Trautman Associates

Server Room Design and More for 21st Century Sustainable Design Firm

At a Glance: Trautman Associates

Organization Background:

  • In-house design disciplines include architecture; mechanical, electrical, plumbing, engineering; civil and structural engineering; planning; and interior design
  • Approximately 50 employees
  • 1 location in Buffalo, N.Y.

Issues:

  • Needed a server room
  • Archive system storage space limitations
  • Looking to install a network security system

Solutions:

  • Server room design and installation, with virtual servers
  • Windows 2008 conversion
  • Archive expansion

Benefits:

  • More efficient IT operation
  • Around-the-clock support
  • Cost savings

Situation
Trautman Associates was founded in 1956 as one of the earliest integrated architectural and engineering firms in the city of Buffalo, N.Y. Today, this multi-disciplinary firm is located in Buffalo’s historic Allentown district. Trautman Associates’ long-standing service to its clients through the years, coupled with the combined expertise of its architects and engineers, are the driving forces behind the firm's renewed visibility as leaders in sustainable design for the 21st century.

“Dox is fantastic, and I highly recommend them. With equipment and technology constantly changing, Dox makes our IT function easier and more efficient. From an IT standpoint, we simply can’t go on without Dox.”

- Richard Budmark, Trautman Associates

IT Manager Richard Budmark first learned about Dox by attending the company’s annual Hackerfest trade show. This invitation-only event draws hundreds of business leaders and IT professionals from across the Northeast to learn the very latest in information security and technology.

At his first show, Budmark was instantly impressed by the lineup of information technology vendors, the knowledge of our engineers and sales representatives, and the keynote presentation by FBI Special Agent Paul Schaaf focused on security. He attended additional Hackerfest shows, and came away with the same impressions every time.

“Hackerfest is what drew me to Dox,” Budmark said. “During the shows I attended, I really got to know Dox -- the company and the people. Dox Vice President Ken Michael puts together a tremendous collaboration of vendors, and the speakers have always been outstanding.”

It was after a Hackerfest event that Trautman Associates first engaged Dox. With the strong support of Trautman’s partners, Richard Budmark hired Dox to design a new server room.

The Solutions
Our engineers designed an entirely new server room to transition Trautman Associates from Windows 2000 to Windows 2008. The company installed two new hardware servers to accommodate virtual servers, a data store with a backup server, and a fully robotic tape drive.

According to Richard Budmark, we were extremely accommodating of Trautman’s existing equipment, which is mainly manufactured by Dell. “Our firm was a Dell-based office before I got here, and we have had great success with Dell,” Budmark said. “Dox handled the installation and got us up and running, working within the parameters of our existing equipment. We are fully locked into both Dell and Dox -- we won’t go anywhere else.”

Following the server room, Trautman engaged us to expand its archival system to handle more data. When architectural and engineering jobs are closed out, the files -- often very large files -- are moved from the firm’s working drive to a read-only archive drive. We helped Budmark expand the size of the archive, to free up more space on the working drive.

As a result of the expanded archival system, Trautman employees can easily access read-only files to refer to previous projects, which is especially helpful during an architectural modification to be able to see the original designs.

One weekend, an issue arose with the expanded drive. Budmark contacted our engineer on a Saturday at 4:00 p.m. The engineer helped identify the issue, told him exactly what to do, and helped get the network get back up and running before employees came back to work. As a result, there was no downtime during the workweek, when employees were in the office.

“Since I’ve worked with Dox, it has made my job easier,” Budmark added. “The engineers pull no punches, and they keep me informed. Dealing with other IT firms, when they’d come in, they wouldn’t tell me what they were doing. They’d simply say ‘the problem is fixed’ and be on their way. But their ‘fix’ would often lead to other problems. Dox doesn’t create other problems. They do their research, and they make sure everything is done right the first time.”

Trautman is now engaging us to set up a network security system so that employees can connect their own equipment to the firm’s network, to transfer data back and forth. This will enable Trautman to save money by not purchasing iPads, iPhones, and other equipment. In addition, the secure system will ensure that employees cannot access data that the company doesn’t want removed from the office.