CASE STUDY

BrightStar Care® Relies on Veeam+Wasabi for Secure, Affordable, HIPAA-compliant Backup and Recovery

October 23, 2023By Ben Bonadies

BrightStar Care® is a leading franchiser of in-home care and medical staffing services in the U.S. With more than 340 locations across multiple lines of business and their own in-house EHR (electronic healthcare records) to manage, data protection was job #1 for Kyle Burnette, Director of IT Infrastructure at BrightStar Technology Group as he planned a more complete and robust backup strategy for the company. “Everything from payroll information to PHI (protected health information) for all of our patients and caregivers are stored in our private data center,” explained Burnette. “We use Veeam for backing up all of our data to local repositories and sought an offsite storage solution to support a true 3-2-1 backup strategy. Because security and protection from ransomware were top concerns, Wasabi’s immutability capabilities were instantly attractive to us.”

HIPAA-compliant cloud storage with immutability they could afford

Burnette entertained the idea of using an S3 storage offering from their existing data center vendor but their S3 storage didn’t support immutability. “Being in healthcare, ransomware is a major concern, so lack of immutability was a deal-breaker for us. We considered going with Amazon, but with fees for ingress in and egress out, it gets very expensive,” said Burnette.

Veeam had introduced Burnette to Wasabi while in a previous role. “We aligned with Veeam at BrightStar because of their industry-proven backup methods. Wasabi was the perfect partner and worked flawlessly,” said Burnette. While Wasabi’s affordable immutability was exactly what he needed, Burnette had to make sure that the storage provider checked all the boxes when it came to HPI. “We weren’t about to hand over our clients’ data to someone that wasn’t as serious about HIPAA compliance and security as we were,” said Burnette. “We had a very stringent vetting process to make sure that Wasabi’s data centers and policies were properly set up and encrypted, and that they had experience supporting other major healthcare customers. The Wasabi team provided us with all the details we needed for our board of directors to feel very confident moving forward.”

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Wasabi Object Lock is serious protection

Beyond cost savings and pricing predictability, Wasabi’s Object Lock feature was key for Burnette, who wanted the ability to be able to lock their data for a set period of time. “We put a copy of our data in Wasabi, it’s locked and our costs are set. It just makes it easier and more comfortable being able to sleep at night knowing that everything is up there and that it was protected.” In fact, Burnette’s team found out firsthand just how secure his data was. “While testing the Object Lock functionality, we uploaded quite a few terabytes of data with the intention of deleting them a few days later.” As it turns out, they weren’t in test mode and managed to lock that data for 45 days. “I called Wasabi figuring they must have a backdoor or something, but the answer was no,” said Burnette, “not even Wasabi admins can access this data. We had to wait the 45 days for the lock to expire before we could delete the data. That shows you just how secure your data is with Wasabi Object Lock.”

Wasabi as primary backup extension

To save on onsite storage costs, BrightStar Care is also using Wasabi as an extension to its primary backup. “We wanted to maintain a 42-day backup policy but struggled with the cost of using standard disk storage with our data center provider,” explained Burnette. Under their current contract, BrightStar was paying roughly 15 cents/GB per month for data storage. “If you’re talking 100 terabytes of space, that’s actually quite expensive. Wasabi charges only a fraction of that, so it just makes sense.” With Burnette’s new policy, day one through day 28, data is stored onsite, then he pushes data to Wasabi on day 29 through 42. “From a Veeam backup perspective, we can restore our main backups and it doesn’t care if they’re located on-premises or in the Wasabi cloud,” said Burnette. “We’re able to maintain that proper recommended backup retention policy and save a bit of money doing it. The best of both worlds.”

A seamless partner experience

BrightStar Technology Group purchases all of their IT equipment and solutions through CDW, their premier reseller supporting all of their offices and franchisees, so it made sense to purchase Wasabi through them. “A project of this level can sometimes feel intimidating, but the seamless partnerships across our vendors made it much easier than we thought it would be,” explained Burnette. “From the sales process to ordering and installation, everything was seamless. I’d speak to my Wasabi rep, they’d send a quote over to CDW and within minutes it’s signed off and the additional data storage was provisioned. It’s been very fast and efficient.”

Simple to use

Burnette was also impressed with the simplicity of the Wasabi interface. “The Wasabi interfaces are very easy to use,” said Burnette. “Especially compared to Amazon’s interfaces, it is a much more user-friendly experience. It was kind of a no-brainer, literally set it and forget it.”

The seamless ease of use between Veeam and Wasabi was also a big hit. “Traditional object lock can be a little confusing as there are a lot of options, but the Veeam-Wasabi solution is tightly integrated so that they actually configure each other,” said Burnette. “When you create a repository in Veeam, it’s as simple as entering the number of days you want the object locked. You literally flip it on and Veeam takes care of all those controls and settings for you. No risk of clicking the wrong box or setting the wrong setting. The partnership between Veeam and Wasabi just made that seamless.”

Next up: SQL and Office 365 backups

While BrightStar Care’s original use case for Wasabi was immutable offsite backups, the cost savings, protection, and ease-of-use of Wasabi’s hot cloud storage has inspired Burnette to eventually move their SQL data and Office 365 backups from their local onsite S3 storage to Wasabi. “Disk space is expensive,” explained Burnette. “Even the object storage that our data center provider offers is more expensive than Wasabi, so from a cost-savings perspective alone, it would make sense to move all of that stuff to Wasabi in the near future.”

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