#1 Global Leader in Data Protection & Ransomware Recovery

Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) saves more than $300,000 in license and backup storage expenses over seven years

When someone needs help, having immediate access to secure data is fundamental to providing emergency medical services. I’m confident in Veeam’s ability to protect our data.
Luke Shaw
Infrastructure & Operations Lead
Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section)

The Business Challenge

Australia’s Outback is a rugged and wide-open space that is famous for awe-inspiring landscapes, a rich pioneering history and hundreds of tourist attractions. In Queensland, the Outback covers 65% of the state.

Accessing medical care isn’t easy for anyone living, working or traveling in the Outback, especially in an emergency. Driving to the nearest hospital could take up to 10 hours, so when there’s no time to spare, RFDS provides life-saving care.

RFDS aircraft is equipped with a mini-intensive care unit and staffed by a pilot, flight nurse and doctor. If aircraft maintenance records aren’t backed up and available for an inspection, aircraft could be grounded. RFDS has more than 20 aircraft, but even if one is not permitted to fly, it might be challenging to meet the needs of people in an emergency. The same is true for patient records. If they’re not backed up and readily accessible to doctors and nurses, providing medical help might be a challenge.

“We strive to provide the finest patient care to the furthest corner of Queensland, making data protection fundamental to everything we do,” said Luke Shaw, Infrastructure & Operations Lead, RFDS. “Since ransomware resilience is fundamental to data protection, immutability is critical too. At one time, Microsoft Azure Backup didn’t offer immutability, so we had to replace it. It also didn’t offer tiering for archived data. We’re required to retain patient records for seven years and aircraft maintenance records for the life of the aircraft, so backup storage costs were increasing.”

Another challenge was capacity-based licensing.

“We prefer workload-based licensing because it gives us the freedom and flexibility to land our data wherever we choose and avoid appliance lock-in fees,” Shaw explained. “An additional challenge was keeping track of different backup infrastructures because we were using two other solutions to protect data on-premises and in Microsoft 365. Our goal was a single pane of glass for visibility and simplicity, so it became clear we needed to consolidate our backup solutions.”

RFDS replaced everything with Veeam Data Platform — Foundation Edition and Veeam Backup forMicrosoft365, which provide automated backup, instant recovery and continuous data protection under a single plane of glass. All data is readily accessible when heart attacks happen and pythons strike.

The Veeam Solution

Queensland’s Outback is not for the faint of heart. People who live, travel and work there not only deal with life-threatening incidents like heart attacks, but they also deal with wildlife incidents like python bites.

“We’re grateful Veeam keeps our data protected, secure and accessible so our pilots and medical professionals have access to the information they need to fly to remote locations and treat seriously injured people,” Shaw said.

Veeam encrypts backups, offers immutability and provides continuous data protection across workloads, which not only protects data but also boosts ransomware resilience and supports compliance with the Privacy Act. In addition, Veeam provides the flexibility to land data wherever an organization chooses. That means the RFDS in Queensland is no longer locked into proprietary appliances that require additional costs.

Another way Veeam helps the RFDS save money is through flexible licensing. Veeam Data Platform Universal License is a simple per-workload license that protects all workloads everywhere. Veeam backs up 50 TB across 120 virtual machines and 15 physical machines to Azure and makes them immutable in Azure Blob Storage. Additionally, Veeam Scale-out Backup Repository offers tiering for archived storage, so RFDS can retain patient records and aircraft maintenance records more affordably. Veeam Data Platform is projected to save RFDS another $300,000 over seven years.

Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 is cost efficient too. In the past, RFDS had one choice: capacity-based licensing, so as Microsoft 365 data grew, licensing costs did too. Veeam offers per-user licensing, so licensing costs only increase if the number of users increases. RFDS backs up 10 TB of Microsoft 365 data on premises and sends backup copies to AUCloud. As a leading Australian sovereign cloud provider, AUCloud helps RFDS maintain continual access to data and data sovereignty.

“As I mentioned, Veeam gives us the freedom and flexibility to land our data anywhere, so we chose AUCloud because they’re a trusted service provider to many nonprofits, government organizations and businesses in Canberra,” Shaw explained. “Partnering with AUCloud and switching to Veeam Backup for Microsoft 365 was economical. We anticipate saving a total of $300,000 over seven years.”

Shaw said one of the best things about partnering with AUCloud is they are proactive, making his job easier.

“After alerting us to an issue, they resolve it quickly before it becomes a problem,” he explained. “Veeam is proactive too, as our account manager touches base regularly to see how things are going and offers to organize health checks with Veeam’s system engineers to assess our backup infrastructure and optimize costs. I know that if I call her in an emergency, she’ll muster resources quickly to provide assistance because Veeam has plenty of resources. We feel like we’re more than just a customer because Veeam cares about the wellbeing of our organization and the work we do.”

The Results

  • Ensures patient records and aircraft data are securely protected and accessible
    “When someone needs help, having immediate access to secure data is fundamental to providing emergency medical services,” Shaw said. “I’m confident in Veeam’s ability to protect our data.”
  • Offers immutability for ransomware resilience and Privacy Act compliance 
    “Veeam immutability is just one way to protect against ransomware, which in turn supports compliance with the Privacy Act,” Shaw said. “Continuous data protection, backup encryption and instant recovery are great too.”
  • Provides freedom and flexibility to land data anywhere, eliminating lock-in costs 
    “With Veeam you can land data wherever you choose — on premises to object storage and to thousands of cloud providers,” Shaw said. “We chose AUCloud because many government organizations and businesses in our area partner with them and have provided positive reviews.”
  • Saves more than $300,000 in license and backup storage expenses over seven years 
    RFDS is a nonprofit organization, so cost-efficiency matters. RFDS (Queensland Section) gets the best data protection with Veeam and saves money.

Company:

The Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) is a nonprofit aeromedical organization that uses the latest aviation, medical and communications technology to provide essential healthcare and 24-hour emergency services to people living in Australia’s largest state. Established in 1928, RFDS employs more than1,500 heroes who are passionate about making a difference for people who live, work and travel in remote, rural and regional Australia.

Challenge:

Each day RFDS (Queensland Section) provides medical care to 190 people across 1.7 million square kilometers. Every second counts in an emergency, so patient records and aircraft data must be readily available. If they’re not, lives could be a risk. Every second counts in a ransomware attack too, so when one of the backup solutions didn’t offer immutability, RFDS replaced it with Veeam; and when the remaining solutions became cost-prohibitive, Veeam replaced them too.

Results:

  • Ensures patient records and aircraft data are securely protected and accessible
  • Offers portable immutability for ransomware resilience and Privacy Act compliance
  • Provides the freedom and flexibility to land data anywhere, eliminating lock-in costs
  • Saves more than $300,000 in license and backup storage expenses over seven years

About AUCloud:

AUCloud is a leading Australian sovereign cloud services and cyber security solutions provider, specializing in supporting critical national industry businesses and governments with the latest sovereign cloud infrastructure, backup and cyber security threat defense and response services. As a sovereign cloud provider, AUCloud is accredited and certified in accordance with the strictest standards to ensure best practice security, data protection and management. AUCloud is a Platinum Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) partner that has demonstrated proficient knowledge of Veeam products via certifications and number of deployments protected with Veeam. VCSP partners are experts in their ability to deliver flexible and reliable Veeam-powered solutions.