The business challenge
Natali Healthcare Solutions is the largest provider of emergency and medical assistance call centers in Israel. Operating 24 hours a day, the organization’s call center is staffed by an experienced medical staff, who offer immediate advice as well as emergency services through a fleet of intensive-care ambulances and doctors.
Ofir Levi, CIO at Natali Healthcare Solutions, said: “Digital technology is an integral part of our service. For example, we use wearables and portable distress and panic buttons to ensure our subscribers can always reach our medical experts no matter where they are. These capabilities depend on our digital solutions, which means that high availability is crucial.”
Every day, Natali processes thousands of inbound calls to its call centers via a virtual private branch exchange (PBX) telephone system, which runs in its primary on-premises data center. The company also hosts a range of other mission-critical systems at the primary site, including a customer relationship management (CRM) platform and integration technologies for its distress and panic buttons.
“If our production systems went offline, we would be unable to deliver remote medical assistance to our subscribers,” said Levi. “To protect the health and wellbeing of our customers, it’s crucial that we have highly effective business continuity and data protection capabilities.”
Natali manages mission-critical and mission-essential systems using onpremises data centers as well as cloud-based platforms. Approximately 95% of the company’s IT systems are virtualized, running on hundreds of VMware virtual machines (VMs) hosted on dozens of bare-metal servers.
“Recently, we embarked on a project to enhance our data protection capabilities,” said Levi. “We decided to replace the technology we were using to replicate data between our primary data center and disaster recovery site, and to create regular backups to disk and tape to a third off-site location for additional security. The aim was to deliver a lower recovery time [RTO] and point objective [RPO] for the VMs that host our mission-critical systems. At the same time, we wanted to keep backup processes straightforward and easy to manage.”
The Veeam solution
After a thorough evaluation process, Natali selected Veeam® Backup & Replication™ and Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 to support its new data protection environment.
“Once we had finished architecting the new disaster recovery environment, Veeam was an easy choice,” said Levi. “We had already been using Veeam before on a small scale, so we knew that it would provide a complete solution for all our needs and that replication of VMware data would be seamless. When we consulted with peers and colleagues about the Veeam solution, everyone spoke very highly of it, which gave us the confidence to move ahead.”
Working together with Veeam and a local Veeam business partner, Natali deployed the latest version of Veeam Backup & Replication with Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 into production.
“Veeam gives us a one-stop-shop of backup and replication,” said Levi. “The Veeam solution is fully hardware agnostic, so there were no problems deploying to our new backup infrastructure, which includes new servers and storage as well as enhanced tape libraries with faster write speeds. Using Veeam, we encrypt all data we send to tape, which helps ensure that sensitive healthcare information is always safe, even when it resides off-site.”
Today, Natali uses Veeam solutions to help protect its fully protect its environment — including critical systems. The solution automatically sends regular snapshot backups to the company’s disaster recovery site, and data is regularly backed up to on- and off-site tape as an additional layer of protection.
“By creating high-availability clusters, we can deliver instant failover from our production data center to our secondary site,” said Levi. “For VMs that we are unable to configure as a cluster, Veeam offers us extremely low RTO and RPO. As a result, we have achieved our goal of enabling highly resilient business continuity planning capabilities for our mission-critical IT environment.”
Natali is always looking for more effective ways to protect its vital healthcare services. The organization is exploring the possibility of enabling immutable backups — preventing changes to backed-up data to help mitigate the risk of ransomware attacks.
“Our engagement with Veeam has been a very positive experience,” said Levi. “It was clear from the outset that Veeam’s technical sales representative really cared about our success, and we knew that we could always pick up the phone whenever we had a question. Thousands of subscribers rely on Natali’s digital systems to alert us to urgent care needs, so looking after these systems is a massive responsibility. Veeam is definitely helping me to sleep easier at night with the knowledge that our IT platforms are always protected.”
- Reduces recovery point (RPO) and time (RTO) objectives for missioncritical healthcare systems
Unplanned downtime could have a disastrous impact on Natali’s frontline care services. With Veeam, the company has reduced its RPO and RTO, helping to mitigate the risk of service interruptions.
- Enables rapid data recovery — from individual files to entire virtual machines
“We perform regular tests to verify that we can recover from our VM backups,” said Levi. “On a few occasions, we’ve redeployed entire VMs from backups to test for issues before software upgrades and Windows patch deployments, which saves us a great deal of downtime.”
- Streamlines backup processes, allowing a lean team to manage a growing environment
“A key benefit of Veeam solutions is that they allow us to protect our environment with minimal manual effort,” said Levi. “Once we’ve configured a backup job, there’s little need to touch it. As a result, we can manage our growing IT landscape without increasing our IT headcount.”