Georgetown Law Center Case Study

Case Studies

Georgetown Law Center: Assurance for Critical System Uptime

Located at the foot of Capitol Hill, in Washington, D.C., Georgetown University Law School offers unparalleled access to the Congress, the Supreme Court, and numerous agencies, administrative boards, and commissions of the federal government and the District of Columbia.

At the school’s law center, IT Director Matthew B. has been managing the school’s IT infrastructure for the past three years. He manages the school’s data center and network as well as connectivity and telecom hardware. Shortly after commencing work at Georgetown, Mr. B. conducted a review of service contracts for their data center hardware.

He found Park Place Technologies service to be the only viable alternative to Dell’s support programs, costing less and supporting a wider range of servers than Dell itself.

Preserving the Data Center

The school operates a data center at one location and a facility providing partial backup, a second router, and Internet connectivity in another building across the street. Additional servers are installed at the second facility whenever high availability, highly redundant services are required. The data center used many models of Dell PowerEdge servers, many of which are no longer supported by the manufacturer. The IT infrastructure also includes a Dell PowerVault 770N network attached storage (NAS) server.

The IT staff included Mr. B. and three network administrators. The administrators have varied duties, which also include audio-visual services and video and Internet conferencing.

Finding and maintaining reliable, cost-effective support services is another important part of Mr. B.’s responsibilities, one that can minimize the business risk of operating the school’s IT infrastructure

Without Park Place, we would either have to buy new servers or shrug and pray and hope that the old servers don’t go bad.

Matthew B., CCNA, CISSP
Director of IT Operations/Information Security Officer

Case Study Key Points

Georgetown retains control of equipment lifecycle

Cost-Effective Solution for supporting legacy equipment

Provided an alternative for end-of-service-life equipment

Support Georgetown’s cost containment and vendor consolidation strategy

Each year, we review the servers coming off-contract or needing renewal. We perform the same process and get a number of quotes. Last year, we excluded sole-source quotes as Park Place was the only provider we found with viable support. With Park Place, renegotiation is an easy process.

Matthew B., CCNA, CISSP
Director of IT Operations/Information Security Officer

Comprehensive Support, Lower Costs

When service contracts of any of the law center’s servers expire, university officials want the IT department to get several quotes to ensure that post-contract support services are cost-effective. Of the support services that Mr. B. found, only Dell Computer and Park Place Technologies, a company specializing in data center hardware maintenance, offered the Dell server support that the IT team needs.

Park Place supports servers that Dell would not and offers the university lower cost end-of-life support services than Dell does. Park Place quoted a lower price to support all of the data center servers than Dell quoted to support only some of them. This alternative has helped the IT department to avoid the cost of buying new servers or paying premium rates for support. As Mr. B. described the situation, “we would either have to buy new servers or shrug and pray and hope that the servers don’t go bad.”

The greatest risk of the “shrug-and-pray” approach is to applications, the lifeblood of the school’s IT operations. The most important applications include the Microsoft Exchange communications environment used to support email and web applications used to provide the school’s Internet presence. Other application-based functions include accounting, file and print services and scheduling using Windows Active Directory structure DHCP.

Although Park Place and Dell support provide comparable levels of service, Park Place offers substantially lower-cost services and supports a wider variety of older server models than Dell. When the school buys a new server, Dell support is just part of the contract. When the server contract expires, and the school wants to support the server, the school encourages the use of Park Place services.

About Park Place Technologies

Park Place Technologies is your global data center and networking optimization firm. Powered by the world’s largest on-the-ground engineering team, a robust group of advanced engineers and our fully staffed, 24x7x365 Enterprise Operations Center, we offer a robust portfolio of IT solutions to optimize networking and data center Uptime and performance. Our services include third-party data center hardware maintenance, data center professional services, infrastructure managed services, network performance monitoring and IT hardware sales. Through our unique and fully integrated DMSO (Discover, Monitor, Support, Optimize) approach, customers enjoy streamlined infrastructure monitoring and management, cost efficiencies, less chaos, and faster mean-time-to-resolution – ultimately providing the freedom to think bigger. Park Place’s industry-leading and award-winning services include Park Place Hardware Maintenance™, Park Place Professional Services™, ParkView Managed Services™, Entuity Software™ and Curvature Hardware sales.

Park Place is a portfolio company of Charlesbank Capital Partners and GTCR.