Walton Lantaff Schroeder and Carson LLP
Law Firm Turns to Axcient to Eliminate Application Downtime
Florida-based law firm Walton Lantaff Schroeder and Carson LLP has been serving clients for more than 75 years in the areas of workers’ compensation and litigation. With more than 40 attorneys and six offices throughout Florida, Walton Lantaff relies on key legal applications and IT systems to provide the best service to its clients.
Systems Administrator Tony Fuentes has been with the firm for 17 years, managing its 10 servers, its virtual servers, the network infrastructure, and ensuring systems are working. To help with the constant challenges of maintaining the IT environment, Walton Lantaff counts on technology service provider DataTrends. “They are great to work with and very knowledgable. With six offices and over 100 employees sometimes you need an extra hand,” Tony said. “DataTrends helps us with a lot of our IT needs and I trust them with our core technical projects.”
Recovering From Downtime
One such project was related to the company’s backup and disaster recovery system. “Protecting our data and applications is one of the most important tasks I have,” Tony said. “As a law firm, we rely on Aderant Total Office, formerly known as Client Profiles, for case management and Lexis Nexis Juris, which is our accounting and financial application. These are critical business applications that have to be available all the time. If something happens, we need to be able to get the systems back working within minutes.”
The firm used to rely on backup tapes, which are known for its low cost but slow recovery speeds. Walton Lantaff experienced first-hand the business consequences of using tape backup approximately six years ago when a major hurricane knocked out the power in their main building in Miami, leaving them without power for a week. “No one could work during that time,” Tony said. “Every hour down is thousands of dollars lost, so we had to make a change.”
Paul Charles, partner and CIO at DataTrends, said that after numerous problems with Symantec Backup Exec the incident with the hurricane was the last straw. “Walton Lantaff had issues with the backups not completing properly and it taking a lot of time to ensure we would be able to recover in the event that something happened. So when they were down that week, I knew it was time to find something else.”
Protecting the Practice
After dumping Symantec Backup Exec, Walton Lantaff installed NeverFail to replicate the servers from the Miami office to a remote site. But even that wasn’t enough. “There was a power outage for half a day and it took us a very long time after the main server was down for the remote site to come up,” Tony said. “It didn’t live up to expectations.”
Needing a solution that would give them faster recovery and true business continuity, DataTrends suggested taking a look at Axcient. “With Walton Lantaff’s requirements for continued operations even in the event of a major disaster, Axcient seemed like a better choice,” Paul said. “The Axcient cloud solution allows employees to login remotely and continue working on their applications as if they were still in the office. It completely eliminates the issue of downtime in the event of another hurricane or other disaster.”
Beyond Backup and Recovery
Now with Axcient, Walton Lantaff can protect the files, applications, and critical systems it needs to keep up and running without interruption.
“This is exactly what we needed: A solution that ensures we can continue working no matter what happens with the servers or the office,” Tony said. Axcient has a very easy to use interface and I can recover a deleted document from our case management system or a network drive in minutes from a previous Axcient backup.”
Besides helping with disaster recovery and business continuity, Axcient has given Walton Lantaff an added benefit of easy set up and being able to spin up a VM locally or in the cloud for routine server maintenance.
“We had to upgrade five servers, replace hard drives and controllers,” Paul said. “In a normal situation it would have required us to work off-hours or weekends, but because Walton Lantaff has Axcient we can simply use the local Axcient appliance to failover a server. Then we take the production server offline, do the work, and bring it back online. Meanwhile, the users don’t even notice what happened, there is no interruption in their work.”