Case Study: Faith Regional Health Services
Scalable PACS Storage, Built-in Data Protection, and Ultra-fast DR for Faith Regional Health Services
Object Store: Microsoft Azure
Sites: 13 Users: 14,000
Key Applications: Picture, Archiving and Communication System (PACS)
Drivers: Sustained PACS growth, pending costly SAN refresh and inadequate backup and DR Requirements: Flexible, scalable file storage, Strong data security and DR HIPAA compliance and lower, more predictable costs
HIPAA Compliance Was KeyCompliance with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) was critical. PACS system files have patient information attached to them, making them subject to HIPAA regulations that cover electronic Personal Health Information (PHI). Any new storage and data protection solution implemented by Faith Regional needed to comply with HIPAA. IT was concerned with security as well, particularly Ransomware attacks. With recent studies showing that 84% of Ransomware attacks target hospitals and healthcare organizations, the IT department was looking for ways to prevent Faith Regional’s files from being taken hostage. Finally, as a Six Sigma Certified professional, Feilmeier wanted to increase agility and efficiency within the IT department and across Faith Regional in total, while also reducing costs. Legacy storage vendors could only offer expensive, hardware-based capacity expansions that required lengthy implementation times, complex backup software, and periodic forklift upgrades. Feilmeier and his IT team began researching how Faith Regional could leverage Microsoft Azure as a more cost-effective option for capacity. His Azure representative urged him to consider Nasuni as a complete, Azure-certified storage and data protection solution.
Nasuni: Enterprise File Services at Cloud ScaleNasuni met all of Faith Regional’s storage and data protection requirements in a single Software as a Service (SaaS) solution. Built on UniFS®, the first and only cloud-native file system, Nasuni is now providing scalable file storage capacity and data protection services in one, seamlessly integrated solution. Unlimited, On-Demand File Storage Capacity — Nasuni stores gold copies of every file in cloud object stores such as Azure. In each Faith Regional location, the PACS system connects to a local Nasuni edge appliance that is in turn connected to an Azure volume. The edge appliance provides high performance cached access to the most frequently used files. Since Nasuni integrates with CIFS and other common protocols, IT did not have to change its existing controls.
"I foresee migrating more data to this solution, such as our department shares and additional PACS because of the functionality it contains." Paul Feilmeier, IT Infrastructure ManagerContinuous Versioning Eliminates Backup Pain — Nasuni’s disruptive approach to data protection is based on continuous versioning. Snapshots of the file system are taken every few minutes. New or changed data is chunked, compressed, encrypted and sent to the cloud, eliminating the need for costly, third party backup tools. Cost and complexity are significantly reduced. “Nasuni’s snapshot ability is incredible,” comments Feilmeier. “It’s light years ahead of anything else we looked at.” Ransomware Protection — The built-in ability to continuously version every file also mitigates the threat of file ransoming. If a volume or directory is compromised, IT can easily roll back to a previous version using the snapshot that was taken prior to the Ransomware attack. Downtime will be avoided and business continuity assured. Ultra-Fast Disaster Recovery — The Nasuni UniFS® file system is securely stored and continuously updated in Azure, enabling Faith Regional to leverage the Microsoft cloud’s native ability to replicate data to geo-redundant data centers. The proven combination of Nasuni and Azure protects the organization’s data against disaster and makes recovery fast and easy. “If we lost our data center, all we would have to do is find a PC, install a viewer, and point to the Nasuni share in the cloud,” Feilmeier explains. “It would literally take minutes to recover data.” HIPAA Compliance — Nasuni’s approach to security, which includes strong encryption with customer-controlled keys as well as integration with existing access controls and AD, met Faith Regional’s HIPAA compliance standards. Azure provided an object store that was equally compliant. “We won’t even look at a technology before we can be sure it will comply with our HIPAA requirements,” says Feilmeier. “Nasuni and Azure passed all our tests.” Operational Efficiency and Business Agility — Nasuni has enabled the Faith Regional IT team to meet its two main goals— scalable, cost-effective file storage and more reliable, faster data protection and DR. However, they are also unexpectedly benefiting from greater IT efficiency – the elimination of backup has freed up resources for other projects – and lower, more predictable storage costs – shifting storage array CAPEX to pay-as-needed OPEX. Together, Nasuni and Azure are helping Faith Regional Health Services transform how it stores and protects patient data, enabling the organization to efficiently and cost-effectively scale operations, and treat patient data with the same care that its providers treat their patients.