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Evolve IP, Nimble Partner in HIPAA Compliant Cloud Services

Evolve IP and Nimble Storage collaborate on a HIPAA -compliant HITRUST-audited hybrid cloud solution.

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Evolve IP and Nimble Storage announced their partnership to provide healthcare organizations with on-premise flash arrays supported by HIPAA-compliant and HITRUST-audited hybrid cloud services.

Nimble Storage and Evolve IP built a storage solution to give healthcare organizations the option of deploying a hybrid cloud solution along with a high capacity, scalable flash array on-premise solution.

Evolve IP brings a complete healthcare-specific cloud infrastructure that gives organizations storage as well as cloud backup and disaster recovery.

The cloud solution is built around Nimble’s on-premise storage environment. Protected health information (PHI) can be stored on-premise and moved easily and securely in the cloud, making PHI available on secure applications and programs.

The collaboration also provides data replication from the on-premise flash array to the cloud-based flash array, which organizations can use to migrate large amounts of data or to relocate workloads in the cloud. Organizations can adjust their storage capacity by moving data and workloads to the cloud instead of investing in more hardware to store clinical data.

Clinical data is protected in transit and at rest with HITRUST-audited and HIPAA-compliant on-premise and cloud environments. The new storage service also takes continual data snapshots every 15 minutes for backup and recovery purposes.

Healthcare organizations have specific demands when it comes to storing and transferring data. Vendors now understand healthcare organizations’ needs and are producing more and more HIPAA compliant cloud solutions.  As more entities are moving clinical data to the cloud, vendors are more willing to provide HIPAA-compliant solutions.

"Healthcare organizations are in the midst of a massive IT transformation to capitalize on the benefits of cloud-based services,” Evolve IP Healthcare Program Manager David M. McCrystal said in a statement. "One of the largest needs is for hybrid scenarios where on-premises servers have a secure, offsite environment for running critical applications and performing backup and recovery. Our customers can easily and securely leverage our HIPAA-compliant, HITRUST-audited cloud for both cloud computing and cloud communication needs."

Cloud communication needs are a significant concern for healthcare organizations. Not only does cloud computing need to be HIPAA-compliant, but the cloud solutions that communicate with other programs and applications within the health IT infrastructure need to be secure as well.

The collaboration meets several challenges many healthcare organizations face when adopting a new storage solution or when migrating data to the cloud.

Organizations are able to replicate data by storage blocks so they can move their infrastructure piece by piece. Many organizations don’t have the funds or resources to move all workloads and mission critical applications at once. Entities do not have to plan, reconstruct, and test a new environment before migrating data.

The solution allows organizations to replicate and move clinical data from the on-premise flash array server to the cloud and back again without putting the data at risk or violating any HIPAA regulations. This gives users a flexible environment to call upon data as needed, while storing critical data in a secure on-premise environment. Organizations only need to pay for what they use in a cloud environment, so having the hybrid storage option allows organizations to immediately cap the amount of data in the cloud depending on how frequently the data is accessed.

Healthcare organizations are still hesitant to move to a full-scale cloud deployment despite many IT decision-makers trusting cloud for healthcare deployments. This makes hybrid cloud options appealing to most organizations.

"We are seeing an increase in healthcare IT leaders seeking hosted environments for hybrid cloud, secure backups, and business continuity assurance,” Nimble Storage Vice President of Product and Solutions Marketing Gavin Cohen explained in a statement.

The flexibility of an advanced flash array on-premise server combined with a HIPAA complaint cloud could be ideal for healthcare organizations.