Originally published on 24 May 2013 on ibm.com. Copyright 2013 IBM Corporation
"What’s different now is that we’ll no longer experience data ‘explosions.’ Tivoli Storage Manager allows us to keep pace with and manage data growth seamlessly and in ways we’ve never been able to before."
- Kumar Kancharana, Sr. Systems Analyst & Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) Admin., Piedmont Healthcare
Piedmont Healthcare owns and operates six hospitals in and around Atlanta, as well as the Piedmont Heart Institute, the Piedmont Clinic physician network and the Piedmont Healthcare Foundation, a philanthropic entity for private fund-raisers.
The data storage infrastructure at Piedmont Healthcare provided neither the capacity nor the security required to manage data volumes resulting from hospital acquisitions.
Piedmont deployed IBM® Tivoli® Storage Manager software, providing tape-level encryption for security and incremental backup to reduce backup times.
The solution helps the company ensure security of offsite data, and it reduced backup times by 86 percent, freeing IT resources and staff for other projects.
Acquiring four hospitals from 2010 to 2012 generated more data growth than Piedmont experienced in its previous century of operation, more than doubling the size of its data environment to nearly 400 TB. With that information explosion came an extraordinary increase in the demands on data management resources.
Kumar Kancharana, senior systems analyst and Tivoli Storage Manager (TSM) administrator for Piedmont, says the healthcare system’s previous backup and recovery infrastructure simply could not keep pace with such growth, which meant long days and nights dedicated to monitoring database backups. “I once worked 22 hours in one day and 68 hours in three days. My server was constantly crashing, eight times in one night, because the backup log was full, and backups took as long as 36 hours. That situation was obviously unsustainable.”
Data security became a front-and-center issue when a USD200 million lawsuit was brought against a hospital outside of the Piedmont system for the exposure of more than 300,000 patient files. With that as a backdrop, Piedmont decided it needed to fortify data security.
Piedmont deployed IBM Tivoli Storage Manager software to speed and reinforce its data backup and recovery infrastructure and strengthen data security.
By virtue of progressive incremental backups, which is the standard method used by Tivoli Storage Manager software, only files that have changed since the last backup are backed up again. Kancharana says this resulted in a significant reduction in backup times. “With Tivoli Storage Manager, I back up a 300-node server in five hours. With my previous backup environment, I’d have backups running 24 to 36 hours. This time savings frees our IT people up to work on other challenges and opportunities.”
Kancharana uses Tivoli Storage Manager software’s tape-level encryption feature to help secure all patient data sent offsite. This technology requires 256-bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) encryption keys, which a key manager passes to the drive to encrypt and decrypt data. “I can just change a setting on the Tivoli Storage Manager device and it manages the encryption key, giving me confidence that all the data that goes outside is secure.”
Data needs will continue to expand significantly over the next one to three years as Piedmont implements an integrated healthcare software product. “What’s different now is that we’ll no longer experience data ‘explosions,’” says Kancharana. “Tivoli Storage Manager allows us to keep pace with and manage data growth seamlessly and in ways we’ve never been able to before.”
- Reduces data backup time by 86 percent
- Frees IT staff to work on value-added projects rather than data backups
- Strengthens data security with tape-level encryption
For More Information
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IBM products and services that were used in this case study.
Software: Tivoli Storage Manager
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