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Law firm BLM prepares for growth with move to scalable, high-availability infrastructure

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The challenge The key objective for BLM was to move its core infrastructure to a more secure and optimised data centre location, where it could be effectively and securely managed, whilst providing space for rapid expansion. Darren Broughton, Infrastructure Manager at BLM explained: "As we continued to grow in size, it became clear that our on-premises IT hosting facilities were no longer suitable. We began to experience challenges in simply maintaining the infrastructure. Over the last few years we have several significant outages, generally as a result of power supply or air conditioning failures. It became very clear that we were spending too much time and resource on maintaining our ageing environment." Not only was BLM's IT system held back by costs, but the physical size of the server rooms was also becoming an issue. Additionally, the business were looking at launching a new Document Management System (DMS) which would be used by the entire company. Rather than go through the costly rigmarole of investing in and installing further physical infrastructure the IT department decided to look for a more cost-effective solution: "We wanted to increase the speed of our system and reduce the administrative burden of setting up new servers and applications for the DMS. We needed IT to be the business enabler, but our old IT infrastructure was a cost drain and not flexible enough for us to help the business to grow," continued Broughton. Also important to BLM was the ability to comprehensively protect all its critical applications and data in a flexible and safe environment. The limited physical space at the firm's offices meant that providing a disaster recovery (DR) environment in-house, whilst also meeting the rapid expansion requirements, was simply not an option. BLM BLM is a leading risk and insurance law firm with head offices in Manchester and London, UK. The firm has a workforce of over 1,600 people, spread over nine offices in the UK and Ireland. A fast growing law firm, BLM has experienced continual growth over the past 15 years, tripling its workforce as well as nearly doubling the number of offices across the UK. This rapid growth and physical expansion led to an increasingly complex IT infrastructure – and in turn a higher OPEX – needed to run the firm's key business applications, products and services, as well as the day-to-day office operations of BLM's lawyers. Claranet case study BLM Law Firm prepares for growth with move to scalable, high-availability infrastructure

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