Case Study

Davis Wright Tremaine:
Disaster Recovery

Business Challenge

Disaster Recovery (DR) programs are mission-critical for every company to have in place, but especially for companies in highly regulated industries that handle proprietary and confidential information, such as the legal sector. For today’s law firm, the most likely business disruptions are data breaches such as Ransomware and CryptoLocker, network outages, and human error. Hence, a sound DR strategy should provide all the components necessary to perform an efficient recovery, including hardware and operating systems, communications, applications, networks, and other critical functions to keep IT infrastructure up and running. In order to ensure business continuity, frequent and successful testing of DRaaS solutions is paramount, as is the ability to readily adapt to changes in a legal firm’s production environment, particularly those of large scale and scope with multiple offices and geographically dispersed employees.

DWT had engaged several large DRaaS providers in the past, oftentimes running into issues of unsuccessful testing and poor communications due to a series of provider consolidations and M&As. Testing a DR plan not only allows companies to identify possible weaknesses and get accustomed to disaster recovery scenarios, but it also provides assurance that the plan will operate effectively in the event of an actual incident. On a technical level, DWT’s DRaaS provider was unable to provide a holistic solution that covered the entirety of the firm’s applications and devices end-to-end. Among the various challenges was the ability to support multiple platforms and technologies for DWT’s DRaaS solution, including NetApp replication, Nimble-to-Nimble replication, and direct exchange clustering. DWT also required always-on private cloud and colocation, as well as the ability to tie in multiple networks providers and carriers for its IT data and voice, all at the DR site. Additionally, DWT required a partner to customize the network implementation at the DR site.

Most significantly, DWT required a partnership whereby the DRaaS provider’s expert technical teams and its own would work directly with each other through onboarding, design, architecture, implementation, and ongoing maintenance of its ever-changing configuration environment.

In selecting Opti9 as our firm’s disaster recovery solution provider, Davis Wright Tremaine was influenced not only by its end-to-end capabilities but by its willingness to offer ongoing support and become integrated with our own technical team. A global firm of DWT’s scale and scope presents unique challenges. Opti9’s expertise lends the assurance that they are sensitive to our DRaaS requirements both today and as a long-term partner as the needs of our production environment and company evolve.

James Luke

Director of Information Technology of Davis Wright Tremaine

The Opti9 Solution

DWT replicates data from its own environment on the West Coast and other regions across the globe to Opti9’s NY1 facility. The Tier III-rated data center is the premier facility east of New York City for enterprise colocation, and private and hybrid cloud solutions. Opti9’s DRaaS solution provides DWT with an ecosystem of managed services at the recovery site that includes native storage replication of Nimble, NetApp, EMC VNX, EMC Isilon, and EqualLogic. Its multi-platform support includes VMware, Hyper-V, IMB Power (iSeries, AS/400, AIX) as well as physical servers and hyper-scale cloud. Consistent with data security regulations for personally identifiable information (PII) as well as stringent internal security requirements, Opti9 will not expose the firm’s confidential information to the public internet. Its DR solution provides DWT with instant recovery from micro-disasters, Ransomware and CryptoLocker attacks, as well as hardware loss and software issues. Additionally, Opti9 worked with DWT to build a custom Disaster Recovery runbook, outlining automated recovery processes and customized procedures based on their applications and workflows, which would enable it to efficiently recover from any outage or failure.

The Results

Opti9 provides DWT with a high-touch, long-term partner that is directly involved on a continuing basis with its DRaaS requirements and can adapt its DR solution as the technology of their production environment evolves. If DWT adds or switches applications, or requires additional capacity, Opti9 offers the flexibility and agility to keep pace with these changes. Should the firm expand to new geographic locations, add more employees, or the requirements of its platform shift, DWT can rest assured that its sensitive data, access to mission-critical applications and interoffice communications will continue uninterrupted. Additionally, Opti9’s expert technical personnel understand how DWT’s network is provisioned internally and how different application groups interact with each other in a large-scale environment.

Most critical, Opti9 replicates hundreds of VMs and terabytes of data for DWT, providing actual RPOs in seconds. Opti9 also conducted the first successful test of its DRaaS solution, ensuring DWT’s business continuity in the event of an unexpected incident.

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Service Provided

Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service

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Client HQ

Seattle, Washington

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About the Client

Davis Wright Tremaine (DWT) is a full-service law firm with eight offices in the United States and one in Shanghai. Its core legal areas are litigation, business transactions, intellectual property, and employment. DWT is comprised of nationally-ranked, broadly based teams focused on a number of highly regulated industries, including communications, media, financial services, healthcare, energy, food and beverage, and restaurants. DWT's First Amendment litigation group is particularly renowned for its leading role in many of the country’s most important and cutting-edge cases. With approximately 500 attorneys, it is the 90th largest legal firm in the U.S.

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