Harnessing the power of technology to better serve clients
GrayRobinson, P.A. deploys reliable, sustainable disaster recovery services to ensure continuity of services in one of the most hurricane-prone states in the nation.
Being a nationally recognized law firm is much more than simply specializing in litigation. The full-service legal and lobbying firm GrayRobinson would know. All clients—whether a Fortune 500 company, small entrepreneurial business, or a local and state government, to name a few—benefit from the firm’s extensive resources and expertise in more than 80 specialty areas.
Celebrating the 50th anniversary of its founding in 1970, GrayRobinson has grown from a small group of partners combining their practices to a mid-sized organization committed to keeping small-firm, intrinsic qualities while providing its clients with legal and regulatory support found at larger firms. GrayRobinson has more than 250 attorneys, consultants and regulatory professionals in 14 offices across the state of Florida and one office located in Washington, D.C.
Being “always on” even during a natural disaster
While GrayRobinson already had its primary data center housed in the Flexential Tampa – North data center, the firm previously built its own backup data center in leased space across the street from its Orlando office. As a Florida-based law and lobbying firm in the heart of one of the most hurricane-prone states in the nation, GrayRobinson implemented initial disaster recovery plans through this facility.
Equipped with HVAC, backup power, and redundant high-speed data circuits, the purpose-built data center was fully operational but did not provide the level of reliability and sustainability GrayRobinson needed to operate its business at the optimal level. Knowing the firm needed a viable disaster recovery solution and recognizing there were significant cost savings to be had, GrayRobinson developed a request for proposal with some key goals in mind.
“At the top of the list was reliability—our disaster recovery solution had to be available, with our data, ready to assume the primary role at a moment’s notice,” said GrayRobinson Chief Information Officer Eric Carpenter. “The solution had to be secure, sustainable and routinely validated. Because we’re a very transactional industry with a high datachange rate, we also needed the recovery time objectives and recovery point objectives to be as low as possible.”
As CIO, Carpenter wanted the disaster recovery solution to be fully managed by the provider so he could reduce staffing costs, worry less about turnover, and focus the IT team on strategic projects and end-user productivity. In addition, the firm wanted to enhance its security posture and compliance with its clients’ data management and security requirements, as well as industry best practices.
“GrayRobinson needed a partner who understood our business, our requirements, and who felt the same level of responsibility we do,” said Carpenter. “I wanted to sleep at night knowing our data was protected, and we could maintain business continuity in the worst of circumstances.”
Flexential DRaaS supports RTO and RPO expectations to protect critical data
GrayRobinson selected Flexential to provide its colocation environment and deliver disaster recovery services through the Atlanta – Norcross data center. The firm tapped Flexential because of the existing relationship with the sales team, secure facilities and staff, and the technical team who supports the implementation and ongoing service efforts.
“The solution Flexential proposed, and subsequently carried out, was well planned and sized appropriately,” said Carpenter. “The implementation was effectively managed and relatively low impact. They worked within a highly compacted timeframe to meet our objectives and provided effective project management throughout the entire process.”
The disaster recovery strategy Flexential implemented utilizes Flexential's flexible, reliable disaster recovery-as-a-service (DRaaS) solution tailored to meet GrayRobinson’s unique replication and recovery needs. With Flexential DRaaS, data replication is now fully managed, tested and validated on a routine basis to minimize data loss. Incorporating industry best practices, Flexential DRaaS delivers near real-time replication with up to 30-day point-in-time recovery to meet GrayRobinson’s RPO and RTO requirements and minimize the threat of ransomware and other cyberattacks.
The Atlanta – Norcross facility also supports the resiliency of GrayRobinson’s IT environment by offering N+1 UPS redundancy and N+1 cooling. Flexential backs up its uptime commitment with a 100% SLA on power, network and bandwidth.
With an on-site cloud node, the facility also provides a path to full cloud adoption in the future.
With both its disaster recovery and production sites housed within the Flexential family of data centers, GrayRobinson no longer requires multiple, expensive telecom circuits between its production and recovery sites. This redundancy is delivered by Flexential, allowing GrayRobinson to replicate data more cost-effectively.
Like the Atlanta – Norcross data center, Tampa – North, which supports its primary production environment, provides redundant power and cooling. The facility was built to endure a Category 5 hurricane and offers around-the-clock security, dual-factor authentication access, biometric scanners and monitored security cameras to safeguard the physical environment.
Utilizing the Flexential portal provides the CIO insight into GrayRobinson’s IT environment, allowing him to analyze the firm’s use of the facilities, RPO/RTO data, space utilization and help forecast and project future needs.
Since implementing the comprehensive Flexential solution, GrayRobinson does not need to deal with life cycle replacement. The firm has also substantially decreased its footprint with regard to leased space and has lowered its overall carbon footprint by a large margin.
“Our licensing and leasing costs were replaced with a predictable and significantly reduced expense cost model, capital expenditures are non-existent, and because our primary and disaster recovery data centers are hosted with Flexential, we no longer require multiple, very expensive telecom circuits to provide redundant pathways for replication,” said Carpenter. “We also have the flexibility to add services, the technical expertise to facilitate it, and the ability to cost shift between facilities as our needs change.”
The GrayRobinson-Flexential partnership makes a difference
Through its relationship with Flexential, GrayRobinson has a highly reliable and redundant disaster-recovery solution in place and satisfies the stringent data security and compliance requirements of its clients through ongoing audits and certifications. GrayRobinson can also market to potential clients in diverse industries and demonstrate its abilities to meet those requirements because of its partnership with Flexential. Carpenter said, “We view it as a critical factor to partner with businesses, like Flexential, who are ISO and SOC certified. Clients prefer to do business with firms that can protect their data.”
As for the GrayRobinson-Flexential partnership, Carpenter said, “Flexential offers all of the technology, facilities, and knowledge to deliver the IT and data-center solutions a business, like GrayRobinson, requires. Flexential has the internal processes and ability to build relationships with customers, making them less a vendor and more a partner. The Flexential team continues to do an amazing job of taking our firm’s IT strategic vision and identifying the best solutions to make it become a reality.”
Planning for future growth is always at the forefront of the firm’s business decisions, and IT is essential to any expansion goals. GrayRobinson is always strategizing on ways to best deploy services to its offices and clients and to do so in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. The firm looks forward to continuing to work with Flexential to deliver on its promise of innovative IT systems for all.
“GrayRobinson represents a myriad of legal and lobbying clients across a wide spectrum of industries. From large banking and health care organizations to individuals and small businesses, all of our clients have critical legal needs that require safe, reliable and sustainable IT services. That is why we built IT systems to help our attorneys use and leverage technology that is more efficient and more adaptive to the needs of our various clients no matter their size. Thanks to our partnership with Flexential, our attorneys have around-the-clock access to technology infrastructure that enables them to deliver the best legal services in a secure, compliant and effective manner.”