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