Storage Solutions: Quarles & Brady Case Study


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Quarles & Brady survives a hurricane and performs
discovery processes 1.8-fold faster with Dell storage solution.

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Storage Solutions: Quarles & Brady Case Study

  1. 1. Quarles & Brady survivesa hurricane and performsdiscovery processes •  Backup/Recovery/Archiving •  Blade Solutions1.8-fold faster with Dell •  Database—SQL Server  •  Dell Systems Management •  Storage/Storage Consolidationstorage solution •  Virtualization—Client  •  Virtualization—Server “We wanted easy- to-manage storage that would give us the ability to set up a disaster recovery scenario. Dell EqualLogic was the only solution that offered both, with replication features built-in at no additional cost.” Rich Raether, Manager, Network Engineering, Quarles & Brady Customer Profile Company: Quarles & Brady LLP   Benefits Industry: Law •  No downtime for attorneys in the Naples,  Country: United States Florida office during Hurricane Fay •  45-minute failover in disaster recovery scenario Employees: 1,000 •  1.8-fold acceleration of discovery process  Web: with Dell EqualLogic SSDs  •  93% improvement in local recovery point  objective (24 hours vs. two weeks) Business Need  •  12-fold faster recovery of lost files   Quarles & Brady was overhauling its IT infrastructure and building a new (5 minutes vs. 1 hour) data center and needed to support server virtualization in its two data •  10-fold improvement in time to provision  centers and several remote locations. The firm also needed to implement virtual desktop (40 seconds vs. 7 minutes) a disaster recovery solution that would simplify management, especially •  Able to mitigate virtual desktop boot storms  for its Naples, Florida office where hurricanes can occur. by aging sessions from SSD to SAS disk Solution  •  10-fold faster replication with Riverbed  Steelhead appliances The law firm has virtualized 75 percent of its servers using VMware and Dell™ PowerEdge™ servers with Intel® Xeon® processors along •  1.75-fold faster rebuilding of full-text indexes with 46 Dell EqualLogic™ iSCSI SANs and Riverbed® Steelhead® •  2-fold improvement in performance for   WAN optimization appliances. Taking advantage of a full range of index searches technological capabilities that Dell EqualLogic includes with its •  24-fold faster performance of storage tasks  products, Quarles & Brady has greatly accelerated processing while such as adding volumes (5 minutes vs. 2 hours) simplifying storage and disaster recovery. •  Virtual guest operating systems in   10GbE environment boot twice as fast   (12-14 seconds vs. 28-30)
  2. 2. On Monday, October 24, 2005, Hurricane Wilma made landfall in Florida. It was the most intense hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic basin, and the fourth most costly storm in U.S. history. Damage in Florida alone totaled more than $26 billion. In some areas, power was out for two weeks. At the law firm Quarles & Brady LLP, Naples office and Hurricane Wilma. We Rich Raether had recently taken over as didn’t want to be putting tapes in safety-“With the Riverbed manager of network engineering. Based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Quarles & Brady deposit boxes and overnighting the tapes to Milwaukee in the face of a hurricane. Steelhead appliances began as a local firm 118 years ago and We wanted to make the data safe so that has grown to earn a place among the attorneys could continue to work from in place, replication Am Law 200, with approximately 450 wherever they were.” takes just one hour. attorneys and offices in Chicago, Illinois, Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Simplified storage with   This enables us Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, Shanghai, built-in replication China—and Tampa and Naples, Florida. The team looked at Fibre Channel storage to hit our backup When Wilma struck Florida, the office in options and decided that a traditional windows for Tampa wasn’t open yet, but the Naples frame-based SAN would add management requirements, not simplify them. They then office needed to prepare for the storm. business continuity The office had direct-attached storage, evaluated virtualized iSCSI SAN solutions from LeftHand Networks, NetApp and Dell and DR.” common for Quarles & Brady’s remote offices. The storage backed up to tape EqualLogic. “We wanted easy-to-manage storage that would give us the ability toRich Raether, Manager, which was stored in safety-deposit boxes. set up a disaster recovery scenario,” saysNetwork Engineering, The disaster recovery plan was sendingQuarles & Brady Raether. “Dell EqualLogic was the only the last night’s tapes by overnight express solution that offered both, with replication to Milwaukee headquarters. features built-in at no additional cost.” Shut down by a hurricane The Naples office was closed for four days. Technology at Work Attorneys went to hotel rooms in Atlanta or went to Milwaukee to work, but their Hardware data was inaccessible during that time, Dell™ EqualLogic™ PS6010XVS, which hampered their work. PS6000XVS, PS6000S, PS5000, PS100 iSCSI SANs That made an impression on Raether, who had arrived at Quarles & Brady as the Dell PowerEdge™ M610 blade servers firm was refreshing its IT infrastructure with Intel® Xeon® processors 5600 series with new servers, networking equipment Dell PowerEdge M1000e modular and storage. In the process of rebuilding, blade enclosure Raether was looking for new hardware Dell PowerEdge R710 servers with Intel solutions for the company’s remote Xeon processors 