Patient Data Protection at the Fichtelgebirge Clinic Ensured by Arcserve

JUNE 30TH, 2022

Klinikum Fichtelgebirge GmbH, is the result of a 2004 merger between two special-purpose hospitals, Klinikum Fichtelgebirge in Marktredwitz and Hospital Selb. With 263 beds at the Marktredwitz location, a nearby medical center, and 115 beds in Selb, this public hospital group provides medical care focused on six specialties for northeastern Bavaria, Germany. More than 1,000 employees care for about 18,000 inpatients and 27,000 outpatients per year.

The organization had consolidated its backup and disaster recovery infrastructure following the merger. Still, inconsistent approaches left open the potential for downtime and other impacts if it suffered a system failure or ransomware attack.

Those threats are real, as HIPAA Journal points out that March of this year saw 25 healthcare data breaches reported to the U.S. Office of Civil Rights (OCR). The most significant data breach of the month affected more than half a million patients. With those threats putting every healthcare organization’s data at risk, backup and recovery should be a crucial component of any disaster recovery plan.

Legacy Systems Leave Gaps

When IT systems administrator Christian Schiener joined Klinikum Fichtelgebirge in 2016 he inventoried the organization’s IT infrastructure. He discovered critical security gaps that posed significant risks with the potential of causing extended downtime. He also saw many diverse applications used throughout the IT architecture.

Looking into the organization’s data protection practices, he found a confusing backup and disaster recovery approach, with some systems even relying on manual workarounds. Backup processes weren’t comprehensive and were sometimes duplicated. Data recovery and restore processes were hardly ever tested.

The situation was further complicated because several backup systems were from different providers, including Veeam, Acronis, and Arcserve, with partially overlapping licenses, wasting precious IT budget. Setting up an effective monitoring and alerting system in the event of a data breach or system failure also wouldn’t work within the existing infrastructure.

Schiener quickly saw that it would have been almost impossible to restore the systems and data and keep the organization running if it fell victim to a ransomware attack or data breach. But he also had to keep an eye on his IT budget as he planned the new backup and disaster recovery infrastructure. That meant protecting existing IT investments as much as possible.

A Three-Phase Plan for Unified Backup and Disaster Recovery

With support from the organization’s management team, which recognized the importance of business continuity in meeting patient needs, Schiener’s team planned the simplification of its backup and disaster recovery processes, including using a single management interface.

With more than 20 years of IT experience, Schiener broke the IT upgrade into three phases:

  • Use the existing Arcserve UDP license and centralized console to manage all previous Arcserve backups
  • Migrate unprotected and manually protected systems to the Arcserve license
  • Migrate all other backup and disaster recovery systems into the Arcserve solution as their licenses expired

This approach made it possible to maximize the IT budget by retaining existing solutions until the licenses expired, after which the conversion to Arcserve UDP’s centralized, unified data protection was completed seamlessly. The result was highly cost-efficient because existing hardware could remain in use for far longer than expected. Arcserve UDP also uses limited bandwidth for CPU and memory, performing some tasks at the point of origin.

“Since we’ve been using Arcserve UDP, we’ve been able to run backups much more frequently with the same hardware and disk space. That means our risks of failures have also decreased,” said Schiener.

Testing Proves the Point

With Arcserve UDP up and running, Schiener tested the system by restoring data from servers that could no longer be booted after an application update because the application couldn’t access system resources. Schiener simply used Arcserve UDP to restore data from the last point-in-time backup before the update. The results? No data loss and no downtime. Test passed.

Cost-Effective Business Continuity

The IT department can now ensure that the applications and systems that keep Klinikum Fichtelgebirge running are secure and that its data is protected. Downtime risks have been minimized, with the organization is now able to get back up and running in minutes instead of days, even if a significant IT incident occurs. And RTOs, RPOs, and service level agreements (SLAs) are now validated through automated testing and granular reporting.

Arcserve UDP, with integrated optimization and data reduction capabilities, now enables the transfer of the organization’s data via a 40 km radio link between remote facilities and headquarters. Now, management can view all backups at any time, with alerts sent instantly if any errors occur. Even better, the IT team can restore data without impacting operations, with the ability to perform manual recoveries and automated tests using Arcserve UDP.

Regarding his organization’s migration to virtualization, Schiener said, ”Regardless of how and where VMs were moved or restored, everything worked right away. That means it doesn't matter if it's virtual to physical, physical to virtual, virtual to virtual, or even across hypervisors.” He also found Arcserve UDP’s data handling and administration extremely efficient. “With the Arcserve UDP, we achieve between 70% and 80% deduplication rates. In addition, there are compression values ​​of around 30-40% so that we can achieve an overall data reduction rate of between 79% and up to 89% on average.”

“Arcserve UDP is incredibly efficient and resource-friendly. The backups run through very quickly, which allows us more recovery points,” concluded Mr. Schiener.

Klinikum Fichtelgebirge employed these Arcserve solutions:

  • Arcserve UDP – Your first and last line of defense against cyberattacks, IT disasters, and data loss
  • Arcserve Continuous Availability – Continuous data protection for your business processes, even if an unplanned interruption occurs.
  • Arcserve Backup – A staple in global data centers for decades, with powerful features and reliable data protection at a fraction of the cost of alternative solutions

To learn more about Arcserve data protection, backup and disaster recovery solutions, find an Arcserve expert technology partner. And check out our 30-day free trial of Arcserve UDP today.