Case Studies

Case Study #1:  American College of Radiology Data Storage challenges & HIPAA requirements

Datatility Solution helps the American College of Radiology meet data storage challenges and meet HIPAA requirements 

Customer: American College of Radiology – Nonprofit professional medical association

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 data.  Image files were exploding – resulting in projected storage growth from 100 to 250 TBs over the next three years.   This data needs to be stored, managed and protected against system crashes and security breaches.  To compound matters, ACR needs to comply with HIPAA regulations. The traditional storage model of replicating and backing up data proved to be too inefficient.  ACR was reaching the breaking point.

Matthew 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, replicating data between sites, 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 delivers backup services for ACR, recommended Panzura’s Global File System and Datatility’s Hydra object-based storage cloud.

Providing a connection to the cloud
ACR looked at a variety of storage options and eventually settled on Datatility’s “Hydra” Cloud, powered by Cleversafe’s industry-leading object storage solution. The Hydra private cloud storage solution met ACR security requirements, could easily scale and provided data availability/reliability through data dispersal.   Datatility recommended a cloud “gateway” device to access the object storage cloud rather than have ACR re-write their applications.  After a thorough analysis of ACR’s operational environment and workflows, Datatility suggested that Panzura GFS Controllers could be ideal components of the solution.

The Datatility / Panzura solution met ACR’s needs for performance, flexibility, security, and usability. ACR had looked at other solutions, but they did not meet their needs from a cost or flexibility perspective. Datatility’s Hydra cloud, along with Panzura, gave ACR the flexibility to grow over time as well as the required performance and predictable pricing.

In addition to solving the storage issue, ACR can now easily restore from a snapshot, reducing backup requirements.  They don’t need to back up the system, because it’s backing itself up by archiving the data and the snapshots to Datatility’s Hydra Cloud. In the Hydra cloud, the data is secure, protected and dispersed across three data centers.  Also, ACR has the ability to leverage the object storage cloud without the need to modify its applications.

Cutting backup storage needs
The Datatility/Panzura solution cut costs significantly. ACR estimated that with traditional storage, about 500 TB of raw storage was required to store, protect, backup and archive 100 TB of image and file data. That dropped by 70%. Since this is a cloud solution, ACR pays for only the space that it utilizes. And unlike many public clouds, Datatilty does not charge for bandwidth usage or IOPS. The solution offers a tremendous amount of flexibility in the projection of the business costs and allows the flexibility to modify without making major architectural changes.

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 controllers support the association’s “high trust” segment to meet HIPAA regulations.

HIPAA required ACR to do certain things from a security standpoint, and they were able to meet those with the Datatility / Panzura solution. ACR needed encryption at-rest and encryption in-transit. They now have the capability of doing that from Panzura to Datatility through an encrypted channel. Both the cloud and the Panzura controllers are fully encrypted.

Generating results: Phenomenal Performance
ACR describes the performance of the Datatility / Panzura solution as “phenomenal.”

From a platform perspective, it gives ACR the best of both worlds where it looks like all of our data is local to the application. ACR get the local file access performance through the Panzura controller, which then replicates its data out to Datatility’s Hydra cloud for disaster recovery and archiving.”

The integrated solution gives ACR the ability to access data quickly and securely and cuts the time it takes to back up its data. Fast, reliable snapshots were also critical - giving 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.

About Datatility

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.

 

Situation Snapshot

  • Medical association needed to share imaging files and collaborate across three East Coast offices
  • Key applications: Medical imaging access, archiving and retention
  • Key challenge: Association needed to manage data growth, backup and data retention with a HIPAA-compliant secure cloud storage solution

With Datatility Hydra Cloud and Panzura, the American College of Radiology was able to:

  • Consolidate legacy storage, backup and replication from multiple sites to the cloud
  • Give users fast, secure access to data from multiple sites
  • Meet HIPAA security requirements with FIPS 140-2 certified security on-premise and in the cloud
  • Reduce overall costs by 70%, while providing a sustainable growth model

 

View Details
Case Study #2: Mindshift Wireless Network
Background

Mindshift was moving their headquarters to new office space in Northern Virginia. Their business, providing managed and cloud services to small and medium sized enterprises, requires 100% uptime on their networks.

Challenge

One of the largest managed service providers on the east coast, Mindshift’s new offices offered only one fiber provider for their Internet connectivity back to Equinix in Ashburn, Virginia, where their primary equipment was located. Redundant connectivity was a requirement.

Result

Given the requirement of 100% uptime, Datatility designed a FCC licensed 200 mbps wireless solution from the Mindshift equipment in Equinix into their new headquarters building over two miles away.

The wireless equipment (provided by DragonWave) has maintained 100% uptime since its installation over one year ago. It operates effectively in all weather, with no issues in fog, snow, rain or other inclement conditions.

In addition to design, licensing, and installation, Datatility provides 24/7 monitoring and management of the wireless systems for Mindshift and many other wireless customers. In many cases, we can reach locations not served by fiber to provide businesses with cost effective Internet services.

View Details
Challenge

A publically traded business intelligence company, with headquarters in Northern Virginia with offices throughout the world, required a customized expansion of their international IP networks. The company contracted with two network providers; Datatility and a multi-billion dollar Tier 1 provider.

Result

Datatility provided high-level network engineering and design assistance, fast provisioning and the ability to offer services in other countries as expansion required. The customer cited their ability to speak directly with senior engineers and owners rather than routed to junior call center support personnel at larger network providers as a key reason in their choice of Datatility.

View Details
Case Study #4: Earth Networks; Managed Networks Services
Background

Earth Networks operates the world’s largest weather observation and lightning detection networks. The company is building what will become the largest greenhouse gas monitoring network. Observations from Earth Networks inform and alert consumers, enterprises and governments around the world, providing them with advanced environmental intelligence for decision-making and safety.

The company’s popular WeatherBug website, desktop application and mobile apps provide millions of consumers with real-time, local weather information and dangerous severe weather alerts. Enterprise solutions from Earth Networks enable organizations, including energy and utilities, agriculture, schools, sports and recreation, emergency operations and government entities, to safeguard lives, prepare for weather and climate events and improve business operations.

Challenge

In 2011, Earth Networks contacted Datatility for assistance with the management of their networks and associated devices including routers, switches, VPNs, firewalls, as well as systems support. This support was a high priority, as Earth Networks was in the process of re-networking its headquarters, consolidating its data centers and migrating more than 650 servers to the Cloud. Earth Networks is a high-scale operation, providing content to millions of unique Web, desktop, mobile and tablet users per month.

Result

Datatility supplied Earth Networks with a comprehensive network management and monitoring solution. It also provided support for multiple migrations required as a result of Earth Networks virtualization and data center consolidation project.

“We see Datatility as a strategic partner in our work to improve the scalability, security, and reliability of all of our systems”, said Lex Crosett, VP of Product Development and CIO at Earth Networks. “We can rely on the Datatility team’s networking talent and skills around the clock, allowing us to focus on our core information service business.”

View Details