Company Lays Down the Law on Business Continuity

By Samuel Greengard  |  Posted 2015-10-07 Email Print this article Print
Business Continuity at law firm

Rubin Lublin, a real estate law firm, turned to disaster recovery in the cloud to transform the way it protects its data and ensures business continuity.

In today's data-driven world, bulletproof disaster recovery (DR) and business continuity (BC) are essential. Companies of all sizes and in all industry sectors are turning to more advanced solutions to boost uptime and availability—and to ensure that they can get back online faster after an incident or disaster.

One of these companies is the Atlanta, Ga., law firm of Rubin Lublin, LLC. "We have had a disaster recovery solution in place for a number of years, but as our business and IT requirements began to change, the system wasn't able to meet our needs," reports Sean Chambers, director of IT.

The law firm—which operates four offices in Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi and Alabama—specializes in services and solutions for the real estate finance industry. Chambers realized that the firm had to move beyond a patchwork of tools and technologies.

"Many of our clients are major banks, and there is a lot of critical data at stake," he says. "We were facing strict client requirements about our SLAs (service-level agreements) and how they intersect with recovery time and recovery point objectives."

In addition, the firm doesn't have the IT staff needed to handle DR and BC, particularly as they intersect with security, he adds.

After surveying the market, Rubin Lublin turned to Quorum onQ for instant recovery integrated with backup, archive and hybrid cloud disaster recovery (DR). The firm, which went live with the technology in January, relies on four high availability (HA) appliances, as well as four DR-as-a-Service (DRaaS) seats located in California and a cloud-based version of Archive Vault.

This solution allows Rubin Lublin to clone all server data, including physical and virtual machine configuration settings. It also enables the firm to store applications on the onsite HA appliances and initiate instant recovery using virtual copies running in the DRaaS cloud.

The system has replaced the former requirement to deposit tapes in a bank safe deposit box and store them for 10 years in order to comply with retention policies.

An Investment That Paid Off

Rubin and Lublin has already seen the investment pay off. Last June, during a power outage that occurred during the night, the building in which the firm leases office space experienced a power failure. When the power came back on, an HVAC malfunction resulted in the system reading the temperature inside the building as 1 degree Fahrenheit. This resulted in the inside temperature reaching 115 degrees and causing fan nodes—and, in turn, 70 percent of the physical and virtual servers in the storage area network—to shut down.

"We couldn't get hold of anyone in maintenance," Chambers says. "Essentially the entire emergency procedure broke down."

However, when the heat finally cut off at 5 a.m., the law firm's IT staff was able to bring all the systems back online quickly. As a result, there was no downtime and no data loss.

The disaster recovery and business continuity solution has helped Rubin Lublin achieve far better DR and BC objectives, particularly surrounding recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives. And this was accomplished at a lower cost point and with less IT oversight than with the previous system, Chambers notes.

Samuel Greengard writes about business and technology for Baseline, CIO Insight and other publications. His most recent book is The Internet of Things (MIT Press, 2015).

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