How Afinety Leverages AWS Public Cloud to Benefit Law Firms



A conversation with Frank Mariello, Senior Director of Legal Services with Afinety

Q: Why did Afinety choose AWS (Amazon Web Services) as its public cloud infrastructure provider?

Frank Mariello: When Afinety decided to move into providing cloud-based workspaces, the team evaluated public cloud providers. Amazon Web Services (AWS) was the largest player on the market, and still is. In addition to massive size and capability, AWS had a very specific service around hosted desktops called Amazon Workspaces. Ultimately, Afinety chose AWS due to its combination of substantial infrastructure and national reach.  

Q: How does AWS’s reach support Afinety’s U.S. client base?

Frank: AWS has four regions in the U.S. and their diverse geographic options allow Afinety to thoroughly cover the needs of its client base. Clients want a data center close to them, but far away enough that it provides a redundancy benefit in case of disaster or emergency.

AWS’s large diverse infrastructure gives Afinety a lot of flexibility for redundancy purposes. We can host data in one region and replicate backups to other regions. AWS gives us instantaneous scalability across the country. A primary driver of public cloud adoption is the accessibility to service customers anywhere in the United States and put them on world class infrastructure. Knowing that AWS has the cloud infrastructure end covered allows Afinety to focus on the integration of our managed desktop solution.

Q: How would you characterize AWS service and technical support?

Frank: From stability and performance perspectives, AWS has been as good or better than any private data center. We have seen very little disruption associated with AWS outages. Amazon is such a large enterprise that serves prestigious customers–many of the largest traffic workloads in the world. With such high-level customer profiles in demanding industries, they have the resources to fix issues and be proactive about infrastructure management. The resourcing is far greater than anything we could provide in a private infrastructure. Though any infrastructure has issues from time to time, Amazon has huge resources to marshal if anything goes astray.

Because of its prestige and track record, Amazon is heavily motivated to have as few outages as humanly possible. They have teams of people working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, watching their infrastructures, proactively watching for potential issues, and then remediating any potential issues quickly.

Q: How do you verify that AWS is delivering the service Afinety is paying for?

Frank:  AWS provides a ton of tooling so we can monitor their infrastructure. Afinety then layers on our enterprise grade toolset to monitor and maintain our services within AWS. This allows us to monitor outside of Amazon’s band to see what’s going on with our services.

The combination of the Amazon tool set plus the tool set that Afinety uses allows us to make sure that the infrastructure is up and running. It enables us to react appropriately to potential issues.

Q: Does Afinety use AWS infrastructure for all of its clients?

Frank: In addition to using AWS capabilities, Afinety also can deliver its managed desktop solutions out of its own private data center. This gives us the ability to consult with our clients and help guide them in deciding which option fits best for their firm.