Consistent and Fast IT Support
- VDC solution radically transforming IT performance
- Huge hardware & licensing cost savings over several years
- Proactive support services for 70 users
- Greatly improved connectivity across both offices
- Transition project executed with no material downtime
- Sandbox test environment for application & update QA
- Fully compliant storage & security functions
- Enterprise-class back-up & DR capability
Kingsley Napley is a leading London based law firm with specialist expertise across a varied and diverse range of practices. They have built their reputation on reliability and trust and emphasise a belief upon the importance for businesses and individuals to be able to depend on top quality legal advice and service.
In 2011, the management team at Kingsley Napley conducted an internal review of their IT function, concluding that they had outgrown their data back-up solution and that their disaster recovery capability was no longer fit for purpose. The decision was made to seek an external service provider with a proven track record of delivering secure back-up & DR services to the legal sector. Shift F7 was one of several companies invited to submit a proposal, and, after a rigorous selection process, was eventually named as Kinglsey Napley’s new IT services partner.
With around 350 staff based at its two London offices, any downtime for Kingsley Napley would be not only hugely disruptive but also incredibly costly. Furthermore, as a highly respected law firm, the reputational risk associated with any prolonged outage was not something the management team were prepared to take chances with. Shift F7’s excellent reputation for delivering best-in-class back-up & DR services from our tier 3, ISO 27001 & ISO 9001 accredited data centres, along with our excellent client references, made our proposal the standout candidate from the very early stages of the tendering process. What really gave us the edge, however, was the approach that our team took to not looking at the back-up and DR solutions in isolation but considering them in relation to the overall IT infrastructure at Kingsley Napley.
The obvious starting point for our consultants was to work with Thereza Snyman (Kingsley Napley’s head of IT) to get a full understanding of the company’s back-up & disaster recovery requirements. This involved examining volumes & types of data as well as working with Thereza to define the company’s recovery point & recovery time objectives (RTO/RPO).
This then allowed us to scope a managed back-up & DR solution that was technically robust enough for their needs, meaning it had to be highly available and quickly deployed in the event of an outage or system failure as well as ensuring it was sufficiently secure to meet the statutory & regulatory compliance requirements for the legal sector.
The solution was deployed and Kingsley Napley were very happy with the service. Of particular reassurance was the fact that Shift F7 regularly tests all clients’ DR solutions as a matter of course, ensuring that in the event of a disaster we are not testing the system for the first time. When, a few years later, Kinglsey Napley decided that it was time to replace their core server infrastructure, they asked Shift F7 to design & propose their own solution.
The timing was perfect. Shift F7 had recently launched its virtual data centre solution delivering private cloud services via a flexible, scalable Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) platform allowing businesses to adopt a pay as you use pricing model for private cloud server hosting. Shift F7 has two strategically located data centres in west & east London with
each data centre being a state-of-the-art facility that provides the ideal environment from which to deliver core services with 100% uptime. What’s more, as the hardware on which the core infrastructure operates is fully owned & managed by us, all of the anticipated costs of Kingsley Napley replacing their servers simply evaporated.
With management, maintenance & support also delivered as part of our managed services, it was an easy decision for the Kingsley Napley management team. And, as an added bonus, their new VDC solution would integrate seamlessly with the DR solution we already managed.
Naturally, this made Kingsley Napley very risk-averse with the frequent updates & patches that IT vendors such as Microsoft & VMware release on a regular basis. Whilst most of these provide a useful fix for a minor bug in the vendors’ software, it is a fact that on occasion these updates can make matters worse, and in (thankfully very rare) extreme cases they can lead to certain systems becoming temporarily unusable.
As such, Thereza Snyman, head of IT at Kingsley Napley, identified one of the most interesting functions of their new solution as being the ability to first deploy new updates & patches onto a back-up snapshot of their infrastructure. This was made possible by the modular integration of the virtual data centre solution with the back-up & DR solution that was already managed by Shift F7, and meant that the stability of each new update could be tested safely for any bugs before being installed on the live network.
As with most deployments of our virtual data centre solution, we also delivered a managed support service via our 24/7/365 service desk working in conjunction with our network operations team who would manage, monitor & maintain the new infrastructure as well as the security components. Finally, a managed connectivity solution was deployed to ensure consistent access to the hosted network was always available to all staff.
For a law firm that can be managing hundreds of different legal cases at any one time, downtime is simply not an option. Kingsley Napley had spent years developing a reputation for excellence and they knew that any business interruption that impeded their ability to provide the first class service their clients demanded could be hugely damaging to this. The new virtual datacentre solution in conjunction with the DR solution has so far delivered 100% uptime and greatly improved performance across the board.
Shift F7’s hosted services also mean that the cost of replacing key hardware such as firewalls, servers & storage devices has vanished, as we own all of the hardware that our platform operates on. This equates to tens of thousands of pounds saved over the next few years, as well as reducing administration & management time. The virtual data centre model also dramatically reduces licensing costs across the entire IT estate.
Kingsley Napley and their clients also have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that all company & client data is stored in in our tier 3, ISO 27001 & ISO 9001 accredited data centres, meeting or exceeding all of Kingsley Napley’s compliance obligations. Furthermore, our regular testing of the DR solution means that in the unlikely event of a major outage, we can have their entire system back up and running in minutes.
- Head of IT, Kingsley Napley
"When the time had come to invest in a new IT platform, we already had a very strong relationship with Shift F7 so it was an easy decision to ask them to tender for the project. Their attention to detail and extremely professional approach was a key factor in their proposal being accepted"
- Head of IT, Kingsley Napley
“The impact of any downtime is reduced to the absolute minimum using this virtual development platform to “dummy run” any changes we need to make to the systems. Shift F7 has always served us well in terms of Disaster Recovery and continues to do, but with the added benefit of the new platform and the ability to use a live system in isolation for the development, upgrade and deployment of applications, Shift F7 has more than shown their commitment to understanding the needs of our busy legal Firm.”