Baystate Health turns to SEPATON for critical back-up of patient records

Marlborough 15 November 2006SEPATON Inc.'s S2100-ES2 virtual tape library (VTL) is ensuring the rapid and reliable back-up of critical patient data for Baystate Health, a health services and delivery organisation based in Springfield, Massachusetts. The Baystate Health network includes three hospitals, physician offices, clinical centres, and home based and ambulatory services with more than 9000 employees.


The importance of Baystate Health's data is nothing short of a matter of life or death. John Stabilo, assistant director, technology management for Baystate Health, explained that if its Oracle database which houses all of its patient records goes down, medical staff can not access information like allergy alerts, medicine plans, test results, patient history, and more. Additionally, earlier data calculated operational losses from one hour of down-time at $50.000. John Stabilo estimates that today's hourly loss would amount to more than $100.000.

"The criticality of our data requires full back-ups on a nightly basis. This data resides in an Oracle database running on an IBM AIX server with IBM Tivoli Storage Manager for back-up and restore. We were sending back-up data to disk via Oracle RMAN but after exhausting all tuning options, our back-up window still was closing fast. Performance was suffering and Recovery Time Objectives were unacceptable."

With back-up times exceeding nine hours and growing at a rate of 10 percent per month, John Stabilo and his team knew they had to find a better solution. Dave Miller, database architect for Baystate Health, explained that he was familiar with the concept of VTL technology and was eager to investigate it more. "Our IBM partner, Lighthouse, made the official introduction to SEPATON. While we looked at competing solutions, the S2100 was so easy to configure, it didn't require us to change our back-up software RMAN, and it can handle our volume now and as we grow." John Stabilo commented: "I visited SEPATON's office and had it configured in five minutes. After that five minute test drive, I was sold." Baystate Health installed a SEPATON S2100-ES2 and continued to use their TSM back-up software without changing their policies or procedures.

Using the SEPATON S2100 has meant that Baystate Health now performs full back-ups every night in just two hours, making the S2100 the near-line back-up system and restore option of choice because of its speed. "Our goal is to move all critical systems to the SEPATON VTL. The S2100 has saved us a lot of heartache", stated John Stabilo. "Our RTO has improved significantly which means that in the case of an outage, we could find and restore whatever data we need in minutes, versus hours."

As an added bonus, John Stabilo and Dave Miller's datacentre counterparts responsible for managing the health organisation's Microsoft Exchange e-mail server running in an Intel environment with EMC Legato NetWorker software, also needed a faster way to back-up more than 3,5 TB of data. "Because SEPATON's VTL works in so many environments, it turned out to be the perfect solution for backing up our administrative data as well", explained Dave Miller. "Initially planned for use as the back-up solution for one system, the S2100 quickly became the solution of choice for another as well."

"It was refreshing to walk into a customer's office, listen to their challenges, and know that I had the right product to solve their problem", stated John Spielberger, account manager for Lighthouse Computer Services. "Having recently added SEPATON to my Lighthouse toolbox, I had the perfect solution and at the right price. To steal a line from another Massachusetts company, it was a simple case of saying yeah, we got that."

"Working with SEPATON has been a great experience", stated Mike Adams, storage specialist for Lighthouse Computer Services. "The SEPATON team, including sales, support and marketing, has been very supportive of the partnership with Lighthouse. Early-on, customers interested in VTL technology needed to see it to believe it. SEPATON has been very accommodating, bringing the technology into our labs for proof-of-concepts, hosting client site visits, and conducting Webinars for remote clients. I look forward to our continued partnership with the company."

"The health care and pharmaceutical industries have been quick to realize the benefits of VTL for fast, reliable and cost-effective back-up and recovery", stated Mike Worhach, president and CEO, SEPATON Inc. "Baystate Health joins other leading enterprises in its industry as SEPATON customers including Beyond Genomics, Cambridge Health Alliance, Concentra Inc., Health Dialog Services Corporation, Sepracor, and University of Chicago Medical Center. We are pleased to see our disk-to-disk virtual tape library entrusted time and time again with truly life-critical data."

Moving forward, Baystate Health intends to take advantage of other SEPATON products. "While SEPATON has the best VTL in the industry for price, performance and scalability, it is also delivering software applications that add even more value. As our budget and priorities dictate, we look forward to adding other capabilities that leverage its ContentAware architecture", concluded John Stabilo.

Lighthouse Computer Services is a trusted IT advisor to leading companies throughout the Northeast. The company was founded over 11 years ago with the goal of building strong, productive, long-term technology partnerships with its customers. Today, Lighthouse offers consulting, integration and maintenance services on the latest hardware and software technologies available today, including those from IBM, Microsoft, VMware, Cisco, Enterasys, Avamar, McDATA, Brocade, Tivoli, SEPATON, OnStor, American Power Conversion and Symantec.

SEPATON is enabling companies of any size to comply with demanding data storage and retrieval requirements by changing the rules of data protection. The company provides innovative, disk-based solutions that are intelligent, reliable and reduce storage, management and recovery costs. Because the proven SEPATON ContentAware architecture keeps track of all files and content, it enables faster and more efficient performance of a range of advanced data protection, data retention and data recovery functions. SEPATON's virtual tape library systems dramatically out-perform tape and other disk-based solutions.

Leslie Versweyveld

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