IT/Technology Services Case Study - Kirsch Kohn Bridge CPAs FPA Technology Services, Inc.
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CASE STUDY

CPA Firm Increases Performance, Reduces Risk, and Improves Business Continuity by Moving Its Servers to a Virtual Environment

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Kirsch Kohn & Bridge, LLC

Background

From its inception in 1961, Kirsch, Kohn & Bridge has grown to become one of the most prominent local CPA firms in Los Angeles consistently ranked as a top 50 accounting firm in Los Angeles County by the Los Angeles Business Journal. The firm's goal has always been to provide high quality financial services to their clients in an environment that encourages long-term working relationships.  Kirsch Kohn & Bridge provides outstanding service to their clients because of their dedication to the three underlying principles: professionalism, responsiveness, and quality.

The Situation

Kirsch Kohn & Bridge prides itself on being responsive.  Companies who select them rely on competent advice and fast, accurate personnel. Kirsch Kohn & Bridge knows that if their computers are slow or unavailable, they wouldn't be able to provide the high quality of service that their clients have come to expect.

Although their network was stable and secure and meeting their needs, Kirsch Kohn & Bridge management wanted to preempt any potential issues before tax season began.  Their servers were nearly four years old and the extended warranty period was about to expire. 

The Challenge

The firm recognized the importance of having highly reliable network and the need to be protected against the possibility of downtime or data loss. They wanted to spend wisely - with an eye on cost effectiveness without hindering future growth.  Because of their ongoing successful relationship with FPA and FPA's expertise in network design, implementation, and support, they looked to FPA for guidance and direction.

The Solution

As Kirsch Kohn & Bridge's trusted technology advisor for the past 20 years, FPA presented the option of moving the firm to a virtual server environment.  While the move to this new approach meant a slight increase in initial capital outlay, it offered significant cost savings in the long term and improved up-time and reduced risk.  Four physical servers were replaced with two physical servers utilizing VMware ESXi, on which FPA built nine virtual servers.  Rather than having to grow from four physical machines to nine, they actually reduced their footprint by two (servers).  This freed up physical space at the firm and reduced their electrical and maintenance costs.  In addition, the new infrastructure includes two switches with redundant paths to both (physical) servers which improves performance and increases redundancy of the network paths thus reducing their exposure to risk.

The transition to the new server architecture needed to be seamless - with minimal impact to the working environment.  The total project - including installation and configuration of the servers (physical and virtual), storage array, switches, patch panel, double-rack, re-cabling, and file migration - occurred over a period of a few weeks.  FPA performed the transition practically invisibly - the only actual down time  affecting the users was during the transfer of files which was performed after hours and took less than an hour. 

Benefits

Significant Long-Term Cost Savings

By investing in advanced technology, Kirsch Kohn & Bridge can realize cost savings in the long term.  Virtualized server require fewer purchased machines, less energy consumption, and less space in the office, helping the firm stay ahead of the curve and operate cost-effectively.

Improved Performance Means Increased Productivity 

FPA estimates the performance of the new virtual server environment is seven times more productive than  that of previous  configuration.  Performance of MS-Exchange, which was upgraded from 2003 Server to 2010 as part of this project, increased by as much as 60%.

Increased Flexibility

If additional servers are needed in the future (even if it's temporary environment for testing software), another virtual server can be created in a matter of minutes without the additional cost and downtime of previously required to acquire and configure a new physical server.  When a virtual server is no longer needed, it can be deleted just as quickly.

Improved Business Continuity and Reduced Risk

Beyond long term cost savings, increased performance, and added flexibility, one of the major benefits Kirsch Kohn & Bridge achieved form this project is the inherent redundancy of the system - in the event of a hardware failure, their system will now be able to recognize and respond to a failure and re-route processing to an alternate physical server host.  In addition, server recovery in a virtual environment goes from days to minutes!

Peace of Mind and a Scalable System That Can Accommodate Growth 

Kirsch Kohn & Bridge's management is confident in knowing their network environment has been cost-effectively updated with improved performance and increased redundancy and that their hardware needs have been met for the foreseeable future with a design that is flexible enough to accommodate and changes that they may need down the road.

 

Kirsch, Kohn & Bridge Case Study


Kirsch Kohn & Bridge Quote

Fast Facts

Kirsch, Kohn & Bridge, LLP

Encino, California
www.kkbcpa.com

 

Makeup:

9 Virtual Servers reside on 2 Physical Servers (including File, Exchange, and SQL Servers)
31 Workstations

 

Applications:

Lacerte Tax, Office Tools Professional, Quickbooks, MS-office, ProSystem fx Tax

 

Challenge:

  • address aging server servers prior to possible failure
  • improve network performance
  • take better advantag of server resources
  • increase flexibility to better handle growth
  • improve backup / recovery plan

Solution:

Replace existing physical servers with virtual servers utilizing VMare ESXi and a storage array

 

Ongoing Services:

  • FPA's Managed IT Services (ManageIT Service's Level)
  • FPA's BDR Business Continuity Solution