Home > New legal search product built on NetApp shared storage infrastructure transforms the legal industry’s access to data

New legal search product built on NetApp shared storage infrastructure transforms the legal industry’s access to data

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Thomson Reuters built on a NetApp shared storage infrastructure to give them the flexibility they needed in developing a legal search product for use by law firms.  

Thomson Reuters’ Westlaw legal research service stores more than 5 billion documents and is used by approximately 98% of the largest law firms in the United States. Even though Westlaw was considered the preferred legal research service, Thomson Reuters recently decided to take WestlawNext, launched in 2010 to even greater heights.  

To realise the objective of creating an innovative, intuitive research and workflow tool that would make legal research as easy as web search, Thomson Reuters needed to enhance its existing private and public cloud infrastructure to support WestlawNext.  

With a storage infrastructure built on NetApp, WestlawNext has not only become a reality but has also set a new standard for online professional search with over 20,000 law firms, corporate law departments and government customers adopting the legal search tool.  

WestlawNext was named the New Product of the Year for 2011 by the American Association of Law Libraries.  

Rick King, chief technology officer, Thomson Reuters Professional Division comments that WestlawNext required a storage foundation to deliver dynamic search capabilities and a unique customer experience, which was enabled by NetApp storage.  

Leveraging a virtualized, shared infrastructure built on NetApp, Cisco and VMware technologies has led to savings and efficiencies for Thomson Reuters including a 25% reduction in power consumption.  

Improved storage performance helped save nearly $65 million by eliminating the need to build a second data centre originally thought necessary to house the WestlawNext platform.  

Highlights of the WestlawNext legal search product built on NetApp storage

  • Building on a NetApp shared storage infrastructure provided the flexibility to create a product that delivers a new level of search performance
  • NetApp’s network file system (NFS) performance and ability to scale allow the service to search up to 50 times more data and return results 64% faster than other online search platforms
  • NetApp helped create a replication process that enables WestlawNext to meet or exceed a 99.9% uptime target
  • NetApp shared storage infrastructure supports the intelligent search capability of WestlawNext
  • NetApp enables the service to deliver 50 related pieces of information for a single search request, helping clients work more effectively and efficiently

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