Veeam protects data helping Arizona’s Medicaid agency provide healthcare to 2.3 million residents

Maintaining system continuity is essential to our agency’s mission. Veeam helps us maintain system continuity through reliable and scalable data protection, whether data is on premises, in Azure or in Microsoft 365.
Anthony Flot
Chief Information Security
Officer Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System

The Business Challenge

AHCCCS is Arizona’s Medicaid agency and the state’s largest source of health insurance.

Built on a system of competition and choice, AHCCCS is a $14 billion program that operates under an integrated managed care model. Contracted health plans coordinate and pay for physical and behavioral healthcare services delivered by approximately 115,000 healthcare providers to millions of residents.

“Our mission is to provide comprehensive, quality healthcare to those in need,” said Anthony Flot, Chief Information Security Officer at AHCCCS. “To do that, we must maintain system continuity within our IT environment, and to maintain system continuity we must protect the data that keeps those systems running.”

Lana Gibson, Systems Administrator at AHCCCS, said one of the biggest challenges of data protection was scalability.

“We were running out of backup storage space but investing in new hardware didn’t align with Arizona’s cloud-first policy because we would eventually transition our workloads to the cloud,” Gibson explained. “We needed an easy way to leverage the cloud, and of the solutions we considered, Veeam® aligned best with the operating standards we were trying to achieve.”

Gibson said another challenge was reliability.

“Reliable backup and recovery are two of our top priorities,” she continued. “In addition to backing up on-prem SharePoint reliably, we need to recover reliably — but at the highest level of granularity. We want to be able to reach into the SharePoint databases and grab specific items, such as files, document libraries or even a full site, and we want to be able to do that quickly and easily. We also want to be able to recover accidentally deleted user accounts in Microsoft Active Directory. Veeam allows us to do all of this seamlessly.”

Flot said scalable and reliable data protection is a necessity for AHCCCS because data supports critical processes such as care management, benefits management and fraud and abuse detection.

“We needed a backup solution that would protect our data and support our transition to Azure and Microsoft 365, and we found it in Veeam,” he said.

The Veeam Solution

Veeam delivers scalable, reliable and affordable cloud-ready data protection so AHCCCS can provide healthcare services to the state’s most vulnerable residents. Veeam supports the agency’s move to Azure and Microsoft 365 and reduces operational expenses and technical support costs annually.

“Why Veeam? Because it works, and it’s a cost-effective, reliable and safe solution,” Gibson said. “Our goal was to protect data so it’s always accessible, and that’s what Veeam does, whether data is on premises or in the cloud. Veeam Backup & Replication™ in Azure works well, so expanding Veeam to Microsoft 365 was the next step.”

Veeam Backup & Replication™ backs up 100 TB of data across 35 physical machines and 100 virtual machines on premises along with 50 Azure virtual machines to Azure Blob Storage. Veeam also enables high-speed data recovery from snapshots made by HPE Nimble Storage CS50000. Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 backs up 13 TB of data in SharePoint Online and OneDrive Online to Azure Blob as well.

“Our employees use SharePoint to communicate with health plans that coordinate services for members, so we need backups of SharePoint to maintain contractual agreements with health plans and to comply with state and federal data retention requirements,” Flot said. “Being able to restore accidentally deleted user accounts from Active Directory is also important because until those accounts are restored, employees are not able to complete their work.”

Accidental deletion happens. That’s why Ammar Khaleel, Systems Administrator at AHCCCS, is grateful for Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365.

“Accidental deletions occur somewhat frequently in OneDrive,” he explained. “Veeam’s Restore Portal lets employees perform self-service restores rather than open a ticket or call the help desk, saving time and effort for everyone.”

Khaleel said AHCCCS retains Veeam backups of OneDrive for 90 days, so if an employee leaves the agency and their manager needs business data from their OneDrive account, recovery is fast and easy.

“Microsoft saves OneDrive backups for 30 days, and while they’re great about sending an email saying you have 30 days to restore data, managers get busy. Two months later they realize they need that data. That’s when we’re glad we have Veeam backups.”

The Results

Maintains system continuity to ensure continual provision of healthcare services
“Maintaining system continuity is essential to our agency’s mission,” Flot said. “Veeam helps us maintain system continuity through reliable and scalable data protection, whether data is on premises, in Azure or in Microsoft 365.”

Supports migrations to Azure and Microsoft 365 with reliable, scalable backup
Veeam helps organizations stay in control of their data when they migrate to the cloud by ensuring their data is protected and accessible.

Reduces operational expenses and technical support costs annually
“Veeam support is phenomenal, saving us time, effort and money,” Gibson said.

Company:

The Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS) is Arizona's Medicaid agency. AHCCCS provides healthcare services to individuals and families who qualify based on income and other requirements. Founded in 1982, the agency is based in Phoenix, employs approximately 1,000 people and serves more than 2.3 million Arizonans each year.

Challenge:

To provide healthcare services to those in need, AHCCCS must maintain system continuity within the IT environment. When Arizona introduced a policy to move IT environments to the cloud, AHCCCS explored backup options that could easily support system continuity, as well as migrations to Microsoft Azure and Microsoft 365. The challenge was finding scalable, reliable and affordable cloud-ready data protection. 

Results:

  • Maintains system continuity to ensure continual provision of healthcare services
  • Supports migrations to Azure and Microsoft 365 with reliable, scalable backup
  • Reduces operational expenses and technical support costs annually