Wright-Pierce is an award-winning multi-discipline environmental engineering firm providing sustainable water, wastewater, and infrastructure engineering services. With more than 250 professionals and twelve offices throughout the US Northeast and Florida, Wright-Pierce has always been looking to identify and deploy the best solution for the continuous challenges of managing its distributed project teams and widespread data. After working with other data solution providers for many years, Wright-Pierce switched to Morro Data in 2019 to provide global file services for all its locations and project teams.
Wright-Pierce decided many years ago that they needed global file services in order to bring their multiple offices into one virtual office for better collaboration between distributed design teams. The company became an early adopter of global file services and worked with a respected pioneer in that field. The decision paid off in achieving the goal of remote collaboration and sharing distributed resources. However, over the years they also experienced some challenges. The following are the summary of their experience with the early generation of global file services:
Previous Solution – Benefit
- The collaboration of remote teams with LAN speed access of all corporate files from various locations
Previous Solution – Challenges
- Cost & complexity of adding additional sites. The technology and architecture of their previous solution made it difficult to deploy new gateways as the company rapidly expanded.
- Single Point of Failure. Their previous global file services solution required a master gateway to control file syncing and file locking. Whenever this master gateway was offline or suffered an extended power outage it caused all other gateways to suspend connectivity. In fact, during an extended 4-day Northeast power outage the master filer needed to be relocated to a remote office for all other filers to resume connectivity and function properly.
In 2018, after having amassed a great amount of experience as a user of global file services, Wright-Pierce embarked on a survey of the providers of global file services at the time. Among other solutions, Wright-Pierce focused its final evaluation on two companies – Nasuni and Morro Data. After an extensive and long series of tests, Morro Data was chosen for the following key reasons:
Morro Data Advantages
- A true cloud-centric solution enabling file sync and file lock for AEC applications including Revit, AutoCAD, and Civil3D, as well as Microsoft Office.
- Ease of deployment. Virtual machine choices of Hyper-V or VMware, as well as G80 thin-appliance for offices of any size.
- Excellent support and frequent software updates with feature enhancements.
Since 2019 Wright-Pierce has been a very active user of the Morro Data solution, expanding from the original eight to twelve locations. Morro Data has been very responsive to their feature requests. One example is the ability to set data handling priority for individual shares, which allows for the smooth co-existence of real-time collaborative data and massive GIS data in a complex data environment.
“The most unique aspect about Morro Data is its ease-of-use for such high-value functions.” said Robert Marsh, Director of IT at Wright-Pierce. “Our remote teams need to be able to work together in real-time among our twelve locations and Morro Data allows us to all feel like we are working in the same office. Deployment and management is simple and intuitive. We are truly impressed with the collaboration functionality and performance that Morro Data provides our team. And the Morro Data G80 is an amazing appliance for its mini size.”
Like many businesses impacted by Covid-19, most employees at Wright-Pierce are currently working from home. Wright-Pierce is now evaluating deploying Morro Data’s G80 thin-appliance gateways at the homes of some of its heavy AEC software users, i.e., bringing the file server to wherever the users are.