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Rubin Lublin, LLC

Quorum DRaaS Solution Takes the Heat Off Rubin Lublin, LLC

Introduction

Based in Peachtree Corners, Georgia, and with offices in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee, Rubin Lublin, LLC, specializes in legal services to mortgage banking and title insurance clients in residential and commercial real-estate markets. The firm operates with 140 employees whose computing needs are supported by three IT professionals and IT Director Sean Chambers.
Chambers and his team oversee an IT environment that is 80 percent virtualized on Microsoft Windows Server and Hyper-V, running a portfolio of legal software applications. As is common with a heavily regulated industry like banking and real estate, clients have strict service level agreements (SLAs) for storage and backup and recovery times. Those expectations include a recovery time of fewer than four hours and a recovery point of fewer than six hours.
However, these SLAs were difficult to meet with a patchwork of disparate backup and recovery solutions.
“We had a solution that was patched together with Veeam, RSync and Microsoft DFS, replicating down to a co-location facility in Atlanta, which was all just too expensive and too much to manage with a small IT staff,” said Chambers. “This combination mostly worked, but didn’t work great together, and would sometimes exceed our SLA requirements. So it became clear that we needed to look at something different.”

“Because of Quorum, we ended up with zero downtime during business hours,” he said. “Quorum provided us the ability to hit the button for an immediate one-click recovery of our critical systems and ran them right on the appliance, taking over for our failed servers in a matter of minutes. And with 70 percent of our servers out, that was a big win for us.”
Sean Chambers, Director of Information Technology

The Search

Chambers and his team narrowed their search to Quorum and one other solution based on two key requirements – simplicity and reliability. Quorum demonstrated both attributes by allowing the firm to install and run its solution for a 90-day trial. Unlike other solutions, the onQ technology is tailor-made for business continuity and disaster recovery, not bolt on to an existing backup product.
“At the end of the day, Quorum was exactly what we needed,” Chambers said. “It was simple to use and reliable, which is important to us with a small IT team.”

The Solution

Rubin Lublin selected the Quorum onQ solution for instant recovery fully integrated with backup, archive and hybrid cloud disaster recovery (DR). The complete Quorum environment includes four onQ high availability (HA) appliances at the firm’s headquarters, in addition to four DR as a Service (DRaaS) seats in California, and a cloud-based version of Archive Vault. Complete clones of the firm’s servers including all the data, physical and virtual machine configuration settings, and applications are stored on the onsite HAs and instantly recovered using virtual copies running in the DRaaS cloud.
To support the firm’s 10-year retention policy, Chambers said the firm uses the cloud Archive Vault as an alternative to depositing tapes once a month at a bank safe deposit box. The management of all the backup, archive, and recovery copies is completely automated, requiring only a single mouse click to initiate backup or recovery operations either on premises or in the DRaaS cloud.
“We have jobs that run on the first, second and third day of each month, and those get pushed to the Archive Vault from the DRaaS,” he said. “The combined approach of backup, archive and disaster recovery is one of the big reasons why we went with Quorum.”
Rubin Lublin also uses the onQ DRaaS “workbench” capabilities to install and test software updates in a virtual sandbox before rolling them out to users. Before Quorum, Chambers, and his team contended with application problems caused by new patches and updates. An update to a server hosting a critical legal software application, for example, would create new formatting issues across hundreds of files. Some of these applications also run on the Linux operating system, which Chambers said wasn’t supported by previous backup and recovery solutions.
“Now with Quorum, before we push any updates out to production, we spin up the server hosting the legal software in the sandbox, install the upgrade or patch, and then have a group of 10 users test it for a week,” he said. “One of the applications, Case Aware, which serves as the lifeblood to our firm, runs on Linux servers, which other solutions weren’t able to support. Quorum was able to handle this perfectly and helped us install the updates without any problems.”

The Results

Since moving to Quorum onQ for DRaaS, Rubin Lublin has completely transitioned away from legacy processes and products such as tape backups. Depending on the server involved, backups are conducted every two to 24 hours, taking only 15 to 45 minutes to complete. The firm is now able to meet easily its backup and recovery SLAs of less than four hours for recovery and a recovery point of less than six hours. Software updates and patches are tested offline in the DRaaS sandbox to prevent application problems once in production.
PCI compliance is provided to its customers because DRaaS is compliant at the onQ facility. All data is encrypted in flight, which means data security is one less thing Chambers’ team has to worry about managing.

Quorum Put to the Test

Not all disasters are the result of massive earthquakes or tornados. Most are manmade, including the one that took down 70 percent of Rubin Lublin’s servers.
Shortly after the onQ DRaaS was deployed at Rubin Lublin, the firm experienced a hardware failure that put Quorum to the test. The firm’s heating, ventilating, and air conditioning (HVAC) malfunctioned, misreading the actual building temperature at 1 degree Fahrenheit and turning on the heat until the actual room temperature reached 115 degrees.
By the time Chambers and his team could respond, they had lost half the nodes of their SAN that housed their virtual servers, leaving 70 percent of their firm’s production servers offline.

Case Study – Rubin Lublin, LLC

 

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