The business challenges
For more than 80 years, the Eastern Ontario Health Unit (EOHU) has
been a leader in delivering forward-thinking, community-focused public
health services. EOHU’s achievements are driven by a compassionate team
of employees focused on improving and safeguarding the health and quality
of life for the region’s residents.
EOHU provides a diverse set of services. They include prenatal classes,
immunization clinics, smoking cessation courses and health inspections
to confirm food is stored, prepared and served safely in places such
as restaurants, cafeterias, nurseries and long-term care homes. EOHU also
offers a vast online library of videos and public service announcements
covering dozens of topics. It’s one of the only public health agencies
in North America with in-house broadcast and multimedia production
Several IT systems support EOHU’s services. OnBase manages client
documents, Hedgehog compiles food-safety inspection reports and Vzaar
supports video production. Protecting these systems is critical to residents’
health and wellness, and keeping residents’ information private is paramount
to maintaining compliance with the Personal Information Protection and
Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) and the Personal Health Information
Protection Act (PHIPA). When EOHU’s legacy backup solution (Barracuda)
failed to recover systems fast enough during disaster recovery (DR) testing,
the IT team contacted Zycom, its trusted technology consultant.
“Barracuda’s backup-to-cloud capabilities weren’t as robust as we would
have liked,” said Nicholas Chartrand, Senior Systems Support Officer
at EOHU. “We wanted the ability to flip a switch and be up and running fast.”
Joanne Porporo, Manager of IT and Physical Resources at EOHU, said the
IT team had additional requirements.
“The new solution had to be affordable and ensure data never leaves
Canada,” she said.
“It’s not easy finding a cost-effective solution that guarantees data
EOHU contacted Zycom, its trusted IT advisor, and Zycom suggested
Veeam® Backup & Replication™ and HostedBizz, a leading Canadian cloud
provider (and a Platinum Veeam Cloud Service Provider). The timing was
fortuitous. Less than one year later, EOHU’s IT infrastructure was attacked
by Ryuk, a ransomware virus that infiltrates systems and encrypts stored
data, making it unusable.
The Veeam solution
Veeam and HostedBizz sidestepped the ransomware attack, and EOHU
resumed critical operations within two hours. Veeam and HostedBizz
strengthen disaster preparedness, reduce backup costs by 35%, ensure data
sovereignty and support compliance with PIPEDA and PHIPA.
Here’s how: EOHU uses Veeam to back up 10 TB across 25 virtual machines
on-premises and send backup copies to HostedBizz’s private cloud, enabling
Backup as a Service (BaaS). HostedBizz replicates backups in its cloud,
enabling Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).
“Ransomware infected and encrypted our entire on-prem IT infrastructure,
including backups,” Porporo said. “HostedBizz performed DRaaS using
Veeam replicas, and our critical systems were up and running in under two
hours. Recovery would have taken at least a week with legacy backup,
making it difficult to deliver public health services.”
Staff would done have their best to carry on with classes, clinics, courses
and restaurant inspections if critical IT systems weren’t available for a week,
but they’d have had to resort to pen and paper, which defeats the purpose
of technology. However, technology reigned supreme, and EOHU was
able to provide public health services without interruption. IT operations
continued in HostedBizz’s Cloud for 30 days while Porporo and Chartrand
determined how to best rebuild the on-prem environment.
“We needed to make sure the virus had been completely eradicated before
bringing our servers back on-premises, and we needed to test the network
reconfiguration HostedBizz had helped us build for added security,”
Chartrand said. “We replicated our servers back to our site in less than
an hour, and we’ve been going strong ever since.”
HostedBizz data centers are 100% Canadian-owned and operated. Data
centers reside in Canada only, which guarantees geographic redundancy and
“The fact that the Veeam-HostedBizz solution is a Canadian solution
is noteworthy,” Porporo said. “This enables us to comply with federal and
provincial data protection statutes like PIPEDA and PHIPA.”
Chartrand said the Veeam-HostedBizz solution is also more cost-effective
than legacy backup.
Veeam and HostedBizz pricing was much more affordable than Barracuda
pricing. “Veeam and HostedBizz save us 35% in backup costs and help
us take disaster preparedness to a new level.”
- Restores critical operations within two hours of a ransomware attack
Cybercrime is a serious concern among healthcare organizations, so EOHU
adopted a stronger DR strategy enabling the IT team to recover data
faster and easier.
- Strengthens disaster preparedness and reduces backup costs by 35%
“Our goal was to flip a switch and be up and running,” Chartrand said.
“Veeam and HostedBizz make that possible.”
- Ensures data sovereignty and supports PIPEDA and PHIPA compliance
EOHU’s data stays in Canada with Veeam and HostedBizz, guaranteeing
georedundancy and regulatory compliance.