According to the American Cancer Society, someone in the world dies from breast cancer every minute. At that rate, 13 million people will die from breast cancer by 2040. One of Hologic’s core business units is breast health. The company is dedicated to transforming breast cancer screening and diagnosis so radiologists can identify even the most invasive cancers at the earliest stage possible and save lives.
Hologic developed 3D MAMMOGRAPHY™ technology to increase detection of breast cancer. The technology, which is part of Hologic’s mammography system called Selenia Dimensions, is becoming the new standard for breast imaging. Compared to two-dimensional mammography, 3D MAMMOGRAPHY lets radiologists see smaller sections of the breast, enabling them to find additional cancers earlier. Hologic has installed 3,600 Selenia Dimensions mammography systems in hospitals, cancer centers and imaging clinics worldwide.
Hologic is a full-service company. Following installation of products, including Selenia Dimensions, field service engineers provide customers with ongoing technical assistance. If something goes awry, engineers upload work logs to Hologic for diagnosis before resolving the issue. Microsoft Exchange, SharePoint and Citrix Server support the diagnostic process. If they’re unavailable, engineers can’t fix Selenia Dimensions systems fast and Hologic can’t meet service level agreements (SLAs) with customers, leaving them with a backlog of patients waiting for mammograms.
“If we can’t meet SLAs, our customers can’t serve their patients efficiently with the compassion and care they deserve,” said Mike Le, system administrator for server operations at Hologic. “Patients are anxious about the possibility of breast cancer or the progression of their cancer. The last thing they want to hear is their mammogram has to be rescheduled because the equipment isn’t working. They might become irritated and leave our customer for another mammography provider.”
The breast imaging market is highly competitive. Global studies show it will be worth more than $4 billion by 2021. To meet SLAs with customers, Hologic deployed three backup-to-tape tools to ensure nonstop availability of Exchange, SharePoint and Citrix.
“We managed to maintain nonstop availability and meet SLAs, but that came with a price,” said Hai Dinh, system administrator at Hologic. “We paid for three backup tools, tapes and a service provider to manage our tapes and recover our data. Mike and I never went anywhere without our laptops, not even on vacation, because we spent so much time — 70% of our workdays — troubleshooting failed backup and recovery.”
Hologic is enterprise-size company with an enterprise-size IT infrastructure comprised of nearly 2,000 virtual machines (VMs), but legacy backup lacked enterprise scalability.
To solve its enterprise scalability problem and to support its digital transformation from tape backup to disk backup, Hologic replaced three backup tools and the service provider with Veeam® Availability Suite™. Veeam delivers nonstop availability of the diagnostic system required to meet SLAs with customers and saved the business $3 million in three years.
“We saved $3 million in three years because Veeam provides enterprise scalability —something three different backup tools couldn’t provide individually or together,” said Chris VanAsselberg, manager for server operations at Hologic. “Enterprise scalability helps us meet SLAs so our customers — hospitals, cancer centers and imaging clinics — can serve their patients efficiently and save lives.”
Enterprise scalability is in Veeam’s DNA. Veeam is designed to back up and recover thousands of VMs quickly so companies always have access to their critical systems. For Hologic, Veeam backs up approximately 2,000 VMware vSphere VMs (200 TB) on-premises in 10 locations to ExaGrid, enabling recovery from ExaGrid’s landing zone in minutes. ExaGrid replicates VMs to Hologic’s two data centers for DR.
In addition to supporting diagnostics for Hologic, nonstop data availability supports manufacturing and regulatory compliance.
“Manufacturing a Selenia Dimensions mammography system takes several weeks and requires full availability of email, file shares and sales forecasting,” VanAsselberg said. “Veeam helps us ensure each system is accessible to keep manufacturing on track. If any of these systems fail, Veeam recovers them in minutes, and manufacturing doesn’t miss a beat.”
Veeam supports regulatory compliance by providing reports that show successful backup and recovery of critical systems. VanAsselberg said reports help with capacity planning too.
“One report showed 861 of 900 VMs were improperly sized. By right-sizing those VMs, we won’t require the capacity we anticipated, saving $100,000 in hardware purchases and software licensing.”
That $100,000 is in addition to the $3 million Veeam saves Hologic over three years. Veeam also saved Hologic from having to consider a stand-alone disaster recovery (DR) solution costing up to $140,000.
“Between Veeam’s Instant VM Recovery® and ExaGrid’s replicas in our data centers, we’re covered on DR,” VanAsselberg said.
Veeam also saves time for Hologic.
“We save 3,000 hours in troubleshooting time each year, which is the equivalent of a full-time engineering position,” he continued. “There’s a reason Veeam is #1 in the market. Nothing compares to Veeam for enterprise scalability and data availability.”
The breast imaging market is highly competitive and will be worth more than $4 billion worldwide by 2021. To meet SLAs with customers, Hologic deployed three different backup-to-tape tools. Even combined they couldn’t provide enterprise scalability for Hologic’s nearly 2,000 VMs. Next Hologic hired a service provider to manage tapes and recover critical systems, but that was costly and time-consuming, putting SLAs in jeopardy.