A group of Melbourne-based general practices have sought to achieve an optimal backup procedure across their businesses. The optimal process may seem overwhelming and excessive; however, while having had some unexpected system downtime, none of the practices have ever lost any significant data.
Each practice has taken the ‘defense in depth’ approach to backup. This multi-layered and extremely thorough backup process provided extra assurance that business-critical information is secure and easily recovered in the event of a disaster or system failure.
When using the ‘defense in depth’ approach, the mission-critical primary physical server database (clinical and financial) is initially synchronised to a secondary onsite physical server every 15 minutes, and checked daily. Additionally, the backup is synchronised over the internet to a cloud-hosted storage site overnight. This occurs automatically.
Data is backed up daily to a NAS and a USB hard drive (which is rotated), and is then stored offsite.
All of the practices also backup their entire server system daily using third-party software in case a ‘baremetal restore’ is required. Archived backups dating back at least three years are kept offsite and stored in a dedicated archive server. If a backup is not completed successfully, failure notification email messages are automatically sent to the IT team and practice manager. The entire process is documented and reviewed periodically.
These thorough backup protocols have been incorporated across the practices to help guarantee there is enough redundancy to ensure the entire database can be restored and the practices can return to normal working order in the event the system completely fails. The ultimate objective of the backup strategy is to ensure business continuity by keeping unplanned downtime to less than 15 minutes.