Panzura helps American College of Radiology solve data storage challenges, meet HIPAA requirements and become ransomware-proof
The American College of Radiology (ACR) is a nonprofit professional medical society dedicated to serving patients and society by empowering radiology professionals to advance the practice, science and profession of radiological care.
ACR has to manage vast storehouses of digital radiology files where all data needs to be stored, managed and protected against system crashes and security breaches.
ACR’s image file sizes were exploding, leading storage requirements to grow from 100 to 250 TB in three years alone. To compound matters, ACR needs to comply with HIPAA regulations. The traditional storage model of backing up and replicating data multiple times was reaching a breaking point.
Matt Jordan, senior director of IT operations at ACR, had to solve the organization’s data storage challenges. “From a storage perspective, if I want to store and protect 100 terabytes worth of data, I could end up paying for almost five times the amount of storage, plus the backup licenses,” Jordan said. “That’s not a sustainable growth model. On top of that, we have to make sure we’re secure from a HIPAA perspective. We clearly needed a new plan.”
ACR was using traditional EMC VNX storage at each site, replicating between them and using Commvault for local backups. The organization needed to find a storage solution that would provide solid performance for end users, support data growth, and meet HIPAA security requirements – all at an effective price.
Datatility, a managed services provider that performed backup services for ACR, recommended Panzura’s global cloud file system CloudFS and Datatility’s “Hydra” object-based storage cloud, powered by IBM ICOS.
Providing a connection to the cloud
ACR looked at a variety of storage options and eventually settled on Datatility’s “Hydra” Cloud, powered by IBM’s web-scale storage solution. The ICOS-based private cloud storage solution appealed to Jordan since it met his security requirements, could easily scale and handled replication through its data dispersion algorithm – but there was one piece missing. ACR needed a way to connect their files into the ICOS-powered Hydra object storage platform that would satisfy the performance requirements needed by ACR users.
Panzura met ACR’s needs for performance, flexibility, security, and usability. “We looked at other solutions, but they did not met our needs from a cost or flexibility perspective,” Jordan explained. “Panzura, Datatility and IBM gives us the flexibility to grow over time and absolutely nails the performance at the predictable pricing we need.”
“Panzura solves two other problems for us,” Jordan said. “One is that if I delete a file, I can easily restore from a snapshot, solving my backup requirements I don’t need to back the system up because it’s backing itself up archiving the data and the snapshots to Datatility’s Hydra Cloud, where it’s secure, protected and dispersed across datacenters. I also have the ability for our applications to leverage ICOS without the need to modify the applications.”
Cutting backup storage needs
Going with the Panzura, Datatility and ICOS solution cut costs significantly. Jordan estimated that with traditional storage, ACR needed about 500 TB of raw storage to store, protect, backup and archive 100 TB of image and file data. That dropped by 70%. “With Panzura and ICOS, I’m not paying 5 times for storage.” But, he said, the cost savings will be even bigger because he doesn’t have to worry about over-buying or under-buying storage or additional software licenses. “It gives us a sustainable growth model now.”
“Panzura accomplished 100 percent of what we wanted to do in terms of security and performance on day one at a reasonable price point,” Jordan added. “That offers us an incredible amount of flexibility in the projection of our business costs. Panzura, Datatility and ICOS give us the flexibility to modify the implementation as they mature going forward without a major architectural change.”
Meeting stringent HIPAA compliance regulations
ACR installed one Panzura device at the company’s collocated data center and provisioned three other virtual instances. One is in ACR’s Reston, Va., data center to provide disaster recovery capability for their co-location facility. The other two filers support the association’s “high trust” segment to meet HIPAA regulations.
“HIPAA required us to do certain things from a security standpoint, and we were able to meet those with the Panzura solution,” Jordan said. “We needed encryption at rest and encryption in transit. So, we have the capability of doing that from Panzura to Datatility through an encrypted channel. Both the cloud and the Panzura filers are fully encrypted.”
Generating results: Phenomenal Performance
Jordan described the performance of Panzura CloudFS as “phenomenal.”
“From a platform perspective, it gives us the best of both worlds where it looks like all of our data is local to the application,” Jordan said. “So we get the local file access performance through the Panzura filer, which then replicates its data out to the Hydra cloud for disaster recovery and archiving.”
The CloudFS gives the college the ability to access data quickly and securely and cuts the time it takes to back up ACR’s data. Fast, reliable snapshots were also critical, that give ACR the ability to quickly restore files from any point in time.
About the American College of Radiology
The American College of Radiology (ACR) is a nonprofit professional medical society dedicated to serving patients and society by empowering radiology professionals to advance the practice, science and profession of radiological care. Association membership is composed of diagnostic radiologists, radiation oncologists, interventional radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, and medical physicians. It is based in Reston, Va., with offices in Philadelphia and Washington, D.C.
Datatility, headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia provides storage and backup solutions, networking services, and colocation out of data centers located in Northern Virginia, Chicago, London, and San Jose. Since 2003 Datatility has been providing innovative solutions to enterprises ranging from the largest retail company in the world to startups with cutting edge technology.
With Panzura, the cloud – public or private – not only serves as every tier of storage, it becomes the fabric that enables globally distributed teams rapid file access and easy collaboration. Panzura delivers one file system across hundreds of offices that allows users to work together as if they were in the same room.
Datatility Hydra Cloud
With image file sizes growing exponentially, storage requirements using traditional methods of backup and replication were no longer workable. But, any solution needed to be HIPAA compliant.
Panzura consolidated ACR’s storage, reducing overall requirements by 70%, while delivering the high performance the organization requires.