Alabama Cancer Care implements a HIPAA-compliant backup solution with Synology

RS3621RPxs is a flexible, versatile and scalable supplement to our server landscape. The Synology NAS has saved us time and money while still meeting all necessary HIPAA requirements.

Shane Sanders, IT Director

Finding a HIPAA-compliant backup solution

ALCC needed a HIPAA-compliant solution to back up the core infrastructure of their practice, which included ten physical servers and 30 virtual machines that were running electronic medical record applications, Active Directory, network management, and several other programs. In addition to their main operating framework, ALCC has over 250 active employee accounts for Microsoft 365. Important data stored in email accounts, contact lists, OneDrive and SharePoint files needed to be backed up as a further safeguard from accidental deletion, unexpected service disruption, or cyberattacks. 

Centralized backup for scattered data

Alabama Cancer Care installed a rackmount Synology NAS, RS3621RPxs, and used Synology's endpoint data protection software Active Backup to back up their 30 virtual machines and ten Windows servers. The security features offered by Synology, such as full disk encryption and two factor authentication, helped ALCC satisfy their HIPAA compliancy considerations while ensuring all of their data was properly backed up. 


Active Backup for Microsoft 365

As a part of Synology's license-free package system, Active Backup for Microsoft 365 allows users to backup critical data on OneDrive for Business, SharePoint Online, Exchange Online, and Teams. ALCC used Active Backup for Microsoft 365 to back up the 250 Microsoft 365 accounts with employee emails, contacts, calendars, OneDrive and SharePoint data while still ensuring all HIPAA compliance rules were followed. Additionally, Active Backup for Microsoft 365 comes with de-duplication, saving them additional storage space.


Offsite backup with C2 Storage

For a full disaster recovery plan, ALCC also utilizes Synology C2 Storage, which is a cloud storage solution for backing up Synology NAS devices. With a built-in application called Hyper Backup, ALCC backs up 8TB of data from their Synology NAS. Flexible backups allow ALCC to schedule their backup tasks and retention policies, and de-duplication again helps minimize the necessary storage usage.


For safe storage in the cloud, HIPAA requires that health providers partner with companies that assure complete protection of Protected Health Information (PHI). As such, all data from the Synology NAS is encrypted before backing up to C2 Storage, and Synology signed a Business Associate Agreement (BAA) with ALCC.


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Secure, efficient, and cost-effective data backup

Since implementing RS3621RPxs, ALCC has noted the ease of use to run the built-in Active Backup for Business for their virtual machines. The agentless set up and integration for vSphere was quick and has ended up saving them about 20 hours a month on maintenance and over $6500 a year on subscription fees. Active Backup for Business condensed the amount of storage they needed with deduplication from 10.7TB to 2.4TB, a 78% decrease in required storage space.

By backing up their Microsoft 365 accounts with Active Backup for Microsoft 365, ALCC ensures its important cloud data is protected while still being HIPAA compliant. They have already seen the benefits of this application when a doctor accidentally deleted a directory and ALCC IT staff was able to quickly and easily restore it with a zip file.

Finally, one additional benefit ALCC gained by using the Synology NAS is they're able to store important patient data from treatment planning software, like XiO, as local network storage. Due to limited storage space on their five workstation PCs, the Synology NAS provides abundant storage and allows them to access this data, no matter which workstation they're using. 

The Customer

Founded in 2005, Alabama Cancer Care is an oncology and hematology practice offering treatment for a wide range of cancers and blood-related illnesses. With 15 locations in Alabama and over 200 employees, ALCC works to improve the lives of its patients through research and implementation of new practices in order to provide the best possible care. 

United States

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