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Blooston Windows Server 2003 End of Life & Cloud

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Blooston, Mordkofsky, Dickens, Duffy, & Prendergast, (Blooston Law) a DC law firm specializing in telecommunications, had an aging infrastructure of Windows 2003 servers providing file, print, and email services. Not only was the infrastructure old and outdated, Microsoft made it end of life (EOL) on July, 14 2015. Blooston Law was in need of a plan to mitigate this risk. As their IT Managed Service Provider, we started advising them of the need to address their server infrastructure 6 months prior to EOL. By understanding their requirements, we provided them with solutions that fit their budget, scope and timeline.

Blooston Law is heavily dependent on email and requires it to always be available. The information they collect grows fast so they need a solution that will meet their future storage requirements. Blooston Law also needs their information to be backed up offsite, without having to deal with tapes and manual offsite storage.

One option we presented to Blooston Law was to create an in-house Exchange email server and continue to host the email internally. However, to reduce network complexity, and to gain more reliability, we decided to move email services to the cloud. Cloud email services provide scalability, reliability and reduced total cost of ownership, with guaranteed uptime of 99.999%. Email was exported to cloud based email servers, and the workstations and mobile devices were all configured to integrate and synchronize. The email migration was successful with no lost emails and no downtime. The old Exchange server was then shut down and decommissioned.

For file storage, we installed a new Windows Server 2012 R2 server. The domain roles were transferred to this new server, and file information was migrated and shared out to the clients. The new server, due to advances in hard drive technology, has six times the storage space than the previous server did. Workstations were reconfigured to work with the new server. After it was verified users had access to their files, printing and scanning, the old server was shut down and decommissioned. With the performance of the new server, and proper planning, the project was successfully completed on budget, with negligible downtime for the users. Because of the server hardware and operating systems used, the new server is expected to be in operation until 2020.

Backup is accomplished through three methods. First, Microsoft Volume Shadow Copies are enabled on the drive allowing for instant file recovery in case of deletion. Second, all of the data files are copied each night to an on-site NAS device. This allows access to the files, even if the server cannot be turned on. Finally, the data is also backed up to the cloud in order to meet their off-site storage requirements. Data stored in the cloud backup has a six month retention period, containing all of the information stored on the server.

Blooston Law has been a client of V2 Systems since 2002.

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