Stikeman Elliott streamlined its data with DataCore

One of the things that Marco Magini, network and systems administrator for Montreal-based Stikeman Elliot LLC, worries most about where storage is concerned is downtime. At one of the largest corporate law firms in the world, it may come as a shock, but the cliché “time is money,” is no joke, Magini said.

“In terms of business continuity or flow, here, time is money, so data has to be available 24/7. I know everywhere it’s the same, but here, downtime costs a lot. When you do the math for the lawyers’ fee and the legal assistant and everything, we need to keep the data up and running all the time. No disruption at all,” he said.

After using a few bandaid fixes and constantly shopping for storage upgrades, Magini was introduced to Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.-based DataCore Software by TH Consultants.

He’d looked at other products before, but the fact that DataCore was a software implementation with a real emphasis on interchangeability really sold him on it. He and the IT team found themselves asking, “why can’t we pull or stretch the actual hardware that we have (instead of constantly upgrading)? (That’s) why we love the DataCore product; it’s not manufacturer binded. You can throw any type of arrays or storage at it.”

George Teixeira, CEO of DataCore, said that this is one of the key principles his company is known for. “We started off pioneering a lot of the key things that are, today, taken for granted in the whole storage/virtualization space; things like thin provisioning and so forth. The difference is we’ve always done it in software and it’s software that allows hardware interchangeability.”

Teixeira said that DataCore is well positioned because storage isn’t something you can mess around with. You need to utilize whatever you have to keep budgets and downtime from spinning out of control. “As time goes on, people are using different kinds of storage depending on what they need and the cost for these things differ dramatically and the performance differs dramatically. One of the big advantages of DataCore is it’s software that works across all of these,” he said.

He also said it uses “auto-tiering” to intelligently move data between devices by cost and availability. “What (auto-tiering) does is allow you to have a mix of any kind of these purpose-built devices that you already have in your sight or add new ones and we will move the data to where it makes the most economic and pricepoint for your needs.”

Besides this unique take on interchangeability, Magini said his satisfaction in the transition to DataCore’s SANSymphony V Hypervisor came from the added benefits he hadn’t considered before implementation. “This is a little jewel. Not only does it answer our backup issue, but we can move forward with our disaster recover and especially high availability.”

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