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Case-in-point Miles & Stockbridge

Gaining backup independence, bolstering the firm’s business continuity plan, and saving money with ClearSky Data services.


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"Life sucked
without ClearSky"

Ken Adams | CIO




Founded in Baltimore in 1932, Miles & Stockbridge is a large law firm with almost 500 employees in six East Coast locations. Miles & Stockbridge prides itself on providing unrivaled client service, and on the core firm values of excellence, integrity, respect, compassion, diversity and teamwork. Technology innovation is an unofficial firm's value as well. Miles & Stockbridge was one of the first firms to take its document management to the cloud 10 years ago, and its lean IT department is constantly looking for ways to improve the service it provides to the firm’s lawyers and clients. 

The challenge

As a firm that handles a lot of litigation, Miles & Stockbridge has a great deal of court files on SQL Server, with one server often housing 20 to 30 terabytes of case data at a time. Backing that data up requires a lot of storage, and cloud backup isn’t cost effective because it takes too long to restore. According to Ken Adams, CIO at Miles & Stockbridge, “Today, as a disaster recovery implementation plan, we first revert to backup. (Then) we have to do the restore process, which can take from ½ hour to 2 hours depending on the server, file, and finding the right version. The backup technologies are not able to serve our needs quick enough.”

The solution

Miles & Stockbridge has chosen to use the ClearSky Data service to handle its primary data storage with built-in backup and DR - in a single service, which meshed perfectly with the firm’s innovative nature. ClearSky Data provides full redundancy and access to all Miles & Stockbridge data in multiple places. When data is written to the ClearSky service, it is automatically backed up to the ClearSky backing cloud.  If any office goes down, everyone can simply be pointed to another location to access that exact same data.

Ken Adams adds, “Implementing this type of solution takes away the headaches of a backup solution. It took a while to grasp, but once we understood it, we wondered why didn’t we do this earlier. We don’t have to backup our documents today! That was a huge thing to get rid of and kill that responsibility. There is no need to watch the backup every single day to make sure that they succeed. It is verified that it’s written as soon as we write it.”

ClearSky Data's service provides the capabilities that enable backup independence as part of the solution, requiring no additional effort or resources from Miles & Stockbridge.

ClearSky Results

ClearSky helps Miles & Stockbridge backup automatically and access their data instantly (with RPO and RTO of virtually zero), should an outage occur. Also, ClearSky Data has helped Miles & Stockbridge gain a lower cost of ownership, by reducing costs associated with maintenance and eliminating the need for physical hardware provisioning.

With ClearSky Data's service, Miles & Stockbridge has fully achieved backup independence, which has resulted in a year over year savings of more than 40% in data protection costs. Now, according to Ken Adams, there is:

No need to backup anymore

“When we stumbled across ClearSky, we thought, maybe we don’t need to backup data anymore. The data is in multiple locations, which is far more than what we have even with our backup solution today. And it’s much quicker to retrieve that data in a disaster.”

No need for tapes

“We don’t have to backup to tapes anymore. It’s a great savings.”

No need to wait to restore a file

“What we found with ClearSky is that we don’t have to wait for that process of restoring a file. We can quickly do a search and find the file we want and present (it) back to the user.”

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