Coastal Health District
Learn how ServerCentral built a disaster recovery plan for a disaster response organization.
Coastal Health District is a collection of public health departments in the state of Georgia. It serves the people of eight local counties through preventing illness and injury, promoting healthy behaviors, and preparing for and responding to natural disasters.
Benefits of ServerCentral’s Disaster Recovery Solution
- Ability to save lives during a tropical storm or hurricane by staying online
- Modernized network and technical architecture to increase performance and security
- Managed backups and DR via multiple availability zones to avoid a single point of failure
Coastal Health District’s patient records and core technology systems were operating in a hurricane hotbed. If those systems were to go offline, Coastal Health District would not be able to achieve its mission: to improve the health of those who live, work, and play in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Effingham, Glynn, Liberty, Long, and McIntosh counties by preventing illness and injury; promoting healthy behaviors and; protecting them from harm. People’s lives were literally at stake unless Coastal Health District could find a way to stay online in a disaster event.
…and disaster could strike any time:
There have been 459 named, tropical storms on the US Atlantic Coast since the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration started keeping track in 1980. Together, these storms have caused over $744 billion in damages.
Data Source: NOAA
After some internal scenario planning, Coastal Health District realized that it had a single point of failure: all of its systems and data lived in Savannah, Georgia, which happened to be well within the landfall area of a hurricane. Should anything happen in Savannah, all of Coastal Health District’s systems would be rendered useless. It had to find a way to keep its systems and data out of the region to avoid issues caused by the very storm they’re trying to manage.
“Recognizing we were faced with a single point of failure in Savannah, we had to find a more resilient architecture and solution to stay online in the event of a disaster,” said Barry Flynn, IT Manager at Coastal Health District. “This proved exceptionally challenging when you think about a disaster event as a tropical storm or hurricane. You’re potentially talking about an entire region being impacted. It was critical that we looked beyond the region to provide the level of resiliency and availability we needed.”
As part of this process, Coastal Health District also had to be operationally ready as well.
“The theory of having everything available out-of-region was strong, but the ability to execute such a failover during a disaster event was unknown.”
Coastal Health District needed to preserve communications and connectivity among various districts and team members should disaster strike.
“At the end of the day, it was quite simple. We had to provide continuous technical and patient services to our communities. Period.”
Information Technology Manager Coastal Health District
Technical testing really became a validation of the business plan—a plan that reflected numerous procedural changes, as well as a completely modernized network and technical architecture.
ServerCentral architected, deployed and manages a cloud for Coastal Health District out of the company’s flagship data center in Elk Grove Village, IL. Managed Backups and Disaster Recovery operations are supported via additional availability zones. Connecting these production and backup environments together with Coastal Health District’s Georgia-based operations is a custom-architected network. The network is designed to increase capacity, speed and resiliency while increasing security and improving overall application performance.
“We were very lucky to have found ServerCentral. We are treated with such tremendous attention and professionalism. We needed a complete way to deliver continuity of system operation and patient care, and ServerCentral delivered. The support and insight in developing our new architecture and defining and testing our comprehensive disaster recovery plans has been fantastic.”
Today, Coastal Health District conducts quarterly operational and technical tests and is evolving the plans and rules with each test.
“As we are the first district to deploy a disaster recovery plan, we are setting the pace for the rest of the state. We could not have put in place our D/R plan, or set the pace for the other districts, without ServerCentral.”