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NetApp Enables Thomson Reuters to Transform How the Legal Industry Gets Information

NetApp Storage Is the Foundation for Game-Changing Legal Search Solution

SUNNYVALE, Calif.-August 2, 2011-Information is the backbone of business success. Without information, organizations stall and innovative ideas don't see the light of day. Thomson Reuters, the world's leading source of intelligent information, is focused on one goal - to put the right information into the right hands to help clients produce amazing results. Delivering on this promise requires an IT infrastructure that can support game-changing products and services.

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 embarked on a journey to take WestlawNext, which they launched in 2010, to even greater heights. The goal was to create an innovative, intuitive research and workflow tool that would make legal research as easy as Internet search. To realize this goal, Thomson Reuters needed to enhance its existing private and public cloud infrastructure to support WestlawNext. With a storage infrastructure built on NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP), WestlawNext not only became a reality but set a new standard for online professional search. To date, more than 20,000 law firms, corporate law departments, and government customers have adopted WestlawNext, and it was named the New Product of the Year for 2011 by the American Association of Law Libraries.

"We consider NetApp to be a key strategic IT partner, and the choice to build on the NetApp storage foundation was clear," said Rick King, chief technology officer, Thomson Reuters Professional Division. "WestlawNext is a revolutionary product that required a storage foundation that would deliver the dynamic search capabilities and unique customer experience we were looking for. Working with NetApp enabled us to fundamentally transform how legal research is conducted and provide the legal industry with the most powerful and innovative product of its kind in the market."

News Highlights

  • Building on a NetApp® shared storage infrastructure gave Thomson Reuters the flexibility they needed to create a WestlawNext 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.
  • Lawyers work around the clock, and WestlawNext needs to work around the clock with them. NetApp partnered with Thomson Reuters developers to create a replication process that enables WestlawNext to meet or exceed a 99.9% uptime target, giving lawyers around the world the confidence of knowing that critical information is available to them whenever they need it.
  • The 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 do their jobs more effectively and efficiently.
  • Leveraging a virtualized, shared infrastructure built on NetApp, Cisco, and VMware technologies has led to savings and efficiencies for Thomson Reuters that include a 25% reduction in power consumption.
  • Improved storage performance helped save nearly $65 million by eliminating the need to build a second data center orignally thought necessary to house the WestlawNext platform.

Supporting Quotes

  • Rick King, chief technology officer, Thomson Reuters Professional Division
    "WestlawNext truly pushes the boundaries of what is possible with search. We set out to deliver a first-of-its-kind product to the legal industry, and it's unreal to think that a legal search product could elicit such an emotional and overwhelming response from clients. Our partnership with NetApp helped make this possible. The technological demands placed on our IT infrastructure from the development process through production are amazing, and the NetApp shared infrastructure never blinked once."
  • Manish Goel, executive vice president of Product Operations, NetApp
    "Information is the backbone of Thomson Reuters. How they leverage and deliver that information is what sets them apart from the rest of the industry. When Thomson Reuters approached NetApp with their vision for WestlawNext, we were excited to roll up our sleeves and partner with them to make it happen. The broad acceptance from the legal industry is proof that the storage infrastructure a company builds on can make the difference between success and failure."

Additional Resources

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Press Contact:
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