Case Study - Leigh Day

Introduction

Leigh Day is one of the country’s leading law firms. Representing only claimants, it works internationally for the rights of individuals against corporations and governments. Based in Clerkenwell, London and Manchester, it handles thousands of legal cases every year.

The challenge

Over the past 20 years, Leigh Day’s cases have generated a lot of files and data, the storage and security of this data is critical for the firm and its clients. In order to deal with this data and its storage on a daily basis, the firm needed to find a sophisticated backup solution to support its work now and in the future.

Working with its incumbent provider Leigh Day’s existing ‘payby-capacity’ backup solution was leading to escalating costs. For example, saving and using high-resolution data-heavy satellite images and using the ‘pay-bycapacity’ model proved unworkable as the firm was being charged per gigabyte.

With 300 staff and new offices in Manchester, the firm needed a more robust backup to accommodate the organisation’s growth. Furthermore, the legal firm was a VMware house meaning they required a flexible infrastructure to suit their already virtualised environment.

Alongside managing the backup needs of an expanding firm, Leigh Day had to comply with regulatory bodies such as the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) and the Data Protection Act (DPA) to ensure the safety and security of any backed up data.

Solution

Leigh Day turned to its IT reseller, Covenco Recovery Services Ltd, for a simple to manage, robust and cost effective solution to its on-going data protection problem.

Quorum was recommended because it offered a solution that was easy to use, and could ensure business continuity for the firm.

Quorum worked with Leigh Day on a proof of concept test, during which Quorum deployed its onQ appliance to protect two of Leigh Day’s servers for two-months, created a test server and enacted a real-world disaster recovery fail back.

The onQ appliance is the building block of Quorum’s DR and DRaaS capabilities maintaining highly available up-to-date virtual machine clones of critical systems. This means it is capable of efficiently taking over for failed servers within minutes. The onQ worked seamlessly in Leigh Day’s virtualised environment.

Quorum has now deployed three onQ appliances and an Archive Vault at Leigh Day’s HQ in London. The onQ appliances protect the firm’s 20+ servers as well as the excessive amounts of data. They take a snapshot of the local production server every 30 minutes; backing up and replicating the entire server estate. On a monthly basis the snapshots are archived, meaning that Leigh Day will always have access to its legacy data from the Archive Vault. With its incremental-forever and deduplication technologies, the amount of new data that needs to be sent to the appliances per snapshot is usually quite small, minimising not only storage requirements, but also reducing the load on Leigh Day’s LAN and WAN.

For added resiliency, Leigh Day opted to mirror its entire HA solution to the Covenco Recovery Services Ltd data centre, where an additional three onQ appliances and Archive Vault constantly replicate the activity in Clerkenwell. This gives full disaster recovery capabilities all through the onQ solution.

The onQ appliances keep up-to-date copies of Leigh Day’s operating system, application and data files on both the local and remote appliances. It also keeps ready-to-run “Recovery Nodes” standing by. If any of Leigh Day’s protected servers fail, the Recovery Node can be started with a single click and have the firm running again in minutes.

The entire backup and Recovery Node creation process is totally automatic and doesn’t require any additional hardware or software. The onQ’s incremental updates are extremely efficient, sending only the parts of any files that have changed, storing them in a repository for point-in-time file recovery and merging those changes into the Recovery Nodes. This means the storage process is efficient and should a disaster occur, the onQs can transparently take over for failed servers within minutes.

The Benefits

Since the installation, multiple file restores have been carried out by Leigh Day enabling it to continue to backup its data without any trouble and with peace of mind.

The Quorum solution has made life easier and more flexible for the IT department at Leigh Day, which means that they can now concentrate on doing what they do best—innovating and improving systems.

James Harrison, IT Director at Leigh Day said: “Overall, the Quorum appliances are robust and reliable, exactly what we required at Leigh Day for managing and protecting our evergrowing data.”

“Key to the success is the fact that we are no longer worrying about whether we are going over capacity and what the monthly bill will be. In the event of a disaster, we know our firm will stay up and running and the clients will continue to receive the very best attention.”