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’tsee the light of day. Thomson Reuters, the world’s leading sourceof intelligent information, is focused on one goal – to put theright information into the right hands to help clients produceamazing results. Delivering on this promise requires an ITinfrastructure that can support game-changing products andservices.


Thomson Reuters’ Westlaw legal researchservice stores more than 5 billion documents and is used byapproximately 98% of the largest law firms in the United States.Even though Westlaw was considered the preferred legal researchservice, Thomson Reuters recently embarked on a journey to takeWestlawNext, which they launched in 2010, to even greater heights.The goal was to create an innovative, intuitive research andworkflow tool that would make legal research as easy as Internetsearch. To realize this goal, Thomson Reuters needed to enhance itsexisting private and public cloud infrastructure to supportWestlawNext. With a storage infrastructure built on NetApp (NASDAQ:NTAP), WestlawNext not only became a reality but set a new standardfor online professional search. To date, more than 20,000 lawfirms, corporate law departments, and government customers haveadopted WestlawNext, and it was named the New Product of the Yearfor 2011 by the American Association of Law Libraries.


“We consider NetApp to be a key strategic ITpartner, and the choice to build on the NetApp storage foundationwas clear,” said Rick King, chief technology officer, ThomsonReuters Professional Division. “WestlawNext is a revolutionaryproduct that required a storage foundation that would deliver thedynamic search capabilities and unique customer experience we werelooking for. Working with NetApp enabled us to fundamentallytransform how legal research is conducted and provide the legalindustry with the most powerful and innovative product of its kindin the market.”


News Highlights


  • Building on a NetAppĀ® shared storage infrastructure gaveThomson Reuters the flexibility they needed to create a WestlawNextproduct that delivers a new level of search performance. NetApp’snetwork file system (NFS) performance and ability to scale allowthe service to search up to 50 times more data and return results64% faster than other online search platforms.
  • Lawyers work around the clock, and WestlawNext needs to workaround the clock with them. NetApp partnered with Thomson Reutersdevelopers to create a replication process that enables WestlawNextto meet or exceed a 99.9% uptime target, giving lawyers around theworld the confidence of knowing that critical information isavailable to them whenever they need it.
  • The shared storage infrastructure supports the intelligentsearch capability of WestlawNext. NetApp enables the service todeliver 50 related pieces of information for a single searchrequest, helping clients do their jobs more effectively andefficiently.
  • Leveraging a virtualized, shared infrastructure built onNetApp, Cisco, and VMware technologies has led to savings andefficiencies for Thomson Reuters that include a 25% reduction inpower consumption.
  • Improved storage performance helped save nearly $65 million byeliminating the need to build a second data center orignallythought necessary to house the WestlawNext platform.

Supporting Quotes


  • Rick King, chief technology officer, Thomson ReutersProfessional Division
    “WestlawNext truly pushes the boundaries of what is possible withsearch. We set out to deliver a first-of-its-kind product to thelegal industry, and it’s unreal to think that a legal searchproduct could elicit such an emotional and overwhelming responsefrom clients. Our partnership with NetApp helped make thispossible. The technological demands placed on our IT infrastructurefrom the development process through production are amazing, andthe NetApp shared infrastructure never blinked once.”
  • Manish Goel, executive vice president of ProductOperations, NetApp
    “Information is the backbone of Thomson Reuters. How they leverageand deliver that information is what sets them apart from the restof the industry. When Thomson Reuters approached NetApp with theirvision for WestlawNext, we were excited to roll up our sleeves andpartner with them to make it happen. The broad acceptance from thelegal industry is proof that the storage infrastructure a companybuilds on can make the difference between success andfailure.”

Additional Resources


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NetApp Staff