Datalink Migrates Huge Data Center to CoLo in one Swift Move

By Doug Barney

The data center of a large national law firm is a complex thing, but that didn’t stop Datalink from moving a major Davis Wright Tremainne LLP data center wholesale from a Seattle high rise to a colo facility. The best part – end users didn’t notice a thing.

Nor did the IT team from Davis Wright Tremainne (DWT) have to do all the heavy lifting. Instead Datalink’s Advanced Services team did much of the work. In fact, estimates have it that Datalink handled some 90 percent of the task, including planning.

The data center infrastructure, and now the Datalink colo, supports some 500 attorneys based in the U.S. and Shanghai.

The switchover started Friday night after the close of business and was wrapped up 12 hours later. By Saturday morning Datalink had fully taken over. The previous data center was in the law firm’s largest office.

“Our old data center was on the 19th floor of a high rise in an earthquake zone with less than an hour of battery backup. We knew we had to relocate, but we had to do it sooner than planned to avoid a three-day power outage related to our building’s power grid upgrade. We partnered with Datalink to make the transition on schedule with minimum risk,” said Matt Beland, Director, Information Technology at Davis Wright. “It went so smoothly that I received 87 congratulatory emails and phone calls, with only one complaint that turned out to be invalid. In my two decades in the industry, that is unprecedented.”

And to further minimize disruption, Datalink set up an email failover system so attorneys could still communicate.

The data center was pretty full service, so there were lots of pieces to move. “The project involved relocating all of DWT’s servers and devices, along with email, document management and litigation support systems, SharePoint collaboration and extranet portals, and other firm-wide applications supporting more than 1,500 users,” Datalink said. “Datalink provided project management services including inventory and analysis of DWT’s data center environment; development of a strategy document identifying migration needs, multiple downtime options and associated costs; design and implementation planning ranging from timelines and contingencies to application mapping; and a 15-person day-of-move team to augment DWT’s in-house resources.”

The move meant physically transporting gear 15 miles to the colocation center. Datalink was an obvious choice for the law firm. The provider has data center moving experience and had been working with DWT for seven years, including being responsible for the law firm’s NetApp SAN.

“This project illustrates the ability of our Advanced Services team to handle critical assignments for which internal IT staffs may not have either the manpower or the expertise – whether it’s a data center relocation, application and system migration, cloud service or disaster recovery planning, or any number of other strategic initiatives,” said Shawn O’Grady, Chief Operating Officer at Datalink. “It also demonstrates the value of working with a full-service provider. Sourcing strategy, architecture design, deployment, and both technical and managed services support from a single partner ensures a holistic view of all systems that is essential for optimizing data centers to meet today’s complex requirements.” 

Edited by Cassandra Tucker

MSPToday Editor at Large

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