5500 series offices that would enable the firm to avoid Fusion-io ioDrive Duo memory card a repeat of the Hurricane Wilma incident. Riverbed Steelhead appliances Most of Raether’s staff of 15 worked in the firm’s main data centers in Milwaukee Software and Phoenix. The smaller offices use Citrix XenDesktop local office IT support contractors, not engineers. “If we had a problem, we Dell EqualLogic SAN HeadQuarters (SAN HQ) had to get on the phone with them and talk them through the process,” says Microsoft® SQL Server® 2008 database Raether. “We were virtualizing some of the Microsoft Exchange Server 2007 servers in these locations with VMware Riverbed Optimization System (RiOS®) to simplify management, and we were looking at getting new storage to replace VMware® vSphere™ 4.1 the direct-attached storage and provide Windows Server® 2008 R2, 2008, 2003 some disaster recovery capability. As it turned out, what really drove that was the
  3. 3. Quarles & Brady chose to equip its remote “We’re seeing amazing performance offices with Dell EqualLogic PS100 storage results for virtual desktops with the hybrid arrays to provide a flexible, easy-to- EqualLogic arrays,” says Raether. “The operate shared storage environment for heavy disk workloads hit the SSD drives VMware. The firm was so pleased with the automatically and remain there as long as performance that it brought EqualLogic necessary to ensure optimal performance. into its main data centers as a replacement Provisioning disks, boot times and overall for legacy storage. “Currently, we’re well end user environment responsiveness over 75 percent virtualized,” says Raether. have improved greatly.”“EqualLogic works so well in our VMware environment that we started to use it for 1.8-fold faster discovery process other workloads. Today email is the most Quarles & Brady virtualized most of its important application that our attorneys Microsoft SQL Server 2008 database use, and our Microsoft Exchange Server environments using Dell EqualLogic 2007 implementation is virtualized across PS6000XV SANs with 15K SAS drives. the board, and all the data is stored on a “We also have a couple of Dell EqualLogic Dell EqualLogic PS6000XV SAN.” PS6000S arrays with SSDs in two different storage pools,” says Raether. “We keepIntelligent management of   the databases themselves on SAS drives “The data center wasvirtual desktop workloads and the logs and temp databases onThe firm is using Dell EqualLogic SSDs. The SSDs give us 1.8 times the built to last 10 years,PS6010XVS SANs for its virtual desktop performance—almost double.” but I anticipateinitiative with Citrix XenDesktop, currentlyunderway, which will provide attorneys The performance boost enables the firm to perform processes such as that it will last uswith the ability to log onto their Windows-based workstations remotely. The discovery in almost half the time it 15 years with the took in the previous Fibre ChannelPS6010XVS is a 10 Gigabit Ethernet hybrid SAN environment, saving clients billable Dell EqualLogicarray with both solid-state drives (SSD) andserial-attached SCSI (SAS) drives in a single time and improving productivity. storage and the Dellenclosure, with the ability to automaticallyload balance between the two storage 10-fold faster replication time PowerEdge servers, To optimize WAN traffic and providetiers. “We’ve reduced the time it takes to fast access to documents without extending the valueprovision a virtual desktop from 7 minutesto around 40 seconds with the Dell maintaining a local document management infrastructure at each site, of our investment byEqualLogic PS6010XVS,” Raether notes. Quarles & Brady uses Riverbed Steelhead 33 percent. It’s rareUnlike most other workloads, virtual appliances at all its offices. Because thedesktop workloads are highly variable appliances deduplicate data and increase that IT equipmentin terms of input/output operations persecond (IOPS) requirements. Typically the efficiency of the TCP connection, data can traverse the WAN much faster, making can have an impactthere are periods of very high IOPS when the WAN feel very much like a LAN. like that.”many users are accessing the storage, Powered by the Riverbed Optimization Rich Raether, Manager,followed by periods of lower usage. For System (RiOS), the Steelhead appliances Network Engineering,example, every morning when a large enhance the benefits of EqualLogic Quarles & Bradynumber of users are logging in to their replication by decreasing replicationdesktops—called a “storm”—there is time 10-fold. “Replicating a volumea very high demand for IOPS on the from Chicago to Milwaukee withoutstorage infrastructure that supports the the Steelhead appliances might take 10virtual desktops. While it is possible to hours,” says Raether. “With the Riverbeddesign the storage to support these peak Steelhead appliances in place, replicationperformance needs by overprovisioning, takes just one hour. This enables us tothat creates cost-inefficiencies. hit our backup windows for businessDell EqualLogic hybrid arrays are designed continuity and DR, because as we’reto handle such a variable workload without replicating larger and larger volumeshaving to overprovision. The PS6010XVS across the wire, at some point thosearrays automatically move hot data to replication jobs would be running intoSSD drives, which are capable of handling the morning hours without the Steelheadmuch higher IOPS than SAS or SATA appliances. We’ve also reduced ourdrives. After the login and boot storms are courier bills with the ability to quicklyover, the PS6010XVS arrays migrate the send large files across the WAN.”workload to SAS drives automatically.
