Broken Water Pipe Tests Law Firm's DR Solution

As many businesses have learned the hard way, business-disrupting disasters can and do happen – tornadoes and other extreme weather events, ransomware attacks and even broken water pipes that can flood facilities. When these events occur, their impact not only has the potential to interfere with business operations. They can put companies at risk of losing revenue, customers, and more.

Increasingly, organizations understand the importance of being prepared for potential disasters. Unfortunately, many think that backing up their data is sufficient to help them keep their business up and running should a disaster occur. Backups are excellent for ensuring that copies of critical data are available, but they don’t help companies resume operations if a disaster takes their IT systems down. A second site for disaster recovery (DR) can solve the problem, but it can be an expensive endeavor.

One organization, a Detroit, Michigan-based law firm, was lucky that its director of IT, Cybersecurity, and Litigation Support recognized the need for a DR solution that wouldn’t require it to rely solely on backups and its existing site. The IT director also knew that going with a cloud-based DR solution would eliminate the need to pay for a second site.

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Customer
Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker, P.L.L.C

Location
Detroit, MI

Industry
Legal Services

Executive Summary

US Signal Service
Results
  • Approximately $500 monthly savings
  • Increased resiliency
  • Reduced CapEx
  • Freed up internal resources
  • Peace of mind that disaster recovery solution works

The Situation

For most US Signal engagements, the challenges lie in developing solutions that can meet customers’ unique, often complex requirements. That wasn’t the case when working with BSDD. As a Veeam technology partner, US Signal had the Veeam-based services to draw upon in building the most appropriate DR solution

US Signal also has a well-governed, high-quality IT infrastructure that powers its solutions — DR included- as well as extensive experience in developing solutions to meet the IT security and compliance needs of law firms and other organizations subject to various regulatory requirements.

What would put US Signal to the test would be the performance of its DR solution when the law firm experienced an actual disaster. Just days after US Signal deployed its DR solution, a water pipe broke on an upper floor of the 20-story building where BSDD’s offices were located. Water cascaded down to the floors below, including into the firm’s electrical panels on the 12th floor where its offices were. The building’s landlord immediately cut the power and closed the building until further notice.

Prior to the implementation of the US Signal DR solution, the law firm would not have had access to its data and IT systems during the building’s closure.

Following the protocols of the new DR solution, the law firm’s IT director called the US Technical Operations Center (TOC) and declared a disaster event. The US Signal team immediately jumped into action, working with the law firm’s IT director to enable access to critical data and systems so the firm could continue business operations until the building reopened.

The US Signal Solution

After assessing the law firm’s needs, US Signal proposed a solution drawing from its Cloud Availability for Veeam offering. Cloud Availability for Veeam provides a complete approach to data protection, with solutions for local backup, offsite backup and replication, DR site services, and long-term data archival needs. The solution included Cloud Backup for Veeam, which provides a fast, secure way to get virtual machine (VM) backups off-site and into the US Signal Cloud. This eliminates the cost and complexity of building and maintaining off-site infrastructure. Because the firm already had a Veeam license, no additional licensing was required.

The Results

The executives at BSDD were grateful to the firm’s IT director and to US Signal that they had a DR plan in place just in the nick of time — and that it worked as expected. The law firm was able to continue operations even with the building closed for repairs, so there was only minimal disruption to “business as normal.”

There’s peace of mind going forward that if another emergency should occur, the DR solution has the firm covered. The fact that the US Signal infrastructure powering the solution is audited to meet SSAE 18, SOC 1, Type 2, HIPAA, PCI-DSS, and other regulatory requirements and industry standards provides a greater sense of security as well.

In addition, the DR solution has enabled the company to save approximately $500 a month. No investment in infrastructure was required. The solution is provided on a month-to-month basis at a predictable cost that makes budgeting easier.

Because the infrastructure is owned and maintained by US Signal, the law firm’s IT staff can devote their time to other strategic endeavors. US Signal also manages the DR solution, so all that is required of the law firm’s IT department is to declare an emergency if a disaster occurs. US Signal handles the rest.

About the Customer

Founded in 1968, Barris, Sott, Denn & Driker P.L.L.C. (BSDD) is a well-respected law firm located in the heart of downtown Detroit, Michigan. It’s received high national and state honors and in the Detroit Metropolitan area, U.S. News/Best Lawyers ranked it top-tier for Appellate Practice, Banking, and Finance Law, Commercial Litigation, Ethics & Professional Responsibility Law, Antitrust Litigation, Labor & Employment Litigation, Real Estate Law and Litigation, Professional Malpractice Defense, and Trusts & Estates Law.

Like many law firms, BSDD relies heavily on technology to facilitate staff productivity with always-accessible data and applications. They’re also critical in helping to meet the firm’s unique needs for IT security and regulatory compliance that result from the confidential and sensitive nature of the information it handles.