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Senior Editor

Network Physics optimizes CRM for law firm

Feb 19, 20042 mins
CRM SystemsData Center

* Law firm Duane Morris LLP watches net with Network Physics appliance

The IT team at Duane Morris LLP recently revealed how the Philadelphia law firm managed to reduce latency, migrate systems and centrally monitor network performance across 22 offices supporting 550 lawyers. CIO John Sroka says the firm rolled out Network Physics’ NP-2000 appliance.

After deploying Microsoft Exchange about six months ago, Sroka and network infrastructure manager Herb Brabham started noticing more latency issues in their network. The latency following the migration concerned them, Sroka says, because the IT team was working toward a more centralized IT model to reduce costs and improve performance. The law firm was simultaneously working to build out a disaster recovery infrastructure in its Chicago office. The Chicago systems were replicating in real time to the Philadelphia network, which also added to performance problems.

“The goals we were working toward added a lot of complexity to our network infrastructure,” Sroka says. “And we weren’t looking to replace existing tools, more just complement the Fluke Networks and HP OpenView products we already used.”

After rolling out one NP-2000 appliance at the Philadelphia location, Sroka says the cause of migration problems and a persistent CRM application issue became clear. “It gave us real data that we used to go to back to our apps vendor to get bottlenecks worked out,” he says.

Duane Morris is monitoring its LAN and WAN traffic with one NP-2000 appliance. The NP-2000 connects directly to core LAN switches in data centers and regional aggregation points.

The company says appliances monitor all traffic passing through major network interchanges, which can constitute about 80% to 85% of all network traffic. This creates a baseline of traffic patterns to strengthen network troubleshooting and flag traffic-pattern anomalies. The NP-2000 attaches to a mirrored (or “span”) port on a core LAN switch and continually analyzes individual IP, TCP, and UDP flows in real time.

The NP-2000 appliance passively collects data flowing into and out of the router, collecting metrics such as response times between the router and a server. Customers can access the data in the database from any machine running a Web browser. The software also can feed data via SNMP to any network and systems management console.

The appliance helped Duane Morris better understand its traffic and identify problems with certainty. Prior to rolling out the NP-2000 Brabham says the IT staff would “suspect the source of performance problems, but we couldn’t be sure 100%.”