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Nerdio Manager for Enterprise Case Study: Epiq

Case Study

Global Legal Services Enterprise Agency Migrates to Microsoft Azure and Saves Thousands Per Month with Nerdio Manager for Enterprise 

About Epiq

Epiq is a global provider of legal services, serving law firms, corporations, financial institutions, and government agencies. They help customers take on large-scale, complex legal tasks and streamline the administration of business operations, class action and mass tort, court reporting, eDiscovery, regulatory, compliance, restructuring, and bankruptcy matters. 

The Situation

EPIQ Legal Document Review—Changing with the Times   

As a trusted provider of legal services, Epiq works with data that is important, private, and sensitive to its customers. Counted on to handle the legal eDiscovery process for its customers, Epiq must be sure its data is accurate and secure. 

Epiq’s legal eDiscovery model helps legal clients, law firms, corporations, government agencies, and others to manage their data and have confidence that the information they have, puts them in a position for the best possible legal outcome. 

The sheer volume of sensitive information handled by this enterprise organization is daunting, so costs must be carefully managed, and a large, flexibly sized team needs the right virtual and remote tools to properly complete their tasks in an efficient manner. 

Business Needs 

  • Solve the challenges associated with connecting and managing a large, remote, and constantly changing eDiscovery review team 
  • Give that team the tools and job-flexibility that the new virtual environment demands 
  • Overcome the technical challenges associated with security and confidentiality 
  • Control associated Microsoft Azure costs 

Epiq’s document review services staff count fluctuates frequently based on customer demand. Historically, these team members worked in brick-and-mortar facilities. Epiq was already moving to a more flexible work model, even before the seismic changes brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The task was brought into sharp relief: implement a way for the team to work from geographically distributed locations, with users logging into a virtual desktop environment to perform eDiscovery documentation. Their proof-of-concept project with Microsoft’s Azure Virtual Desktop (AVD) revealed that the native auto-scaling in the product was difficult to control, and they needed to explore alternatives to lower costs. The Microsoft team recommended a potential solution; Nerdio Manager for Enterprise

Epiq’s Document Review Services (DRS) team can onboard and serve hundreds of client document review projects in a year. Usability, flexibility and scalability are key attributes for their technology partners. As team members move quickly from project to project and task to task, Nerdio Manager for Enterprise enables their tech support to keep pace. “Nerdio helps the entire DRS business unit be more 

The Solution 

The Need for Speed – From Proof of Concept to Implementation 

Already moving toward a flexible, virtualized environment, the Epiq team was prompted by the business realities of the COVID-19 crisis. They needed to move quickly, but intelligently, forward with their initiatives. Nerdio became their partner in adding speed and efficiency. 

“We were already going down that route, taking things into the cloud, doing document review, hosting virtual machines. COVID forced us to do it immediately,” said Wright. 

Although Epiq was initially skeptical of bringing in a third-party solution, the Nerdio team put any anxiety away in short order. “We were really impressed by how easy it was to set up and administer. Especially the auto-scaling functionality,” said Wright. “The Nerdio team really helped us understand what would work best for our use case.” 

“The biggest takeaway from all this is how Nerdio helped us increase efficiency and decrease cost in the wake of COVID. It was quick and easy to identify how Nerdio helped us. Looking back, we wish we had pulled the trigger on Nerdio sooner.” 

– Drew Wright, Senior Manager of Information Technology, DRS for Epiq


The Results 

Saving Time & Significantly Lowering Costs 

Epiq evolved its business practices, both to support the document review team with the best technology, but also to respond to that workforce’s need for physical and geographic flexibility. 

Wright says, “Nerdio has saved our team countless hours. Time we can spend on other important things — supporting users and acting more strategically.” In a business where time is of the essence, Nerdio proved its worth quickly. As Wright tells it, “Epiq turned a very large workforce virtual in about two weeks. Being able to layer on a tool like Nerdio, and seeing increased functionality, scalability, and significant cost-savings was just invaluable to us.” 

Nerdio’s Advanced Microsoft Azure auto-scaling capabilities drove significant monthly savings on Azure storage and compute costs–by about five times, in fact. “What we spend on Nerdio has been offset manifold by the savings. Probably within two weeks, we noticed a significant improvement in cost, because Nerdio was doing what AVD’s standard auto-scaling couldn’t.” 


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Find Nerdio in the Azure Marketplace: nerdio.co/nme

AVD MANAGEMENT

Multi-Cloud and On-Premises Deployment with Azure Stack HCI (Coming Soon)

Deploy Azure Virtual Desktop in Azure and extend the session host VM placement to on-premises and other cloud using Azure Stack HCI. Nerdio Manager automates deployment of session hosts, AVD agent installation, and full integration into the AVD deployment in Azure.

