WORM emerging as a new generation storage technology in healthcare industry

To comply with HIPAA, the healthcare organizations have to rely upon latest in information technology for the storage infrastructure to be deployed for protecting patients’ data. The transition to “filmless” digital diagnostic imaging and the need for compliance with the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) have spurred medical IT departments to re-think their approach to data storage to better support these new applications and data management requirements. The American Medical Association estimates the cost of restructuring the healthcare industry as a result of HIPAA at more than $43 billion during the next few years.

One such technology which has caught attention for storing patient’s data is Write-once read many (WORM). Once the exclusive realm of write-once optical disk, a new generation of WORM storage alternatives has emerged that includes WORM disk arrays and WORM tape. Both of these WORM options provide certain advantages over traditional optical WORM, particularly with the need for higher capacities in large-scale storage applications. However, tape-based WORM is poised to become a major presence for medical storage environments by delivering more secure, scalable and versatile storage with a significantly lower total cost of ownership than disk-based WORM.

The two dominant mid-range tape technologies–Super DLTtape II and Linear Tape Open Ultrium 3 (LTO 3)–have embraced the WORM concept and both now offer WORM functionality, although each takes a different approach. Super DLTtape enables customers to use conventional Super DLT II media for WORM applications. The write-once functionality (designated as DLTIce on Quantum’s Super DLT 600 tape drives) is enabled by the tape drive as part of Quantum’s DLTSage architecture platform a suite of predictive and preventative management software tools that enable end users to diagnose, plan, and manage their tape storage investments.