Leading Law Firm Looks to Nutanix to Simplify Operations and Support Remote Attorneys
- Consolidated, automated management reduced administrative time by 40 percent
- Reduced footprint and TCO save $3,000 per month in OpEx
- Scalable solution enabled firm to triple attorneys’ use of remote networking in response to pandemic
- Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops
- Summation litigation support application
- Document management applications
- Microsoft SQL databases
- Microsoft Exchange
- Accounting applications
Based in Fort Lauderdale, FL, Becker & Poliakoff is a multi-practice commercial law firm with attorneys, lobbyists and other professionals at offices throughout the East Coast of the U.S. At the heart of the firm is its relentless commitment to serving clients in the best way possible. To simplify the network that supports its legal services and applications, Becker migrated its diverse data center devices to a single hyperconverged infrastructure. With Nutanix Enterprise Cloud, IT administrators can consolidate management tasks under a single dashboard that has helped the organization its administrative workload by 40 percent. The solution also helps the organization reduce the costs associated with separate data center devices, to save on heating, cooling, and other operational expenses.
Nutanix is a ‘set it and forget it’ solution, and that gives me time to take on other projects. If an issue comes up, I can usually fix it in one click with the auto resolve function. In the 18 months since our deployment, our infrastructure has not skipped a beat.Felipe Gonzalez, IT Manager, Becker & Poliakoff
With approximately 114 attorneys and lobbyist, Becker & Poliakoff serves clients with certified attorneys in business litigation, construction, real estate, and condominium and planned development law. Founded in 1973, its attorneys have always been pioneers, boldly breaking new ground and taking unconventional approaches to tough legal challenges.
The firm’s network infrastructure gives attorneys the tools they need to deliver exemplary service to clients. It supports everything from document management systems to accounting applications and Summation litigation support solutions. However, managing and maintaining its multi-vendor network was time-consuming, and made it difficult to troubleshoot issues and maintain uptime for business-critical systems.
“With our previous environment, if an issue came up, I literally had to get four vendors on the phone at the same time, which was hard to do,” said David Michel, CIO at Becker & Poliakoff. “Everybody pointed fingers, and it was difficult to find the right level of support for components like storage.”
Becker wanted to consolidate and simplify its operations to improve the availability of its systems, support its attorneys more effectively, and free up staff to focus on more important business issues.
Becker chose Nutanix Enterprise Cloud because the solution offered the best combination of performance, scalability, and simplified management. “Migration to Nutanix was pretty easy,” said Felipe Gonzalez, IT Manager at Becker & Poliakoff. “We have one Nutanix cluster with five nodes, and four storage containers providing about 98TB of storage. We have overprovisioned it and have not experienced any issues at all. We don’t have to worry about daily management tasks anymore, because Nutanix runs smoothly on its own.”
Becker immediately migrated the firm’s most critical applications and workloads to the new solution, and it has performed flawlessly to date. The solution works seamlessly with the firm’s VMware environment as well.“ Our document management system, accounting system, and time and billing systems are our three biggest workloads,” said Michel. “We also use a product called Summation for litigation support and discovery. It is web-based, and we use it internally, and also serve it out to clients, experts, and co-counsel. We are throwing a ton of data onto Summation, and our volume has tripled over the past year, without any issues.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the flexibility and scalability of the Nutanix solution shined. Becker was able to rapidly scale up support for its Citrix Virtual Apps and Desktops to support attorneys and other employees working safely from home.
“We were well prepared on the infrastructure side with Nutanix and Citrix,” said Gonzalez. “We simply deployed a few more Citrix servers to service additional users, and we were ready to go. In the past, we had about 30 regular Citrix users. Now our use base is way up, with about 110 attorneys using the solution. They can stay connected for legal research, briefs, emails, client communication, and other tasks.”
Since migrating to Nutanix, Becker has dramatically simplified management of its infrastructure, to save time and help IT staff be more productive.
“Migrating our everything to one hyperconverged box from Nutanix is great,” said Gonzalez. “There’s no more finger-pointing from multiple vendors. If I have a troubleshooting issue, I just call up Nutanix and your team takes ownership.
”With less time spent on daily administrative tasks, Becker can free up staff to focus on other initiatives. “Nutanix has reduced the time we spend on administration by about 40 percent,” said Gonzalez. “If something is running slow, I can simply open up the Prism management dashboard and drill down to the VM. We don’t have to worry about anything on the infrastructure side, and we are no longer being bombarded by users.”
Consolidating multiple devices onto Nutanix has also enabled Becker to reduce operational expenses like power and cooling throughout its data center.
“We have reduced the three racks in our data center from three racks down to less than one, which has delivered a nice cost savings,” said Michel. “When I told our team that we could eliminate $3,000 a month from our data center operations, it certainly made the purchase easier to approve. It enabled us to acquire a new solution for about half the cost.”
Nutanix also makes it easy for Becker to scale up its solution to accommodate additional users or applications. “Administration for Nutanix is simple,” said Gonzalez. “Prism will alert me if I need additional nodes. If I need additional resources, I can simply spin up additional VMs.”
With its operations consolidated onto Nutanix, the Becker IT team is considering new ways to extend its capabilities. The team is evaluating the AHV hypervisor, to further integrate its virtualized environment. “We hope to migrate to AHV, are looking for new ways to put more capabilities under Nutanix,” said Michel. “It’s a one-stop shop for us that we hope to build on further.”