Israel’s healthcare sector is highly competitive, with national regulations empowering people to change their minds about which providers they use up to six times per year. Since its inception in 1933, Leumit Health Services has made the pursuit of excellence in healthcare a core part of its mission.
“To nurture the long-term loyalty of our members, we aim to deliver outstanding care experiences,” said Sergey Senkov, Infrastructure and Systems IT Manager and CTO, Leumit Health Services. “Whether members visit one of our health centers, contact us on the phone or use our online services, they expect us to respond quickly and efficiently, each and every time.”
Both clinicians and administrative staff at Leumit Health Services depend on reliable access to the organization’s IT systems to do their jobs effectively. When the COVID-19 pandemic increased demand on services and triggered a sudden uptick in new cyber threats, Leumit Health Services decided to ramp up its data protection capabilities.
“Once COVID-19 hit, our data growth rate shot up from around 10% a year to up to 20% a year,” said Senkov. “The challenges of the pandemic accelerated our digital transformation, leading us to roll out new online and telemedicine options to our members faster. The pandemic also saw a big rise in cybercrime. It seemed like we were hearing about a new attack every day. Both these factors led us to look for a new approach to back up and restore data, since our previous backup vendor, Dr.Backup, was not matching up to our requirements.”
Leumit Health Services narrowed down its choices for a new data protection solution to offerings from Veeam and one other vendor. To compare them, the organization embarked on a proof-of-concept (PoC) exercise.
“Veeam Availability Suite emerged as the clear winner,” recalled Senkov. “The Veeam PoC took just half a day, during which we were able to back up and restore our test system with no problems. It met all three of our key priorities for a new solution: easy management, comprehensive backup and rapid restore. In contrast, the competitor product took more time to set up and run a first successful backup.”
Working with partner Matrix, Leumit Health Services transformed the topology of its backup environment and deployed Veeam Availability Suite alongside high-performance NetApp storage to store replicated data. Leumit Health Services also opted to implement Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365.
“Matrix did a fantastic job of rolling out the new technology with minimal issues,” said Senkov. “They helped us carry out penetration testing to check the environment for vulnerabilities. We’re now using Veeam technology to back up approximately 450 virtual machines and more than 10 physical machines, and test our recovery capabilities weekly. Thanks to Veeam, we can run backups at any time, rather than waiting for off-peak periods to avoid affecting performance levels.”
The Veeam solution was soon put to the test when Leumit Health Services encountered a bug with its storage. The organization discovered that some of its most critical virtual machines (VMs) were failing to reboot, putting service continuity at risk.
“The VMs that were affected are fairly complex and host essential systems, including our Microsoft SharePoint portal,” explained Senkov. “Using Veeam Instant VM Recovery, we were able to bring them back immediately, before there was any impact on operations. That experience gave us a high degree of confidence in the Veeam technology.”
Established in 1933, Leumit Health Services is a leading healthcare provider in Israel with 320 medical centers throughout the country. The organization’s 2,000 medical specialists deliver the highest quality care to more than 720,000 members, and its advanced laboratory analyzes more than a million tests each month.
As the COVID-19 pandemic increased demand for services — and at the same time triggered a surge in cyberattacks — Leumit Health Services recognized that protecting its data was more important than ever. To recover from outages faster and lower the risk of data loss, the company looked for a new approach to data protection.