JetStor® X AFA Solution Accelerates eDiscovery, IT Forensics, and Information Governance Services


THE ORGANIZATION

Swiss FTS is a leading provider of eDiscovery, IT forensics, and information governance services for global enterprises, law firms, and government agencies. Its skilled staff offers case management for legal investigations and litigation into such issues as fraud, regulatory compliance breaches, and data and intellectual property theft, as well as consulting for information governance. Who’s Who Legal in 2017 named two Swiss FTS partners as among the 50 leading digital forensics specialists worldwide. Founded in 2010, Swiss FTS is based in Glattbrugg, Switzerland, with an office in Singapore.

THE CHALLENGE

Swiss FTS requires an IT infrastructure that enables its staff to collect, store, search, and retrieve large volumes of information quickly. For eDiscovery and forensic investigations, for example, it must save unstructured data like email, Word documents, and a variety of other files it receives from clients. Staff collects metadata from the files, which they store in a SQL database, enabling them to rapidly search for needed documents. They then retrieve the native documents for their work. 

To conduct data-intensive investigations on large troves of files, Swiss FTS relies on sophisticated tools like the Relativity eDiscovery platform, an information management system from Nuix, and the EnCase Forensic digital investigation solution. 

“The core of our work is processing and analyzing clients’ data, and our applications, particularly SQL databases, demand high-speed storage to operate efficiently,” said Mattias Aggeler, a specialist in computer forensics at Swiss FTS and one of the firm’s partners cited by Who’s Who Legal. “Our storage also must be very dependable to ensure there’s never any data loss.”

When it was founded, Swiss FTS turned to Vector & Scalar Products Ltd (VSPL), a storage integrator and VAR based in Marlow, UK. Understanding the firm’s needs, VSPL recommended a JetStor 716iS array to anchor its IT infrastructure. The platform proved to be a dependable workhorse, but as the firm grew, it came to require even greater performance. That’s when Swiss FTS approached VSPL again.

THE SOLUTION

One JetStor 826iXD 26-bay All Flash Array from Advanced Computer & Network Corporation (AC&NC).

SYSTEM CONFIGURATION

• One JetStor 826iXD 26-bay All Flash Array

• Two Mellanox MSX1012 40GbE switches

• Mellanox ConnectX NICs

BENEFITS IMMEDIATELY REALIZED

By deploying a JetStor AFA 826iXD solution, Swiss FTS greatly expedited the collection, processing, and discovery that comprise its eDiscovery and digital forensic investigations. The all-flash, 26-bay iSCSI SAN storage system enables complex queries to be run concurrently even on thousands of files for large, complex projects. The platform is engineered for continuous operation and features dual active controllers, redundant components, and no single point of failure.

“The JetStor 826iXD All Flash Array delivers the perfect performance at a very good price,” said Aggeler. “The platform has been rock solid with uptime better than 99.9 percent. Its dependability is important to our business because we simply don’t have the time to deal with lost data or reliability issues.”

Additionally, the JetStor AFA 826iXD solution offers outstanding scalability. With JBODs, the chassis can expand to 2.6 petabytes of capacity, ensuring Swiss FTS of abundant primary storage well into the future.

“At VSPL, we strive to offer our customers the best solutions for their needs,” noted Quentin Gadd, Sales and Business Development Manager for Vector & Scalar Products Ltd. “We’ve deployed JetStor storage systems extensively throughout the digital forensics and eDiscovery community in the UK, which is why I specified the JetStor AFA 826iXD to Swiss FTS. JetStor systems provide the performance and reliability our customer demanded, which was exemplified by their previous JetStor array.”

Swiss FTS will repurpose its JetStor 716iS array as a backup device. “After all these years, the solution still delivers great performance,” added Aggeler. “We expect many more years of dependable service from it.”

The JetStor AFA 826iXD also offers functionality like thin provisioning, auto tiering, snapshots, and local clone and remote replication for disaster recovery, all of which are easily accessed in the system’s SANOS 4.0 OS via a web browser. “JetStor platforms offer complete storage solutions,” said Aggeler. “We might leverage the snapshot feature, for example, if we deploy backup storage at a remote data center.”

HOW WE DID IT

In early 2017, Swiss FTS deployed the JetStor AFA 826iXD 10Gb/sec iSCSI SAN platform featuring Samsung SSDs, each with two terabytes of capacity. The device has multiple connections to two low-latency Mellanox MSX1012 half-width switches via redundant 10Gb/sec iSCSI connections. The switches have similar links to servers featuring Mellanox ConnectX NICs, providing a highly-available, low-latency architecture. 

The JetStor AFA 826iXD is partitioned into volumes configured mostly for RAID 5 or 6 for robust data protection.  For even greater performance, such as for SQL server, some run RAID 10.

“The installation was straightforward,” said Aggeler. “We configured everything using the SANOS 4.0 management system in the JetStor array’s firmware. Management is simple and once the platform is up and running, it requires little administration. We can focus on our work, not IT issues.”

CONCLUSION

Provisioned with its JetStor AFA 826iXD storage system, Swiss FTS is better positioned than ever to deliver industry-leading digital investigative services. 

“It says a lot about JetStor storage platforms that after using one for years, we purchased another, from VSPL,” said Aggeler. “Why should we take a chance with another vendor’s products when our legacy JetStor chassis has performed flawlessly for years?”

The firm’s JetStor AFA 826iXD is also performing flawlessly. The JetStor storage array provides the performance needed to support the company’s most demanding applications and more than enough scalability to meet the firm’s needs.

“JetStor storage solutions have more than kept pace with today’s storage needs,” concluded Aggeler. “They provide outstanding value and have proven to be a great investment for us.”

ABOUT ADVANCED COMPUTER & NETWORK CORPORATION (AC&NC)

AC&NC™ / JetStor meets the evolving needs for data storage, protection, and management. We leverage leading technologies to offer high-value solutions for NAS, SANs, clouds, and hyper-converged infrastructures (HCIs).  Since 1994, our customers have spanned virtually every industry, and range from Fortune 500 enterprises to small and medium-sized firms.  We support environments from data centers and clouds to branch offices and remote sites.

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