Sprout IT case study: 8 New Square

ABOUT SPROUT IT

SproutIT enable law firms & barristers’ chambers to achieve competitive advantage and peace of mind, through the innovative use of best-of-breed technology, focussed cyber security and resilience, award winning services, and passion for service excellence.

From Document Management Solutions and Fees/Diary software, to email archive, compliance, encryption an security, SproutIT can plan, implement and support your entire infrastructure.

Challenge

Upon taking over as 8 New Square’s IT provider, we began the replacement of their aging physical servers which were running old generations of Microsoft Server software and fast approaching end of life. We were tasked to introduce a more reliable and resilient solution, running on the latest Microsoft software, increasing the reliability of the backup solution and to improve security and remote working.

During the testing and development stages the impact on network downtime was an overriding factor and had to be considered at each step due to the nature of the business environment that Barristers Chambers operate within.

There were also several third party products to consider during the migration, not least email security and archiving as well as Chambers’ Diary Management software.

The new infrastructure was required to leverage next generation technologies in order to drive productivity, performance and reliability improvements.

The solution

Sprout’s project team, with their specialised knowledge of the Legal IT environment, implemented a new Microsoft Hyper V environment which allowed us to consolidate the servers into a virtual environment which is designed to increase the agility of the infrastructure creating a flexible solution with greater operational efficiencies and enhanced security. A Dell MD3200i SAN with dedicated iSCSI switches and 8 redundant routes from host to SAN, provided the virtualised infrastructure. A Physical Domain Controller was also deployed as is best practise in a virtualised environment to minimise risk.

New high availability firewalls were also deployed for increased security and redundancy, so in case of failure, there will be no downtime to the system, an important factor in any environment.

Sprout IT’s backup solution was implemented to provide 15 minute backups to a dedicated, on-premise appliance and continuous off-site replication - all with scalability to offer full data recovery in our ISO27001:2013 datacentre. An important step was to move over to Mimecast’s email gateway, ensuring email continuity and availability, gateway security and email archiving. Working with one of our partner ISPs we also upgraded the speed and reliability of the outdated ADSL lines to a new 50meg dedicated fibre link, improving productivity and making remote working a much smoother experience.

New password policies for network access and mobile devices increased security and access to the chambers network.

The results

Highly secure virtualised environment using fewer resources yet providing the infrastructure to meet the company’s future needs

More reliable and faster internet in and out of the network reducing downtime and improving efficiency

Lower total cost of ownership due to reduced power and cooling costs as well as reduced future capital expenditure

A scalable, flexible solution to meet fluctuations in demand and capable of rapid future server deployment

“We always find the service from Sprout to be excellent. They often know about issues before we’ve even noticed anything and they are very commercial in their advice. Their experience with the chambers market was extremely important to us and they know how chambers work and what the unique demands of our environment are. I have a real confidence in the work they do and they will always send an engineer into chambers at very short notice, if ever required.”

Ben Newham, Practice Manager
 

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