Reflection Blog 5 – Matt Alexander

July 17-21, this week I learned more about in depth networking than I ever thought I would, including my army experience and school work. Reed Smith has architecture and funding to support large network framing for different communications and applications that get information to clients, lawyers, and staff instantly and securely.

Without naming specific programs or clients for secure reasons the environment works in a virtual network, on top of a virtual network, using virtual applications and monitoring programs, on top of a physical layer that is networked worldwide, remoted and redundant. It’s not as high paced as Facebook, Amazon, or Google, but it isn’t far behind and after reading articles, it is advanced in the law world. The company has in house programmers, systems admins, network engineers and architects, security, helpdesk and telecommunications teams. At the NOC, we talk, monitor, and hunt down problems before they become larger issues on a 24/7 schedule.

One of my co-workers, Jonas, explained our networking environment on a Windows Surface, computing-interactive screen-teleconferencing-application-largest screen I’ve ever seen, monitor that we use to do many functions with. He explained that all of our work is done on over 100 physical servers, which doesn’t include storage or SQL handlers. This amount of processing covers datacenters and a backup that replicates the information to ensure that no service is down at any time. Of course not everything is perfect and that’s what the NOC handles is availability and redundancy problems across the large WAN.

On top of this physical layer, a virtual layer is employed where more virtual servers are executed. These virtual servers handle many users at a time and are juggled around to ensure that no one server is overloaded, updated, and rebooted on a nightly basis. Because there is so much information being processed and shared, along with applications running on a constant basis and the email portion is a large part of what is used, their servers process the information on the server side so the client side of operations isn’t overloaded and can receive information faster.

For each of those servers, an OS is needed to pull sessions from the servers or BlackBerry OS for Mobile usage. They receive snapshots for certain built sessions on the server so the local OS isn’t overloaded by opening applications, but the virtual server session does the application and email processing then sends a screenshot to the user’s computer or mobile device. This creates a more secure and faster processing session and allows the user’s to access more information while on different devices around the world.

There has been talk of upgrading to a new way of creating sessions that would be done over more enclosures back at a processing data center, which allows more secure and more available applications to deal with more analytics and information for lawyers across the globe. Reed Smith LLP also develops apps to entice and help their clients based on different criteria that will help with cases and information that may help their workload.

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