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Hospital Prescribes VTL, CDP

When it comes to storage requirements, healthcare facilities get hit with the double whammy: Bound by tough compliance regulations, they also must deal with new technologies that generate a rapid growth of large digital files.

Regulations such as Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and technologies such as patient archiving communications systems (PACS) and multi-slice Computer Tomography (CT} scans have forced healthcare institutions to become early adopters of certain storage technologies (see Healthcare Seeks Storage Rx).

Take Baptist Memorial Healthcare, which spans 15 hospitals and approximately 12,000 employees across Arkansas, Mississippi, and Tennessee. IS systems engineer Hal Weiss says Baptist Memorial has gone from 1.5 Tbytes of SAN-based storage in 2001 to well over 100 Tbytes today, and is on its way to 1 Pbyte by 2009.

Last June I was charged with, ‘How are you going to protect all this data?’ ” Weiss says. “Frankly, I was stumped. Traditional tape backup won’t work. Unless you have an ungodly number of servers and [tape library] robots, and huge bandwidth, you can’t back up all that data in a reasonable time.”

Weiss decided to implement two disk-backup technologies -- virtual tape libraries (VTLs) and continuous data protection (CDP). He uses VTLs to improve the process of backing up to physical tape and CDP to replicate financial data (see B&S Insider Covers CDP and CDP: Calling It Right).

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