Create a brand new Azure Virtual Desktop environment or allow Nerdio Manager to discover an existing deployment, connecting to existing resources, and manage them.

Deploy Nerdio Manager from Azure Marketplace and configure a new AVD environment with an easy to follow, step-by-step configuration wizard. First group of users can access their AVD desktop in less than 2 hours.

Service providers, system integrators, and consultants can leverage Nerdio Manager’s scripted AVD deployment template. Create complete environments with desktop images, host pools, and auto-scaling in minutes.

Create and manage AVD environments that span Azure regions and subscriptions. Quickly link Vnets and resource groups and manage AVD deployments world-wide from unified portal.

Link multiple Azure tenants under the same Nerdio Manager instance and manage AVD deployments that span Azure AD tenants. User identities and session host VMs can run in separate tenants for maximum flexibilty and security.

Deploy and manage AVD environments that span across sovereign Azure Clouds. Cross-sovereign cloud support allows identity (e.g. users and groups) to be in one Azure Cloud, while session host VMs are in another Azure Cloud.

Management of workspaces, host pools, app groups, RemoteApps & custom RDP settings

Administer every aspect of AVD with Nerdio Manager including workspaces, host pools, application groups, RemoteApp publishing, RDP properties, session time limits, FSLogix, and much, much more. Every Azure service that AVD relies on can be managed with Nerdio Manager.

Deploy and manage AVD session host VMs. Hosts can be created manually or with auto-scaling, deleted on-demand or on a schedule, re-imaged to apply updates, run a scripted action, resized, put into or taken out of drain mode, and more.

Manage user sessions across the entire AVD environment, within a workspace, host pool or on a single host. Monitor session status, disconnect or log off the user, shadow or remote control to provide support, or send user an on-screen message.

End users have the ability to log into Nerdio Manager with their Azure AD credentials and manage their own session, restart their desktop VM, or start a session host if none are started in a host pool. (Ability to resize and re-image own desktop is coming soon.)

Create, link, and manage Azure Files shares including AD domain join. Synchronize Azure Files permissions with host pools, configure quotas, and enable SMB multi-channel. Manage file lock handles and configure Azure Files auto-scaling to increase quota as needed.

Create, link, and manage Azure NetApp Files accounts, capacity pools and volumes. Configure provisioned volume size, monitor usage, and use auto-scaling to automatically adjust volume and capacity pool size to accommodate the needed capacity and latency requirements.

FSLogix configuration can be complex and overwheling, but not with Nerdio Manager. Create one or more FSLogix profiles with all the needed options, point at one or more Azure Files, Azure NetApp Files, or server locations and select from VHDLocations, CloudCache and Azure Blob storage modes.

Multiple identity source profiles can be set up and used automatically on different host pools. Active Directory, Azure AD DS, and Native Azure AD are all supported. Choose the appropriate directory profile when adding a host pool and all VMs will automatically join this directory when being created.

Create a copy of a host pool with all of its settings: auto-scale config, app groups and RemoteApps, MSIX AppAttach, user/group assignments, VM deployment settings, etc. Save time by creating host pool “templates” that can be cloned to any Workspace, Azure region or subscription instead of starting from scratch.

Apply user session time limits at host pool level. Automatically log off disconnected sessions, limit the duration of idle sessions, control empty RemoteApp session behavior and more.

Assign Azure AD users to personal desktops to ensure the user will log into a pre-configured VM. Un-assign personal desktops from users who leave the organization and re-use these VMs for new users.

Pre-configure custom Azure tags for all Azure resources associated with each host pool. Tags can be used for charge-back and cost allocation by host pool.

When creating session hosts using NV-series VMs NVIDIA and AMD GPU drivers are automatically installed.

Move existing host pools from Fall 2019 (Classic) object model to Spring 2020 (ARM) object model. Choose to whether to move or copy user assignments. Existing session hosts are automatically migrated or new ones can be created in the ARM host pool.

Automatically enable and configure AVD integration with Azure monitor. Zero configuration required. Azure Monitor Insights for AVD can be used instead of or in conjunction with Sepago Monitor.

AVD personal desktops to Windows 365 Cloud PC migration (Coming Soon)

Migrate users from AVD personal desktops to Windows 365 Enterprise Cloud PCs using an existing image and user assignment. (Coming soon)

WINDOWS 365 ENTERPRISE MANAGEMENT

Cloud PC License Usage Optimization (Coming Soon)

Cloud PC device lifecycle management

Cloud PC user group assignment

Intune primary user management on Cloud PCs

Migrate AVD personal desktops to Cloud PCs (Coming Soon)

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