From Terabytes to Zettabytes: The Case for Disaster Recovery Planning in Healthcare Organizations

Globally, the amount of data being generated, stored, and consumed across all industries is expected to reach 180 zettabytes in the next five years, and an estimated third of that data is expected to come from the healthcare industry. If this data were to be stored on tablets, it would take over 5.5 trillion devices to hold it all. This is a lot of data to manage and protect.

Healthcare, which was paper based not so long ago, is now digital and creating vast amounts of data that must be stored, regardless of any outside circumstances that could cause outages or downtime. Applications must be up and running for admissions, pharmacy, clinical, labs, billing, and countless other routine and emergency functions. Incorporating Disaster Recovery planning into healthcare IT solutions can prevent unnecessary downtime and reduce business and patient care risks that arise when a primary data center is unavailable.

Traditional Disaster Recovery Planning in Healthcare Organizations

“Stuff happens” for nearly endless reasons: hardware failures, software bugs, data
corruption, fires, power outages, floods, earthquakes, hurricanes, storms, and the list goes on. Today however ransomware is one of the largest concerns for healthcare. This creates a need for solid Disaster Recovery planning in healthcare organizations. Yet traditional Disaster Recovery methods do not meet today’s requirements for a cost-effective, agile, fast recovery.

Today’s Disaster Recovery as a Service?

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) is a growing opportunity for stress-free Disaster Recovery planning in healthcare organizations. This cloud-based approach to infrastructure resilience is more cost-effective and easier to set up than alternate processing sites for critical systems, making it a popular choice for healthcare organizations. Two primary types of DRaaS may be good options for organizations seeking to find modern solutions for Disaster Recovery: Private Cloud and Managed Cloud.

Private Cloud DRaaS

Private Cloud DRaaS

This DraaS solution establishes a private cloud that can be closely monitored and managed by your internal team as part of your hospital IT Disaster Recovery plan. Your provider will help you setup a private cloud, with all the DR orchestration via a SaaS solution for quick access to your infrastructure after a disaster. This allows your organization to create this type of environment without owning all the resources. Your data is kept under direct control of your healthcare IT team.

In healthcare, private clouds also often have the advantage of being less expensive and faster to restore than a public cloud. For many organizations, a solution that utilizes a combination of Private Cloud DRaaS and Backup-as-a-Service, such as ComportSecure, provides optimal data backup and recovery in healthcare.

Managed Cloud DRaaS

The Managed Cloud DRaaS provides a hands-free method to manage data backup and recovery, making it especially attractive for healthcare institutions that are highly virtualized.

This provides organizations with a DRaaS site hosted with a managed services provider that is also managed by their expert technologists, who can also scale and manage infrastructure. The consumption model is also attractive to healthcare organizations — capital is preserved and replaced by monthly payments. Managed Cloud DRaaS makes Disaster Recovery as easy and fast as running from your primary site.

Backup, Replication, and Disaster Recovery

A critical component of Disaster Recovery planning in healthcare organizations is having a way to transport copies of mission-critical data away from the primary processing site to another location that will not be affected by a disaster event.

Backup was once considered “good enough” for Disaster Recovery planning in healthcare organizations. However, “good enough” implied that an organization was willing to wait days to recover their systems and get them running again.

Back up in 15 minutes

In today’s always-on enterprises, backup is no longer good enough: Backup and replication together via an offsite model are necessary to get critical applications up and running in 15 minutes or less. Frequent backup of VM images and the replication of critical data together provide system recovery synergy that facilitates rapid restoration.

Have Confidence in Your Hospital’s IT Disaster Recovery Plan

Healthcare facilities face different challenges than other industries, and ComportSecure offers services and solutions specifically tailored to evolving healthcare IT technology requirements. With our deep data center and cloud expertise, we work with our healthcare clients to create backup and Disaster Recovery strategies that best achieve your particular long and short-term data protection goals.

Let us help you navigate the possibilities, perils, and best practices of hospital IT Disaster Recovery planning. Comport’s experts can assess the risk and data loss potential of your organization, then work with your team to discover, plan, and recommend a Disaster Recovery plan that meets your organization’s needs. Get started with our Disaster Recovery Assessment today.

Bill Flatley, Field CTO for Healthcare

Bill is responsible for technical strategies and recommendations for Comport’s Healthcare clients. His extensive experience includes four healthcare systems in leadership roles supporting Clinical Applications, Digital Health, and Office of the CIO as the primary liaison between IT and the business.

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