Shamir Medical Center is on the cusp of a far-reaching transformation and is backed by governmental support to become Israel’s largest hospital. To ensure it can accommodate growing demand for its services without affecting their quality of care or research innovation, the medical center’s management team is now scaling up the organization’s technology infrastructure.
“The Shamir Medical Center is a dynamic, fast-moving environment, which means that we’re continually evolving our infrastructure to meet emerging priorities,” said Oded Waiser, CTO at Shamir Medical Center. “We’re always testing and rolling out new tools to support our clinicians and researchers.”
One of Shamir Medical Center’s consistent priorities is data protection. The organization backs up data regularly to satisfy regulatory requirements and ensure that clinicians and researchers have the information they need at all times. Users often call on the IT team to restore files or emails that have been accidentally deleted. As the hospital’s data grew, however, backup procedures were taking longer and longer, until they decided it was time for action.
“Previously, it could take 10 hours per night to back up our physical machines, which risked the procedure over-running and affecting operations,” said Waiser. “Maintenance was time-consuming, and we couldn’t restore specific files or emails. If an employee tried to restore data themselves, it could take them up to a month, a delay that could affect clinical outcomes or slow down research. To support our growth, we needed a more resilient data protection solution that could keep up with the next phase in Shamir Medical Center’s expansion.”
To transform its backup capabilities, Shamir Medical Center chose Veeam Backup & Replication. The organization opted for Veeam because it could enable comprehensive coverage of its diverse IT landscape.
“Veeam appealed to us because it is simple to manage,” said Waiser. “It offers immediate visibility and control of what data you’re backing up, which gave us a clear audit trail that we can share with management and regulators. With Veeam, we can explore new workloads and applications without worrying about backing up our changing environment.”
Shamir Medical Center now backs up 110 TB of data across approximately 500 virtual machines (VMs) and 10 physical machines every day with Veeam Backup & Replication. This includes critical data from essential applications like the organization’s electronic medical record and medical imaging systems.
With Veeam, Shamir Medical Center can restore data instantly in the event of unexpected downtime. If a user requests a specific file or email, the team can also use Veeam Explorers™ to locate and restore it in seconds.
“Whether we want to restore an entire VM or a single file, Veeam allows us to do it straight away and avoid disruption to hospital workflows,” said Waiser. “We can restore any application at any time without looking for it manually or calling in an application specialist. It’s common for researchers to delete Excel files by accident. Now, we can get important information back to them so they can focus on making breakthroughs.”
Through Veeam, Shamir Medical Center unlocks new efficiencies, which frees up its IT team for innovation. For example, the organization uses Veeam’s interface to manage its NetApp storage, which streamlines IT management.
“The integration between Veeam and NetApp is fantastic,” Weiser said. “Now, we don’t have to use the NetApp console, since we can control everything within the Veeam interface. Before we had a full-time employees dedicated to backups; because of Veeam, we have more time to implement new solutions that support doctors and researchers.”
Furthermore, Shamir Medical Center is using Veeam Backup & Replication to unleash backup data for testing and analytics. For example, it is currently supporting researchers who are investigating COVID-19 mutations.
“By making backups available to COVID-19 researchers through Veeam, we allow them to use very recent data while protecting live systems,” said Waiser. “Veeam gives us granular control, so we can explore new use cases without compromising the resilience of our IT infrastructure. At the same time, as these new use cases generate fresh data volumes and Veeam scales easily to cope. Shamir Medical Center is a growing hospital in a challenging era, and Veeam will help us manage data for a long time to come.”
Established in 1948, Shamir Medical Center (Assaf Harofeh) now delivers state-of-the-art medical care and services to over a million people in Israel. The hospital also trains the next generation of medical practitioners, hosts a rolling average of 800 ongoing research projects and houses schools for nursing, physiotherapy and medical imaging.
Currently the fourth-largest hospital in Israel, Shamir Medical Center is aiming to become the country’s top medical campus. To support efficient healthcare provisions and research on a larger scale, the hospital must protect its growing amounts of data. So, Shamir Medical Center began looking for a data backup solution that could cope with a dynamic and fastpaced hospital environment.