Peer to Peer Magazine

Summer 2018

The quarterly publication of the International Legal Technology Association

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21 WWW.ILTANET.ORG it, the more it made sense. DRaaS would not require us to refresh our infrastructure, buy lots of licensing or have to find a new facility to house the solution - all things we were considering. No, someone else would do all of that for us. Most of all, it was not going to add to our IT team's current workload or cause the firm to hire more resources to manage the additional workload of rebuilding and managing the solution. In my mind, DRaaS was a win. Need for a Change Were there any specific experiences that made you reexamine your IT disaster recovery stance? During a remodel and consolidation of space in 2015 we realized that building a new on-site datacenter from the ground up, with the same guaranteed uptime as larger facilities, was not as cost effective as moving to co-located space. So we decided to move our datacenter operations and house our production systems offsite. It was during and following this move that we determined the DR solution we had built and managed was actually managing us. The solution was based on storage-area-network-to- storage-area-network replication with a soware recovery mechanism for failover, which was cumbersome at best. Testing was never easy and managing it was even more difficult, especially with limited staff. We really needed something different so we began looking for a different DR solution. The Selection Process In looking for a new solution, what technology goals did you have? What were some of the technology risks you were trying to mitigate by switching to DRaaS? The firm had several goals for the replacement DR solution. First, we needed a solution that was simple. Simple to replicate, simple to failover, simple to failback and most certainly simple to have a successful, meaningful test. Second, we needed a solution that met our recovery time DB DB objectives and recovery point objectives for Tier 1, 2 and 3 systems. Lastly, we needed a DR solution that someone else could activate in the event that one or more of our technology staff had been hit by the proverbial bus. We did not always think about situations like a hurricane, where staff may not be able to get to the DR solution to activate it. But if you are a single-site firm like ours and have a localized disaster such as a hurricane, this poses significant risk—a risk that was a huge consideration for our leadership. As you reviewed technology providers, what characteristics were you searching for in a DRaaS partner? Can you describe the selection process and any lessons learned? The primary characteristic we looked for was success and effectiveness at implementing and executing DRaaS. This sounds like a given, but what we found were a number of startup DRaaS vendors that were not tried and true. We wanted a partner that had "been there, done that, and had the trophy to prove it." The second characteristic was finding a solution that fit our objectives. We are a smaller firm that did not need a hot site, but we wanted more than a cloud backup target. We were searching for a vendor who could give us the ability to replicate some systems to standby while offering a cloud backup target for other systems. Most of all, we wanted the ability to bring it all back up in the event of a catastrophe. Surprisingly, there are not a lot of providers offering that ability for firms our size. What steps did you need to take to propose changes to your IT systems? Sometimes, hearing is believing. In this case, I thought the best way for someone else to understand the concept of DRaaS was to have them listen to the recording of the ILTA webinar I aended. I sent it to our director of administration and it did not take him long to DB DB Selecting DRaaS: Taylor Porter's Journey to a Stronger IT Stance CASE STUDIES JEFF TON Jeff Ton is Senior Vice President of Product Development & Strategic Alliances at InterVision, a next- generation IT Services company, where he is responsible for driving the company's product strategy and vision. Jeff focuses on the evolving IT landscape and the changing needs of customers, ensuring InterVision's products and services meet client's needs and drives value in their organizations now and in the future. Ton has over 30 years of experience in business and information technology and previously served as CIO for Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana and Lauth Property Group. DAMIAN BURDETTE Director of Information Technology at Taylor Porter

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