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Epiq Saves on Storage Costs and Increases Availability on Amazon FSx

2020

Epiq, a leading global legal services company, offers legal firms a suite of eDiscovery services to help them search and secure electronic data for use in legal cases. As a company with locations and clients around the world, Epiq needs to maintain storage for hundreds of terabytes of documents and records according to various regulations while keeping them readily available for clients, who might need to access them at a moment’s notice. Yet the data storage solutions Epiq was using were cumbersome to manage and costly to operate and maintain. These challenges were magnified as Epiq continued to grow and expand, acquiring new companies and products to better serve its customers.

Epiq is always exploring new technologies and looking for better ways to serve its customers. This led Epiq to experiment with using Amazon Web Services (AWS) and to migrate data to Amazon FSx, using Amazon FSx for Windows File Server, which provides fully managed, highly reliable, and scalable file storage that is accessible over the industry-standard Server Message Block (SMB) protocol. Using Amazon FSx, Epiq can provide faster service to clients by standing up new environments quickly and efficiently, expediting its change-management process, reducing frequency outages, and saving space in storage—as well as cutting costs with data deduplication.

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We’re seeing not only significant cost reductions but also space savings of 30 percent on Amazon FSx for Windows File Server.”

Tina Kennedy
Director of Engineering Operations, Epiq

Too Little Storage for Too High Cost with On-Premises Solutions

With over 50 global offices supporting 5,500 employees, Epiq provides services to legal entities worldwide, such as law firms and government agencies. Its proprietary solutions help clients streamline the administration of business operations, class actions and mass torts, court reporting, bankruptcy matters, and much more. Epiq’s eDiscovery services range from self-service access to proprietary products to full-service discovery and document preparation. Having recently merged with eDiscovery-services provider DTI in 2018, Epiq is one of the largest eDiscovery companies in the world.

Operations at Epiq’s scale require secure data storage—and lots of it. eDiscovery workflows require a chain of custody—original media has to be stored, and then copies are made for processing, using, and sharing—which means each client maintains a large volume of data for each case. “Our clients are at the mercy of the courts for when they might need to revisit their documents or make changes to them,” says Tina Kennedy, director of engineering operations at Epiq. “Clients have the expectation that their data will be immediately available, even years after it was initially stored.”

Yet with its traditional self-managed storage solution, Epiq was running into challenges. Additionally, creating new environments for clients was taking too much time and so was the company’s change-management process: making changes to its system took days to complete. Costs for storage were too high. “A new leadership team at Epiq told us, ‘We’re spending too much money here—let’s find out how to save money,’” explains Kennedy. “So we started looking at how we could do that on AWS.”

Epiq chose to implement Amazon FSx through its cost-savings initiative. The new managed file structure that Amazon FSx provides would enable Epiq to easily launch and scale storage while still maintaining quick access and appropriate chain-of-custody copies. Realizing the value of Amazon FSx, Epiq decided to migrate its other environments to the AWS service.

Lowering Costs and Optimizing Time on Amazon FSx

Fully managed and built on Windows Server, Amazon FSx enables higher availability, higher durability, and lower costs for Epiq. In addition, the company has realized significant savings per month with data deduplication on AWS, which has optimized costs by removing redundant data, reducing data volumes by 30 to 40 percent. “Data deduplication, one of the biggest drivers for our migration, has been extremely significant for us,” says Kennedy. “We’re seeing not only significant cost reductions but also space savings of 30 percent on Amazon FSx for Windows File Server.”

Time optimization is another significant benefit of Amazon FSx: Epiq can now build a new environment in mere days. Kennedy explains, “We can very quickly stand up what we need for our clients who are looking for a cloud-based solution. While cloud storage is not the right solution for every client, the speed at which we can provide services in the cloud versus a traditional on-premises environment—there’s just no comparing it.” Working in the cloud has also enabled Epiq to reduce change-management times by 80 percent. “We have the ability to make changes and make them quickly,” Kennedy says. “Compliance and regulation haven’t changed, but they’re easier to manage and check off when we’re working in the cloud.”

Improving the Customer Experience and Optimizing for the Future

To pursue additional cost savings, agility, and availability benefits, Epiq plans to migrate other accounts to Amazon FSx. “As we move forward and grow, managing these file servers becomes more complicated,” says Michael Maliniak, director of global support at Epiq. “And that’s why we’re looking to use Amazon FSx more. We know if we tried to do it on our own, it would be significantly harder, especially for the multipetabyte scale.”

By taking advantage of the managed storage on Amazon FSx, Epiq was able to drastically reduce costs for cloud-based storage while also delivering faster, highly available services to its customers. “I’ve had a lot of different working relationships with vendors over my 25 years of experience in product development,” says Kennedy. “I would have to say that the relationship between Epiq and AWS has been one of the best and most effective.”

About Epiq

Founded in 1988, Epiq, a leading global legal services company, offers legal firms a suite of eDiscovery services to help them search and secure electronic data for use in legal cases.

Benefits of AWS

  • Saved with data deduplication
  • Saved 30% on storage space
  • Reduced data volumes by 30–40%
  • Can build a new environment in days
  • Reduced change-management times by 80%


AWS Services Used

Amazon FSx

Amazon FSx makes it easy and cost effective to launch and run popular file systems that are fully managed by AWS.

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Amazon FSx for Windows File Server

Amazon FSx for Windows File Server provides fully managed, highly reliable, and scalable file storage that is accessible over the industry-standard Server Message Block (SMB) protocol.

Learn more »


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