Case Study: Foran Glennon
Global Law Firm Leverages Cloud Storage for File Storage, Backup, Collaboration and Management
Global File System: Nasuni
Object Storage: Microsoft Azure
The law firm Foran, Glennon, Palandech, Ponzi & Rudloff offers specialized legal representation and consultation to businesses, organizations and individuals. Foran Glennon has expanded from two locations to eight offices across the U.S. and in London. In the past few years, unpredictable file growth and an increased need for collaboration between attorneys in different offices forced the firm to look for a new storage solution. Nasuni proved to be the only system offering everything the firm required, including on-demand scalability, a complete data protection package, powerful management tools and secure file sync and share.
Foran, Glennon was founded in 2001 with eight attorneys in just two offices. Since then, the firm has expanded to sixty lawyers spread across eight locations, with offices in Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and London. As the business has grown, so has the volume of files that needs to be stored, protected and managed. “We’re bringing in new cases all the time,” says Jeff Keel, IT Manager at Foran Glennon. “The amount of data coming in through e-discovery is getting larger and larger, so we need to be able to grow rapidly.”
Unfortunately, expanding capacity by adding new hardware could result in downtime for end users, something the firm would not accept. This intolerance for downtime also makes data protection a priority. Foran Glennon’s files need to remain protected and available to the firm’s attorneys even in the event of a power outage, storm or natural disaster.
When the firm expanded its London office recently, the attorneys in the U.K. began collaborating regularly with every other office. So, changes made to a file in London needed to propagate quickly and securely to Chicago, Los Angeles and all the other locations. “Due to the nature of the work that we do here, when users request data, they want it now, or they want it yesterday,” says System Administrator Donna Halac. But sharing data between the U.S. and the U.K. was not nearly as fast as a local connection.
This growing list of requirements for their storage infrastructure drove Foran Glennon to look for a storage solution with a very broad set of capabilities, including on- demand scalability, strong security, high-performance collaboration, robust data protection and powerful centralized management.
One Cloud-Native File System
Nasuni proved to be the only solution that met all of Foran Glennon’s needs in a single package. The switchover was simple – the firm moved three offices to Nasuni in one night – and today all eight locations depend on Nasuni. “We store our primary case files, our e-discovery documents, and anything else we can’t afford to lose,” says Keel.
Unlimited, On-demand Scalability
Nasuni’s cloud-native file system, UniFS®, securely links local, high-performance storage in each office to the unlimited cloud. Nasuni edge appliances ensure fast access for local end users, while UniFS® pushes encrypted data to Microsoft Azure. Since capacity scales in the cloud, a given location can never outgrow its local hardware.
When an attorney edits a file, those changes quickly propagate to the cloud-based gold copy of that file. With the right permissions, colleagues from London to Los Angeles can then access that file, and Nasuni’s global file locking technology eliminates editing conflicts. According to Halac, the benefit is simple: “With Nasuni, our users can share data much faster.”
Secure Enterprise File Sync and Share
The firm’s attorneys need to be able to access their files from anywhere, on any device, but they won’t stand for jumping through too many hoops. Nasuni gives Foran Glennon secure enterprise file sync and share without sacrificing IT control.
Fast Disaster Recovery
“In a law firm, you have to make sure you’re ready for a disaster,” Keel notes. With Nasuni, if an office were to go off-line, IT will be able to re-establish access to that location’s files within 15 minutes, allowing its attorneys to get back to work.
Integrating New Locations
IT may only have six-weeks notice when the firm opens a new office. Nasuni allows the firm to quickly integrate and provision a new location without having to worry about WAN optimizations, network configurations or additional backup licenses. “It’s an hour at the max to get it up and running,” says Halac.
Boosting IT’s Standing Within the Firm
While many of Nasuni’s benefits apply directly to end users or the larger business, the web-based Nasuni Management Console (NMC) is specifically designed to make life easier for IT. And on a recent Friday afternoon, Keel accomplished what would have been impossible in the past.
At 4:50 P.M., an end user reported that a file had been accidentally deleted. This wasn’t the sort of job that could wait for Monday, either. This particular item was supposed to be submitted to a client by close of business. In the past, it might have taken an entire day to restore that file. Keel just opened the NMC and began his search: “Within minutes, I restored it to its original location and our end user was able to get that product to our client before 5 o’clock.”
This kind of power doesn’t just make IT’s job easier. The department ends up looking better in the eyes of the attorneys, inspiring confidence in the team’s abilities. Overall, Nasuni proved to be the right choice on multiple levels. “With Nasuni, we’re able to grow quickly and open new offices quickly. We’re able to provide a storage solution that provides DR, backup and collaboration,” says Keel. “That inspires confidence in the IT department, making my life easier every single day.”