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Palmieri, Tyler, Wiener, Wilhelm & Waldron LLP

Legal Firm Selects Dedicated Quorum Appliance Over Multi-­‐Tenancy

Business Challenges: Looking beyond traditional BAR

Based in Orange County, CA, Palmieri, Tyler, Wiener, Wilhelm & Waldron LLP (PTWWW) have been providing legal counsel for Southern California businesses for more than three decades. Having used a disk-to-disk backup solution for several years, PTWWW was informed by their data protection vendor that they would be going out of business, and to look for other alternatives. “We were forced to identify a new vendor that could provide us with both data backup and disaster recovery – and do so within our budget constraints,” explained Bob Steele, computer systems manager at PTWWW. “We examined the solution offered by a consulting group we use, however, as we dug deeper to better understand their DR capabilities, we soon realized that their approach would not be able to support our business continuity requirements. Their DR process would have required several time-consuming, non-automated steps, including the physical shipment of new devices. At the end of the day, the vendor’s prescribed RTO of three days was simply not good enough. Because of this, we were again forced to investigate other alternatives,” said Bob.

“Everybody talks about how to backup. But, what about restore?… Quorum has a very elegant solution and a firm grasp on the process of failing back, as well as backward synchronization of changes”
Bob Steele, IT Manager, Palmieri, Tyler, Wiener, Wilhelm, & Waldron LLP

The Solution: Research pays off. DR gem discovered amid myriad of offerings

“After a good deal of research, including a thorough review of a Gartner report that provided objective assessments of many available BAR and DR solutions, Quorum came into focus. However, there were other solutions that scored well in the Gartner report too. So, we were not quite ready to make a commitment. We had a bit more homework to do,” explained Bob. “We attended webinars and demos for the DR solutions that had made our short list. In the end, it didn’t take long for us to determine that Quorum’s onQ appliance was the best fit for us.” Added Bob

“We really liked the fact that we could use a single onQ appliance locally for backup of our servers, as well as local HA for those same servers – allowing VMs to be spun up locally to minimize recovery time. Taking this a step further, we could leverage a second onQ appliance deployed within one of Quorum’s state of the art datacenters in another city hundreds of miles away. Our backup data and system images could be replicated to that second onQ appliance. In the event of a catastrophic failure at our local office, we could boot-up the standby VMs using the onQ appliance at Quorum’s datacenter, and very quickly enable access to those systems and data to our users via VPN. For us, this was an excellent alternative. We felt quite comfortable with Quorum’s well defined, simple approach to DR.” Also offering-up some advice surrounding multi-tenant (shared) appliances offered by other disaster-recovery as-a service vendors (DRaaS), Bob explained, “Another vendor proposed a remote DR appliance that would be maintained remotely in their datacenter. However, they offered a multi-tenant approach – as opposed to dedicated appliance. While multi-tenancy may have been an attractive option for some, we were very concerned because had we taken that route, our ability to conduct DR testing would have been severely limited. The vendor would have assigned us only one week every two months for DR testing, and there would be no flexibility in terms of the assigned week. So, if we were unable to test due to say, illness or vacation or other circumstances, we would simply miss our opportunity. That would mean roughly four months of uncertainty as to whether or not our DR plan would go off without a hitch in the event we needed to rely on it. That was unacceptable for us. Simply too risky for our line of work.” Bob further explained, “In addition to DR testing limitations, we also had concerns about the performance of a shared, multi-tenant appliance in the event of an outage impacting several or all tenants on that same appliance. What’s to be expected when multiple users are attempting to recover their servers and data on that single appliance – at the same time? We just didn’t feel comfortable with that approach. Having our own dedicated onQ appliance in a Quorum datacenter provided us with the level of confidence we needed.”

The Impact: Understanding the end-to-end DR process

Said Bob, “Everybody talks about how to backup. But, what about restore? What is the process for copying from the backup systems to the primary systems? Quorum has a very elegant solution and a firm grasp on the process of failing back, as well as backward synchronization of changes. Their level of expertise was a key selling point for us; further evidence that we had selected that right solution (and the people behind it) to meet our DR requirements. And to top it off, not only was Quorum’s price model very favorable, but the hardware provided a good fit out of the gate, and exceptional flexibility to meet our needs down the road.”
Case Study – Palmieri, Tyler, Wiener, Wilhelm & Waldron LLP

 

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