The increased prevalence of ransomware attacks on hospitals is prompting many organizations to reevaluate their backup strategies. Data protection in the healthcare industry is an especially timely topic, considering this week’s alerts from the U.S. government about increased ransomware threat to hospitals.

Chris Bokis and I recently talked about how MEDITECH customers can improve their data protection with backup-as-a-service from Pure. Chris spent 24 years at MEDITECH, most recently as the Director of Infrastructure, before joining Pure Storage in 2019 as principal engineer for MEDITECH solutions.

Chris has worked to create a backup service that addresses the specific needs of hospitals using MEDITECH’s electronic health record (EHR) solution. With backup-as-a-service (BaaS), hospitals can back up their MEDITECH data to both on-premises storage and the cloud—and restore data from either location. Transitioning to a service-based approach eliminates the headaches of backup administration and redefines how healthcare organizations use and pay for data storage and cloud strategies.

We see reports of ransomware attacks on hospitals nearly every week. How is Pure helping hospitals protect their data, and what role does BaaS play?

Ransomware is a topic that no one wants to talk about until they are a victim of it. That’s unfortunate because people should think about data protection before they buy data storage. Ransomware is only one aspect addressed by data protection, which also includes recovery from disasters, system failures, human errors, malicious attacks, and more.

We want to discuss data protection early in the conversation so we can address an organization’s overall storage needs. BaaS delivers a new approach to data protection that increases reliability while eliminating administrative burdens.

What problems does BaaS solve?

In theory, backups work great when they are properly managed. In practice, backups require discipline to properly set up and manage. Plus, the ongoing process of verifying that the backups worked as intended is often overlooked. We frequently hear from organizations that have rigorously maintained their backup schedules, yet find that their backups didn’t work correctly when they try to restore the data. The result is longer downtime and increased data loss.

BaaS eliminates the need to acquire, set up, and manage backup infrastructure and processes. BaaS is a subscription that manages the entire backup process, stores redundant copies on premises and in the cloud, and verifies the integrity of the data within the backups. A portal allows you to check that backups have taken place and are verified. BaaS delivers a reliable service so healthcare IT professionals have one less thing to worry about.

How does BaaS work?

Pure has partnered with BridgeHead Software, Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Healthcare Triangle to develop this solution. To use BaaS, a MEDITECH customer needs a Pure FlashArray™, whether existing or a new implementation. Using BridgeHead’s software, we automate the process where the MEDITECH backup is created, stored, and replicated to Pure Cloud Block Store™ in AWS.

The BridgeHead component uses Purity CloudSnap™ for efficient data transfer to the cloud. Virtual volumes (vVols) technology and AWS’s CloudEndure are used to deploy a complete MEDITECH instance to AWS using Pure Cloud Block Store, thus creating a hybrid cloud. This virtual instance includes the multiple server and database types found in MEDITECH environments.

By partnering with Healthcare Triangle, we can restore the MEDITECH instance on premises. In the case of major disasters, we can actually run an instance of MEDITECH in Pure Cloud Block Store for you. This service continues executing backups while running the instance in Pure Cloud Block Store, a feature that’s often overlooked in disaster-recovery strategies.

All of this is accomplished with zero work from the customer.

What is unique about the MEDITECH environment? Why is this service focused only on MEDITECH?

MEDITECH is a proprietary EHR that requires a specialized backup solution. Few vendors have the ability to back up MEDITECH environments to the cloud. By partnering with a company like BridgeHead with more than 25 years of MEDITECH expertise, we can guarantee that backups of all MEDITECH databases (Windows, SQL, MariaDB, MySQL, SCA) are done with integrity. As a result, hospital executives can rest assured that they can quickly and easily recover from a disaster without overburdening storage administrators.

Why should hospitals rely on Pure Storage for their backups?

Not all data storage is alike. In the MEDITECH world, primary storage is typically chosen by referencing a certification page maintained by MEDITECH. It shows all the storage solutions and contains little information about what separates one solution from another. Most techies know that Pure’s all-flash storage is industry-leading. But fewer people know the power of Pure’s Purity Operating Environment and Pure1®, our storage management software, that sets us apart from the competition. Pure FlashArray provides exceptional data-replication capabilities and up to 3:1 data reduction rates. That means your data takes up less space, which is especially important when replicating and storing data in the cloud. And since Pure Cloud Block Store is a FlashArray in AWS, we continue to consolidate the data in the cloud, in the same way we do on premises, saving you both space and money.

Purity, Pure1, and CloudSnap all sit on top of Pure’s Evergreen™ Storage subscription model which offers seamless, rapid upgrades and expansion, without disruptive downtime or forklift upgrades. All of this combined with BaaS makes for a winning combination.