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  • Writer's pictureBrad Linch

Veeam Protection for EPIC Systems

The Epic software suite is the most critical application for healthcare providers today and is vital to patient care and continued operations. Epic makes software for midsize and large medical groups, hospitals, and integrated healthcare organizations - working with customers that include community hospitals, academic facilities, children's organizations, safety net providers, and multi-hospital systems. Their integrated software spans clinical, access, and revenue functions and extends into the home.

Veeam protects everything within EPIC software suite including the hyperspace management VMs, web and service tiers VMs, web blob, analytics database (Clarity) and most importantly the InterSystems Caché/IRIS database. Within the EPIC Suite, InterSystems Caché/IRIS database, is the main access point for persistently stored medical records. Epic recommends the following best practices for the architecture and protection of this database:

  • Epic’s Production ODB (Caché) Server should have no additional 3rd party software be installed (no agents) on the server itself to guarantee stability and reliability to the server.

  • The underlying volumes of the EPIC ODB Server should be served by high performing storage presenting through RDM LUNs and not VMDKs.

  • Epic recommends that backup of the production Caché/IRIS database leverage a secondary host when using RDM LUNs so that backup operations do not adversely affect production performance.

  • A scripted a hardware-based LUN clone of the backing RDM LUNs to another host for backup is recommended to reduce the impact on backup operations on the production database.

To meet these requirements a typical backup for an InterSystems Caché database follows the below workflow:

Veeam meets these requirements to protect the EPIC Cache/IRIS database in a completely agentless, file-level backup approach. This creates a highly performant backup and restore because Veeam is able to stream multiple .DAT files in parallel which are the files that make up the database.

For example, in the below screenshot we can see that Veeam protects a 9.1 TB EPIC database in one hour and 34 minutes. That is 5.8 TBs/hr. This is because a file level approach to protecting EPIC's database allows for as many parallel streams as desired to protect multiple .DAT files simultaneously.

The secret sauce to Veeam's approach though are the restores. EPIC imposes strict guidelines on restore speeds that must be met in order to be in compliance. Multiple or all of the .DAT files desired can be restored in parallel. That same 5.8 TBs/hr for backup was also achieved for restore in this test because the same file engine technology is leveraged.

The benefits of the Veeam solution to protecting EPIC is an agentless approach that can be highly performant. EPIC is typically the most critical data to a healthcare company's environment and Veeam matches that criticality with a unique approach to meet the strict backup and restore windows EPIC requires from their user-base.

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