Legal Organizations Embracing Storage as a Service for E-Discovery Data

By: Courtney Pallotta

When it comes to e-discovery data, organizations have to pay very close attention to security and protection. After all, this is data that could serve as evidence in a court of law; ensuring that it’s safe must be a top priority. So, how can today’s law firms and their service providers best ensure that this data won’t get lost, corrupted or stolen?

Though it may come as a surprise, a growing number of law firms and their service providers are turning to storage as a service to make all data available securely. While virtually every business utilizes the cloud in some form – even if they are only using a single cloud like AWS or Google – some still hesitate to adopt a full-scale cloud storage solution, particularly when it comes to primary storage. ClearSky Data works with organizations in the legal industry who have the highest standards for data protection and security. Here are two examples of organizations that have chosen to use our service to manage their data.

Barrister Digital Solutions

Barrister Digital Solutions (BDS) provides digital discovery, document management and litigation support for many of the largest law firms in the country, as well as large corporations and the public sector. Working with highly sensitive data, security was the company’s top concern as it researched solutions, but the team also wanted to automate backup and DR, reduce their storage footprint and convert storage from a capital expense to an operating expense. That search led BDS to ClearSky.

With ClearSky in place, BDS no longer needs to purchase more storage than it will use in order to prepare for future growth, because the service scales effortlessly to meet the company’s needs. The service encrypts data both in transit and at rest, with only BDS holding the encryption keys, and data is backed up automatically throughout the day. Recovery is nearly instantaneous.

“It’s a lot easier sale now for us to say ‘Hey, we have a solution in the cloud that’s not only going to give us faster recovery of your data, but we can protect it a lot better with their encryption capabilities,’” said Nick Bruno, managing partner at BDS. “The costs associated with managing your own IT infrastructure is getting really out of hand. This is a perfect solution for law firms and for people like me who serve law firms.”

Miles & Stockbridge

A leading law firm in the mid-Atlantic, Miles & Stockbridge has embraced technical innovation as part of its core culture. And as the firm has grown, the amount of data it stores has grown exponentially.

“We have a great litigation department,” said Ken Adams, CIO at Miles & Stockbridge, “and the amount of data that comes to a law firm like this is immense.”

Its ever-increasing storage needs and associated e-discovery work required a rethink of its storage strategy. ClearSky combines primary storage, backup and disaster recovery into a single service was exactly what they needed.

With the ClearSky solution, Miles & Stockbridge cut costs in half compared to the previous on-premises storage systems, and the firm no longer needs to manually manage its backups. What’s more, the automated backup that ClearSky provides saves 40 percent annually on data protection costs.

“The fact that we don’t have to back up these millions of documents to tape is a great savings,” Adams said. “Part of our security initiative is to make sure we have multiple copies of our data, and ClearSky takes care of that. Life sucked without ClearSky.”

How you can make the cloud work for you

Storage as a service, when done well, can address the most significant pain points when it comes to storage and e-discovery.

Capacity: The data generated by law firms is increasing so quickly that legacy onsite storage is becoming too costly and time-intensive to maintain. Rather than pay for extra storage that won’t be used for months or even years, a storage service enables a firm to scale as needed so it only pays for the storage it is actually using.

Security: The most fundamental way to protect data is to encrypt it, both in transit and at rest. It’s a difficult task to manage encrypted in-house, and a good storage service will take care of that for their clients. Only the customer should control the encryption keys.

Cost: Costs are a constant battle for IT as data storage needs increase. Instead of purchasing and upgrading new storage arrays every three years – equipment which must be maintained and managed – cloud storage provides capacity on demand, with the best services only charging customers for the storage they are using, which is why organizations like Miles & Stockbridge experience such dramatic savings.

Availability: E-discovery and other legal data must be always available with excellent performance. ClearSky’s proprietary technology prioritizes data in tiers, with “hot” data cached locally in a flash appliance, warm data at a nearby point of presence, and all data stored in the cloud. Backups are automatic with nearly instant recovery.