLA Piper (which has more than 3400 lawyers and 63 offices in 24 countries throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia) is subscribing to data hosting services.

DLA Piper has a powerful range of IT systems and communications capabilities to ensure that clients are provided with an always-on, seamless service and lawyers can work together across the globe to the greater benefit of clients. However rapid growth in the business has meant that new measures are required to assure the secure storage of vast amounts of critical customer and commercial data held on the firm's systems.

“Confidence is everything in a law firm,” says Pollick. “Lawyers and the people they work with need to know that the systems are up and running. They have an expectation that the systems they need will always be reliable and the data will always be available.
We are growing so fast, opening new offices almost every month somewhere in the world, and our aim is to achieve the highest levels of quality for our systems all the time, matching the world-class standards we set in all areas of our business.”

Daniel Pollick and his team decided to find a partner organisation with a special focus on data services, to host DLA Piper's data. “We recognise that we are specialists in legal services and advise clients well in all the areas that we have expertise however the complicated process of maintaining a highly-available and extremely-reliable data centre is not our core competence and thus not one we can do ourselves. We are not experts in power, air conditioning, physical security and all other aspects of environment management required in a data centre – so we decided to find a specialist provider with these capabilities.”

The hosting services provided by data specialists InTechnology at their Data Centre emerged as the preferred solution for DLA Piper. “My team went to see the InTechnology Data Centre and went through an extensive process of due diligence and analysis of the offering,” said Pollick. “We need a high level of confidence that we are putting our servers in a safe place, and undertook a detailed mechanical and engineering survey, took up references and looked carefully at the technical infrastructure. I found InTechnology very practical and straight to deal with. Also, the geography was ideal as their Data Centre was around 20 miles from our own, close enough for convenience but far enough away for it not to be likely to get hit by the same problem at any one time. InTechnology has given us an extremely reliable, extremely available repository for our critical business data and critical business applications We feel very confident that their Data Centre is going to stay up”

DLA Piper now has a data security model based on replication from the InTechnology Data Centre back to their own Data Centre.
“The replication is based on Network Appliance technology and gives us a world-class business continuity strategy for our core systems, so that our data is secure even if we lose our primary Data Centre,” said Pollick. “We also have confidence that there is space for us to grow our data within the InTechnology Data Centre for at least the next few years.”

With over 3,000 terabytes of data currently under management, InTechnology is a trusted partner to more than 250 commercial and public sector organisations. To provide clients with maximum flexibility and cost control, services are delivered through a pay-per-use charging model, thus reducing or eliminating upfront capital expenditure. The Data Centres and private UK-wide IP network form the platform to deliver SLA (Service Level Agreement) backed services supported by highly skilled and trained operational and service delivery teams. The Harrogate Data Centre is currently undergoing a major refit, with major components such as cooling systems, transformers and generators being replaced with state of the art technology which will improve operational efficiency and provide greater reliability.

“In tandem with the refurbishment program, we are also increasing capacity from the current 1.2MVA by 50%; this will allow us to expand both the useable floor area and deliver against increased power requirements from customers,” said InTechnology commercial director managed services Tim Wilkinson.