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Pure Storage Case Study | Maurice Blackburn Lawyers


Maurice Blackburn Lawyers

  1.  Business productivity impacted by slow application response times
  2.  Slow document management system and long query times
  3.  Expanding costs of storage and storage management
  4.  Existing storage unable to meet needs of rapid company growth 

  1.  Pure Storage FA-405
  2.  12x faster back-ups
  3.  Data reduction rate of 4.5:1
  1.  Improved employee productivity by removing application delays
  2.  Built storage foundation for future company growth
  3.  Less than 1 full-time resource needed to manage storage




Maurice Blackburn is one of Australia’s longest established law firms. For almost 100 years it has been serving everyday Australians within the community to ensure social justice and civil liberties through its specialist practices of compensation law, general law, superannuation and insurance, and employment law. A team of almost 50 partners and over 800 staff operate from Maurice Blackburn’s 50+ offices around Australia – around 30 of which are permanent physical offices, supplemented by visiting offices to ensure every Australian around the country has access to legal counsel no matter where they live.

The firm has doubled in size over the past five years, and forecasts suggest strong growth is still to come. “Supporting this growth from an IT perspective is imperative in ensuring ongoing performance. The company requires technology that will keep up with its rapid expansion and increasing storage demands,” said Brett Johnstone, Maurice Blackburn’s CIO.


Maurice Blackburn relies on document management as a significant business application, however it was becoming sluggish and presenting challenges. On investigation, Johnstone’s team identified the performance of its existing SAN was no longer meeting the company’ needs, and at the same time it needed additional storage to support its growth. “The combination of our SAN and storage requirements triggered a search for a faster solution – this was in parallel with trying to build a really solid technology foundation to support the ongoing growth of the firm,” Johnstone said.

When it came time to selecting a new solution, Johnstone had heard a lot about flash, and Pure was always associated with the conversations. Johnstone’s team undertook a detailed evaluation of the options, assessing EMC XtremIO, Nimble and Pure. Pure was the stand-out.

Johnstone said, “Our three key requirements of SAN performance, additional storage and a solid foundation meant Pure was the perfect solution. Its performance was fantastic, and the price point was only a small premium on the cost of buying additional storage – which it gave us – as well as providing the business with a high performing SAN. Pure presented a great foundation for storage performance moving forward and will more than satisfy our three year projection and storage requirements.”

When it came to the implementation, Johnstone said it couldn’t have been easier. Originally running a proof of concept (POC) trial, implementation took less than half and hour and the migration of half the document management environment was completed in less than half a day. They never moved the data back. “This was obviously the right solution for us, so we decided to purchase and moving from the proof of concept was instant. Within the day we’d deployed document management, Citrix and Exchange workloads onto the Pure Array. We also run a mix of 2005, 2008 and 2012 SQL databases on the Pure FlashArray.”

Pure is now Maurice Blackburn’s primary storage solution, used for all of the company’s important workloads. Maurice Blackburn still maintains it older, slower storage - now used only for second and third tier applications.


Johnstone said his strategy meant getting the core infrastructure right as a springboard for the rest of the business’s IT needs. “Choosing Pure smashed the data storage side of the argument while alleviating a number of performance issues. We’re on the right journey and are already seeing improvements across the application suite, including our Citrix deployment.

Our technical guys love it – Pure is much simpler to support and has significantly reduced the amount of effort required for storage maintenance.” It now takes the equivalent of less than one full-time resource to manage the company’s storage – and the majority of that time is spent managing the old solution as it runs into depreciation. “Essentially we no longer need to worry about storage. With Pure we’ve got a SAN we’re very confident in, and can now focus on more value-adding technology, platform programs and other components that will make a real difference,” Johnstone said.

Maurice Blackburn runs a highly virtualised environment with staff located around the country. Its Pure implementation has further enabled the business and its people, with the ability to now perform tasks which were previously inhibited by the slow SAN. “From an end user perspective the implementation is saving valuable time and significantly reducing employee frustration,” Johnstone said. “For example, a full text search on our document system used to take an average of 45 seconds – sometimes it would timeout completely on the EMC infrastructure. Running the indexers on Pure Storage has reduced this to less than ten seconds.” Johnstone notes with Pure, back-ups are now 12x faster to perform, and adds there’s also been an increase in Citrix performance and reliability which impacts staff productivity. Furthermore, it’s reduced its data footprint by a factor of 4.5.

As well as being a superior technical solution, Johnstone said the Pure team has been fantastic to deal with. “The level of engagement and interaction between Pure and our team simplified the decision even further,” he said. “We’re only at the beginning of the journey – we’ve got the right foundations in place so the future is looking extremely promising.”

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