The start of the pandemic early in 2020 forced most of people working at offices to swap to a working from home situation. Some companies were not fully prepared for this transition, as was the case of Adams Wealth Advisors, New staff working from home created problems for an infrastructure built to support employees working from the office.
CHALLENGE: Remote Working / Transition to Cloud using Object Storage
Adams Wealth Advisors is a registered investment advisory firm which over the previous three years has grown between 30% and 40% annually. To handle the increasing workload, they significantly increased their staff, and for the first time began to hire remote team members.
The start of the pandemic early in 2020 forced most of the remaining staff to work from home.
At the time, all storage was on-premises. The few remote users on the system early on used VPN services to access their resources. It was cumbersome, slow, and an obstacle to efficient work. Uploading or downloading a file took a long time. It seemed like remote users were working at the dawn of the computer era rather than in the world of ‘work from anywhere’ in the era of cloud computing.
USE CASE AND SOLUTION
Jonathan Dursteler, the Director of Technology, undertook an initiative to evaluate technologies to support the new remote work requirements, while also streamlining the workflow processes. The scope of the project increased after the firm underwent an internal audit to improve compliance and security, which identified several areas that could be enhanced.
While anticipating continued growth, Adams made a strategic decision to center their new work infrastructure in the cloud because it would facilitate both streamlined growth and efficiency.
The appeal of the File Fabric was that it was designed to support remote work, security and governance, and collaboration all together in one turnkey service in the cloud.
Some key achievements:
- Migrating the on-premises NAS data onto the cloud was supported by Storage Made Easy and was straightforward. The company used Rclone, an open source data tiering application, which has built in support for the File Fabric. Data was tiered to Amazon S3 over a weekend.
- The File Fabric provides multiple methods for Adams Wealth users to access their Amazon S3 data including a web browser UI, mobile devices, and Cloud Drive (akin to the users previous home drive).
- The File Fabric provides capabilities not easily available natively including features such as locking, versioning and trash. The trash capability has been especially useful on several occasions.
- The File Fabric for Adams Wealth is deployed in the Cloud on IaaS – infrastructure as a service. The IaaS is a dedicated instance of the File Fabric configured specifically for Adams including their own domain and branding.
- From a security and compliance perspective, the File Fabric has provided significant new capabilities. Key items include streamed encryption and an audit trail that captures all data access events, which can be used for compliance, to satisfy for example Subject Data Access Requests.
- Document collaboration with clients and partners, now occurs directly from the main server. There is no need to duplicate files to external consumer sync services. With controls such as link duration, number of downloads, passwords and the audit trail collaboration is both more efficient as well as secure.
Jonathan said, “the transition to the cloud has been pretty easy and our users have been using the system seamlessly.” He adds, “we are pleased and happy with the File Fabric and have streamlined our processes while also improving our security and compliance.”
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