  4. 4. Failover in 45 minutes as   Saving 55 minutes a day for   Improving VDI performance 10-foldhurricane approached higher-value tasks During its infrastructure overhaul, QuarlesQuarles & Brady now has a total of 46 With Dell EqualLogic storage, the recovery & Brady purchased 120 Dell PowerEdgeDell EqualLogic arrays—347 terabytes point objective (RPO) for the local offices servers for its environment. Today most ofin total—working to save time and has been reduced from two weeks to 24 the servers used for virtualization are Dellmoney and protect data during disasters. hours since snapshots are taken once a PowerEdge R710 servers with Intel XeonThe definitive test for the replication day, a 93 percent improvement. The time processors 5500 series. The servers runcapabilities of the EqualLogic equipment needed to recover a file has been reduced Windows Server 2008 (both R1 and R2) andoccurred three years after Hurricane from one hour to five minutes. The team Windows Server 2003, with some legacyWilma, when Hurricane Fay made landfall receives at least one such request per day, applications on Windows XP or 2000.near Naples, Florida on August 19, 2008. so that savings alone reclaims 55 minutes For its virtual desktop infrastructure, the per day for other higher value tasks.“We did a final replication push from the team is using a Dell PowerEdge M1000e Naples office to Milwaukee, which took Expanding volumes or fulfilling new modular blade enclosure with Dell about 45 minutes,” says Raether. “We storage requests used to take one-to-two PowerEdge M610 blade servers with shut down all of the services in the Naples hours on the previous Fibre Channel SANs, Intel Xeon processors 5600 series in a office, then brought up those servers on and only one engineer had the expertise 10-Gigabit Ethernet (10GbE) environment. the replicated volumes from VMware and to do it. “And if we had a new server to “We chose to deploy Dell blades for VDI the associated volumes in the Milwaukee set up and we had to go into the fiber because it gives us the ability to contain data center. We did a failback to Naples director switches and set up the proper most of the network traffic within the two days later, which took one and a channeling, it took one to two hours,” says same switch fabric,” says Raether. “The quarter hours and brought services back Raether. “I have six people on my staff that new six-core Intel Xeon 5600 series up in the Naples office. Attorneys went can go into an EqualLogic unit, set up a processors have removed the CPU to Atlanta or to Milwaukee, but they were volume, set up an iSCSI software initiator bottlenecks from our VDI hosts, providing able to work throughout that period, and on the server end, connect it up and start one-third more processing power.” never had to worry about where their data dishing up a volume within five minutes, The impact of 10GbE has been significant. was coming from.” which is 24-fold faster than before.” “Once we made sure all the networkDoubling performance for   In addition, the Dell EqualLogic SANs settings were optimized, the results havefull-text index searches eliminated approximately 90 percent been fantastic,” says Raether. “Virtual guest of the tape used in Quarles & Brady’s operating systems boot twice as fast, inThe firm’s document management system data protection strategy, savings 12-14 seconds instead of 28-30. Usinghas a full-text indexing application, IDOL, thousands of dollars a year. multipath I/O (MPIO) on the EqualLogicthat does not certify iSCSI-attached hybrid arrays, we are seeing iSCSI speedsstorage. The system has 14 million records, Adding to productivity even more is Dell of 1,100 MB/s reads and 800 MB/s writes inand to rebuild an index took three and a EqualLogic SAN HeadQuarters (SAN HQ), the virtualization layer with VLAN tagginghalf days using locally attached storage. the reporting and monitoring software in use. That’s 10 times faster than the 1 GbEThe team turned to Dell for a Fusion-io tool that provides a single-screen view environment without MPIO.”ioDrive memory card, which uses the of all EqualLogic assets. “SAN HQ is aPCI bus internal to the server to provide wonderful tool,” says Raether. “It is up 33% extra value from new data centera storage layer that is faster than SSD but on my desktop all day long. And it didn’t Quarles & Brady built a new 2,000 squarenot as fast as RAM. The Fusion-io card cut cost me anything. I can easily see which foot data center to house the new Delldown the time needed to rebuild indexes storage workloads are hitting the SSD infrastructure. “The new data center isto two days, a 1.75-fold improvement. “We and which have been migrated to other at half capacity now,” says Raether. “Thewere able to get the same performance tiers.” SAN HQ uses Simple Network data center was built to last 10 years, butboost that we got with the EqualLogic SSD,” Management Protocol (SNMP) to collect I anticipate that it will last us 15 years withsays Raether. “Searches that attorneys performance, alarm and health status the Dell EqualLogic storage and the Dellperform are returning results in 15 seconds data from multiple EqualLogic storage PowerEdge servers, extending the value ofrather than 30 seconds previously.” array groups that can be spread across our investment by 33 percent. It’s rare that locations around the world. IT equipment can have an impact like that.”View all Dell case studies at: and terms of Dell Services vary by region. For more information, visit:© July 2011. Intel and Intel Xeon are registered trademarks of Intel Corporation in the United States or othercountries. Microsoft, SQL Server and Windows Server are registered trademarks of Microsoft Corporation inthe United States and/or other countries. This case study is for informational purposes only. DELL MAKES NOWARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS CASE STUDY. Reference number: 10008898
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