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meets HIPAA requirements. John Ruffi ng, assistant director for Advanced Technology Integration Services, says that he uses the Spectra T950 library with LTO tape media in part because the medical college “did not need to redesign our previ- ous network environment to add Spectra encryp-

Molly Rector is CMO, Spectra Logic. For more on Spectra Logic solutions:

tion.” BlueScale Encryption works with existing backup poli- cies and disaster recovery strategies, and requires no additional hardware or software. Tape supports rapid nightly backup of data, with encryption to ensure confi dentiality, and also provides longevity necessary to HIPAA and for DR efforts.

Advantages of tape in a healthcare setting Tape, with its inherent encryption capabilities and ex- tremely high reliability, provides the protection required to meet HIPAA requirements. HIPAA requires electronic data to be stored for a defi ned and lengthy period, and requires the data to be retrievable. Tape is the only storage medium with a lifespan that can be relied on to meet HIPAA rules. With the combination of signifi cantly greater reliability over SATA disk (orders of magnitude) and longer life, tape is an excellent choice for any healthcare data-protection strategy. Affordability is also key in any DR planning, because af- fordability makes the planning realistic and sustainable. Tape in any analysis is less expensive than disk; tape complements disk used for data protection.

Example of DR strategy using active archive In this model, the components of a data protection and disaster recovery plan include: • Active archive application; • Backup application; • Disk and tape storage;

• Multiple data storage sites – two or more, each outside of the other’s disaster zone; and • Secure, optimized WAN or other channel between sites.

Data management policy

This strategy shifts the sole focus on backup to support disaster recovery to a focus on active archive to support access to all data all the time, even following a disaster.


Prior to active archive, data centers relied on data pro- tection applications to protect all site data. These require extra steps to reconstitute data through the data protection applications after a disaster. With an active archive application in place, data is readily accessible through a standard fi le system interface. If the local site goes down, the remote active archive site continues to provide data access. Managed in part by the active archive application, data policies automatically manage data – creating multiple copies, moving data from disk to tape as data ages and more. Active archive systems automatically create copies of data and track the multiple locations of the data.

Backup Bac

High performance storage – includes PACS

Onsite/Offsite O



WAN replication

Disaster Recovery Offsite

Data protection with active archive.

By archiving appropriate data shortly after creation, in- formation is no longer backed up multiple times. Instead, it is retained in and can be accessed using the active archive system. The active archive implementation results in smaller backups that reduce strain on daily data center operations and ensure that backup windows are adequate to protect the site’s data. When a disaster does strike, the amount of data to be restored from backups is much smaller. Restoring the small amount of backup data becomes a very manageable step in the larger disaster recovery process.

PACS ? Backup Onsite/Offsite Data protection prior to active archive.

Disaster Recovery Offsite

DR planning doesn’t need to be a disaster A well-planned active archive storage implementation increases access to all stored data, both during and after a disaster. Access to patient data and healthcare infrastructure data, such as fi nancials, facilitates the recovery of critical healthcare operations within a short period. The active archive model represents a signifi cant shift from more commonly adopted data-protection strategies in healthcare, and may require organizations to adjust how they use and access data. An increased use of tape facilitates access to data, which makes storage more affordable and manageable, and supports the rigorous discipline involved in disaster recovery planning and testing. Active archive allows healthcare organizations to fulfi ll their dual missions of preserving important patient information and providing continuity for the patient care infrastructure.


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