Our New Epic Support is Epic! Posted on May 11th, 2017 by Sathya Sankaran

Categories: Dev-Test, ECX, Health Care, Pure Storage

Healthcare datasets are growing at a rapid pace, especially with the adoption of electronic medical/health records (aka EMR/EHRs). Epic has been the fastest growing market leader in the EMR market and it is estimated that more than half the U.S. population has an Epic record. And that Epic record is kept on a database called Caché developed by InterSystems, supplemented by other reporting databases based on SQL or Oracle, plus presentation servers.

Catalogic ECX, with its latest version 2.6, has added support for Caché database instances with native integration on top of the support it already offered for SQL Server and Oracle. Unlike several established vendors such as EMC, NetApp and Commvault, we have integrated specifically with the Caché APIs, subsequently avoiding the need for pre-scripts/post-scripts for snapshotting as well as for recovery mounts. Coupling this with the “in-place” copy data management benefits of Catalogic across multiple storage platforms, this is now truly an industry leading feature set for protecting and recovering Epic and Caché environments.

We think our new Epic support is epic! The key benefits of the Catalogic approach are:

  • Automatic Discovery of Caché Instances
    Picking up new databases and dropping ones that are no longer available.
     
  • Automatic Discovery of Caché DB paths, journal files, etc.
    The user isn’t burdened with knowing where these reside, or updating the backup jobs for every change.
     
  • Automated Freeze and Thaw through API integration
    Without the need for pre- and post-snapshot scripts.
     
  • Support for AIX/Linux and pRDMs
    AIX/Power Systems has a large market share in Epic environments today and Linux and pRDMs are quickly emerging as a standard. Catalogic supports all these configurations.
     
  • Low Impact Storage Snapshots
    Epic imposes exacting standards on maintaining minimum I/O performance. Because ECX uses storage array snapshots, the impact on Caché is near zero and the servers don’t need to participate in any data movement for protection or recovery.
     
  • Instant Database Recoveries
    Instant recoveries back to original or alternate servers without the need to configure and write pre- and post-mount scripts.
     
  • Automate Test/Dev Environments
    Create a test/dev Caché Instance from a bare Linux image within minutes.
     
  • Automate GUID Handling
    Bring up Caché instances and update GUID automatically so that these databases don’t take on a production profile.
     
  • Integrate with DevOps Tools
    Catalogic offers native plug-ins with popular tools such as Puppet, Jenkins, etc.
     
  • Full Stack Support
    Includes full stack automation outside of Caché DBs as well, including SQL, Oracle, File Systems, VMware VMs, etc.

Catalogic is thrilled to partner with @IBMStorage and @PureStorage, whose snapshot and replication technology we integrate with today for these Epic & Caché environments. We are also thankful to the @InterSystems engineering team who were instrumental in offering us a great deal of guidance and feedback as well as their assistance in evaluating whether we were using the right API calls in the right order during the development cycle.

Stay tuned for more enhancements planned for this space as well as support for more storage platforms. Also, please find below some screenshots of the product – a picture is worth a thousand words; it’s worth a whole lot more when English isn’t my first or second language! You can also check out this wonderful demo video created by my Catalogic counterpart @p_jagannathan. Or get more specifics in our Epic solution sheet.

ECX - Agentless application server registration

In the above screen, the first step is to select the application server type you wish to register. 

Cache DB Server Registration

On the registration screen, you provide necessary information and credentials. Credentials can be new or you can use existing credentials. Authentication can be by password or key.

Cache - Jobs Screen to Define and Monitor

This shows the Jobs tab where inventory, backup and recovery tasks can be started and monitored.

Cache DB - Snapshot & Replicate Job Definition

This screen shows how simple it is to add a policy to an instance. On the left side, discovered Caché instances are displayed. Check the instances you wish to protect, and then on the right-side click the policy you wish to apply. A policy contains details such as how frequently to protect the database (once an hour, once a day, etc.) as well as how long to retain the snapshot. A policy may also contain replication information (array to array copy).

Cache DB - A Sample Snapshot Job Session

This screen shows a portion of the job log created when a policy is run. You can see on the right side that ECX is “freezing the instance” of the database in order to create an application consistent copy.

Cache DB - A Sample Restore Job Definition

Creating a recovery job is as simple as creating a backup job. You simply pick the database you wish to recover, you pick the copy you wish to use (“most recent” is the default) and you determine where you want the snapshot to be mounted. 

Share: