The district of Oberallgäu is the southernmost district of Germany and a popular holiday region for hikers, cyclists and nature lovers. The independent town of Kempten is located in the middle of the district. Hospitals in Oberstdorf, Sonthofen, Immenstadt and Kempten are available for medical care in the region. In April 2010, they merged under the umbrella of the Kempten-Oberallgäu Klinikverbund. With around 3,000 employees, the hospital group is one of the largest employers in the region. A total of 225,000 patients are treated annually. Committed and highly qualified employees ensure that the population receives medical care close to their homes. This company is run by the city of Kempten and the district of Oberallgäu. The hospital group offers medical supply from the basic and regular supply up to high performance medicine. The introduction of HYDMedia, an integrated Enterprise Content Management System for hospitals from AGFA Healthcare, made it necessary to restructure data storage. The IT department opted for the Silent Brick System from FAST LTA because the required compliant archiving on WORM media is an uncomplicated and expandable solution. At the same time, the backup solution was converted to Veeam.
The merger of the clinics into the group brought with it many advantages. As a result, the Klinikverbund Kempten-Oberallgäu, which is publicly owned under Sana management, can look back on several years of positive results. The department headed by Joachim Schmitt is responsible for the overall IT infrastructure. Benjamin Reil is responsible for the data storage area as application manager for clinical information systems. The four locations use a uniform network connected via point-to-point wireless. Almost all applications are hosted in Kempten, which has two server rooms. There is also a server room at the Immenstadt site. The data comprises information on the treatment of patients, which is largely available in digital form in the clinic information system, radiology information system, PACS (archiving of imaging procedures), medical management systems and around 50 medical applications. The data is stored in primary storage and partly on servers, both physical and virtual. The current data volume is 200 terabytes. Approximately 1 TB of data is added per month - with a strong upward trend. The secondary storage for backup and archiving has so far mainly been backed up in a tape library with 40 LTO6 tapes. Compliant archiving was only carried out externally for the scanned patient files.
Compliant archiving and AGFA HYDMedia called for new solution approaches
Since, however, compliant archiving became increasingly important due to changed regulations and the performance of the tape drives no longer withstood the increasing data volumes, Joachim Schmitt and Benjamin Reil decided to realign the long-term archiving and the data backup solution. In addition, the management decided to introduce a modern content management system. AGFA HYDMedia would be used to digitally manage all patient data. Until then, the hospital group had already relied on AGFA ORBIS, a solution for controlling complex hospital processes. With the addition of the Enterprise Content Management System, digitization is being driven a considerable step forward. “By merging ORBIS databases, we were faced with the task of making the existing archiving systems centrally available in the shortest possible time,” says IT manager Joachim Schmitt. The solutions from FAST LTA were quickly adopted. In the search for an optimal system, the Munich-based company was named by AGFA as one of the certified providers for data backup and archiving. References from hospitals such as Waldburg-Zeil Kliniken and Oberschwabenklinik led to a clear decision for FAST LTA. The fact that the solutions are also used in more than half of all clinics in Germany was another reason. For the data backup software, they switched to the backup solution from Veeam, which also works perfectly with the Silent Brick System and is fully certified.
Intelligent solution concept - optimal for hospitals
Further benefits were the good price/performance ratio and the intelligent and scalable solution concept. “Our large data growth was foreseeable and due to the further digitization of medical data, a compliant archiving solution that could grow with the new system was a ‚must‘ when purchasing a new system,” says application manager Benjamin Reil. “We were also under time pressure because HYDMedia was to be purchased at short notice,” recalls Benjamin Reil. The evaluation quickly showed the advantages of the Silent Brick system, because it allows almost unlimited scalability and mixing of WORM and rewritable secondary storage. “Overall, we were able to determine very good redundancy options and intuitive management of the system, and FAST LTA was very cooperative and agile,” says Joachim Schmitt. He emphasizes a special service. “We originally ordered the somewhat smaller solution, the Silent Cubes. After evaluating different requirements, the Silent Brick System turned out to be even more suitable. The order was then converted by FAST LTA in an uncomplicated manner.”
Transition in less than two months
Since the time schedule for the conversion to HYDMedia was tight, the backup and archiving solution had to be converted to the Silent Brick System in the shortest possible time. In December 2018, the system was specified and the components ordered. The Silent Brick System was delivered and installed in mid-December 2018. Thanks to the smooth process and the support of FAST LTA‘s experts, the set goal was achieved. “An extremely fast and well coordinated implementation, which was completed with the admin training in February 2019, enabled us to achieve our goals”, Joachim Schmitt and Benjamin Reil proudly look back on this challenging project. Data backup with Veeam is now much easier to manage than it was with tape drives before. Compliant archiving from HYDMedia to the WORM Bricks supports the electronic patient file. The almost unlimited expansion possibilities of the Silent Brick System mean that the growth of the data volume can be anticipated without any worries. After the initial transfer of patient data and data backups to the Silent Brick system, the hospital group plans to expand the system in 2019 in order to secure medical data uniformly in the long term.
IT manager Joachim Schmitt is impressed by the cooperation with FAST LTA and the success achieved, despite the tight time schedule: “In 15 years as IT manager, I have very rarely seen a high-tech company that has been so flexibly, quickly and qualitatively involved in the preparation of offers with expert advice, the customer-oriented conversion of an order that has already been placed and the introduction of the new technology solution. Chapeau!”