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Standing at the forefront of radiology evolution, the American College of Radiology stores an enormous amount of patient data. Legacy methods of protecting that data had become prohibitively expensive, and rapid file access was becoming problematic.


Panzura helped the ACR to reduce costs, lower their overall storage requirements by 70% and implement a scalable data management solution in CloudFS.

The American College of Radiology represents nearly 40,000 radiologists, radiation oncologists, nuclear medicine physicians and medical physicists and is dedicated to advancing radiological care.

They manage vast volumes of digital radiology files, all of which needs to be stored and retained for regulated periods of time, made available when required, and protected in accordance with HIPAA regulations.

ACR’s image file sizes were exploding, leading storage requirements to grow 150% in three years alone. 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. 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.

- Matt Jordan, Senior Director IT Operations

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 a cost effective price.

Datatility, a managed services provider that performed backup services for ACR, recommended Panzura’s CloudFS and Datatility’s “Hydra” object-based storage cloud, powered by IBM ICOS.

Providing a connection to the cloud

After investigating a variety of storage and data management options, ACR settled on Datatility Hydra. This 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 access and work with files in object storage, without suffering performance degradation.

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 Hydra 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,. 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 Hydra without the need to modify the applications.

- Matt Jordan, Senior Director IT Operations

Significant cost savings

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, 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. It also gives us the flexibility to modify the implementation as they mature without a major architectural change.”

Meeting stringent HIPAA compliance regulations

Panzura makes data stored at the company’s collocated data center immediately available to its other locations, such as their Reston, Va., data center to provide disaster recovery capability for their co-location facility. Further virtual nodes 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 CloudFS are fully encrypted.”

Local-feeling file performance

Jordan described the performance of 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 Panzura, which then replicates its data out to the Hydra cloud for disaster recovery and archiving.”

CloudFS gives the association 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.

Panzura, Datatility and Hydra gives us the flexibility to grow over time and absolutely nails the performance at the predictable pricing we need.

- Matt Jordan, Senior Director IT Operations

About Datatility

Datatility provides network design, private cloud storage, backup and disaster recovery, managed colocation, hybrid cloud and performance hubs to organizations ranging from America’s largest retailer to cutting edge start-ups.

The expanding storage requirements of healthcare are a key practice area for Datatility. The American College of Radiology, hospitals throughout the country, and the leading provider of healthcare IT solutions all trust Datatility with important HIPAA-protected data.