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AdvancedMD: Moving to the Cloud with Cloud Volumes ONTAP

The medical industry has always had to contend with patient data, a requirement that has only become more complex with growing amounts of data, a variety of new data formats, changes in privacy regulations, and advances in technology. That’s why John Esser, the senior Director of IT and Data Center Operations at AdvancedMD wrote about his company’s recent AWS cloud adoption with Cloud Volumes ONTAP.

Why AdvancedMD Chose Cloud Adoption with AWS

AdvancedMD helps the healthcare industry and medical professionals manage their data, whether it’s patient records, billing information, telemedicine, or practice management. It’s a platform that caters specifically to the healthcare industry. In a way, their use case was built for running on the cloud’s easily scalable and flexible resources.

As Esser explains in the article, moving to the cloud is exactly what they had to do: AdvancedMD was being spun off from ADP, the payroll, HR, and tax service provider. In the shift, AdvancedMD had to develop a cloud adoption strategy and find a way to move all of their data out of the ADP data center so they could operate on their own. Since ADP was already using a NetApp storage array, moving to the Cloud Volumes ONTAP for AWS storage to create a cloud data center was the logical next step.

What AdvancedMD Got with Cloud Volumes ONTAP

Among the benefits of moving to the cloud that came with moving to the AWS cloud were new abilities to trade Capex for a lower Opex, to scale infinitely, to significantly reduce storage spend, to ensure that customer’s data was protected at all times, to improve orchestration and operability capabilities, and to gain easy-to-use, automated, management features.

As a company using NetApp physical storage, like AdvancedMD was, moving to the cloud with Cloud Volumes ONTAP to AWS was easy with the help of SnapMirror®. SnapMirror can take all of the data that is in a primary, on-premises storage device and replicate it in the cloud with a simple drag-and-drop operation via Cloud Manager, the Cloud Volumes ONTAP management console. Plus, efficiency features make sure that the replication process is as quick and bandwidth-efficient as possible.

While the cloud migration benefits included an infinitely-scalable new way to store all of their data, AdvancedMD wanted to continue leveraging the benefits of using a NetApp storage system. The NetApp features they depended on for managing their data cost effectively and easily were essential to their business, which is why they turned to Cloud Volumes ONTAP. Cloud Volumes ONTAP includes all of NetApp’s storage-saving efficiency features, including data deduplication, data compression, data compaction, thin provisioning, data tiering, and FlexClone® writable, zero-capacity clone volumes.

These features make sure that the amount of storage that is consumed is always as small as possible, which keeps cloud costs low. And AdvancedMD was able to continue using all the software and controls they were familiar with on-prem, now in what was essentially a cloud data center. AdvancedMD chose to use AWS, but Cloud Volumes ONTAP also fully supports cloud workloads in Microsoft Azure.

There was another aspect to AdvancedMD’s decision to move to AWS with Cloud Volumes ONTAP. With an important regulatory compliance law like the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in effect for the entire healthcare industry, AdvancedMD had to make sure that all of their customers’ data and their customers’ patient data was protected at the highest levels of data protection and security. Meeting HIPAA regulations is especially pertinent for cloud computing in healthcare, and they got the ability to do that along with all the other advantages of cloud computing when they made their migration. They also had to ensure that should a failure occur, they could failover to a new instance as quickly as possible, with no loss of functionality for their users. With Cloud Volumes ONTAP they got those capabilities.


To read everything Esser had to say about adopting Cloud Volumes ONTAP for AWS as their cloud data center and the benefits of cloud computing in healthcare, check out the full article he wrote on the NetApp blog.

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Yifat Perry, Technical Content Manager

Technical Content Manager