Oracle/Talari Networks – Case Study

Law Office Wins Cases by Improving Network Reliability with a Talari SD-WAN

Taft, Stettinius & Hollister, LLP has been excelling as legal leaders since 1885. What started as a small, two-person team has become a premier regional law firm serving Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky and Ohio. The firm has more than 400 lawyers and 300 staff.

Taft has experienced major growth as it acquired and merged with other law offices and opened new offices in nearby states. Connectivity among its eight offices is critical, allowing teams to collaborate through phone calls, videoconferencing, email and document sharing to review client materials, define case strategies and prepare oral arguments.

Network outages are simply unacceptable as they prevent legal teams from working when and how they want. “In our business, everything is an emergency,” says John Carroll, Director of Technology Solutions at Taft. “Contracts must go out immediately. Settlements have to be handled fast. We needed a reliable network that keep the workflows active, prevent dropped calls and provide 100-percent uptime with zero interruptions.”

Making a Case for Reliability

Taft’s network needs to operate at the highest levels. Taft used multiple carriers to connect its offices and two data centers, but if one circuit failed, the failover wasn’t seamless. “The carriers were unable to fail over to the other network, and it caused these one-minute pauses,” says Carroll. “The carriers had many more outages than they admitted.” The impact was most apparent during videoconferences and phone calls. “People complained about bad picture quality, and they hated the audio fading and garbled sound,” says Carroll. Taft first installed WAN optimization from Riverbed to fix these problems, but it didn’t work as promised. Taft wanted a solution that would prevent WAN outages and failover to working lines seamlessly during carrier outages. In Carroll’s search for a better WAN, he found Talari.

Added Brainwidth

Talari brings real-time, packet-level intelligence to the firm’s network, creating aSoftware Defined WAN (SD-WAN). With a Talari SD-WAN, Taft has increased capacity, improved reliability, and lowered costs while ensuring that applications are not impacted by underlying network issues. “I am a believer in trying new technologies when they solve the problem,” says Carroll. “Before we had Talari, videoconferencing and other apps were unreliable because of a poor circuit. Now I can balance circuits across Level 3, AT&T and Cogent, and there are no complaints from users. I bought Talari to make the network more reliable, and it did exactly what it promised.” Talari solved Taft’s network reliability issues immediately, and it had many more positive impacts in maintenance, application management and cost savings. Talari sits in front of the Riverbed appliances, correcting the problems that Riverbed could not solve. “Even when we have carrier outages the network stays up and running without a hiccup,” says Carroll.

Talari’s patented technology facilitates quality-based routing, making the network smart. Latency, packet loss and jitter are measured on each path for an intelligent view and the ability to micromanage network quality. Selective packet duplication ensures that Taft’s business-critical applications, such as videoconferencing and voice, work exactly when the lawyers need them. When carrier connections fail, are lost, or disconnected, Talari proactively redirects traffic in milliseconds so that Taft’s lawyers and associates don’t experience a performance gap. Automatic failover also is helpful for network maintenance and upgrades.

“Talari gives me the luxury of doing maintenance without disturbing people,” he says. “If I have to replace a router from a carrier in the middle of the day, Talari sends all traffic to the other circuits without me doing anything and without users noticing the change.”

Turned up Negotiating Power

Carroll is reimagining the WAN because Talari gives him more options and freedom. “We can deploy applications that are bandwidth hogs because Talari will dynamically balance the load across carriers,” he says. Most importantly, Taft is no longer locked to a specific carrier, which means big cost savings because the firm can negotiate better contracts. “I’m using MPLS and VPLS, but I can switch to an all-VPLS network in the future because Talari makes it simpler to change carriers without experiencing a network outage,” says Carroll. That flexibility will save Taft money and from being held captive by a carrier contract when another service provider offers a better value. “After adding Talari, I can support 10 locations for a monthly cost equal to what AT&T was charging for two locations. Talari gives me the power of choice that will save us money,” says Carroll.

Smooth Operations
Taft’s growth phase is far from over, and in the future adding a new office will be easier for Carroll. In the past, he had 30 to 60 days to bring a new office up and getting all the carriers to commit to the timeframe was difficult. “Talari gives me the confidence that we can get up and operating on schedule. Talari made my life easier from day 1,” he says.

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