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Healthcare IT Blog

Sustaining Healthcare IT

Published on 10/14/2012 by John Duffy
Category: Backup

MEDITECH systems need to be backed up in a consistent manner without impacting the functionality or performance of the production system.  It was with this in mind that the Integrated Serverless Backup (ISB) and Integrated Disaster Recovery(IDR) processes were created.  Simply stated, a point in time backup of all the MEDITECH Servers is created on the SAN, attached to the backup server and subsequently backed up via “Block Level”.  Depending on what type of backup method is applied determines if this will be an ISB (backup saveset) or IDR (LUN/disk that is mountable for use/access).

I will use a Client/Server site to describe the process required to perform an ISB/IDR backup:

  1. Backup program issues a request to a MEDITECH Backup listener server to start the backup process.
  2. This server notifies each File Servers configured inside MEDITECH to  “prepare for backup”.
  3. Each server is then responsible to “quiesce” their applications and flush existing transactions from memory to the disk, issue a call to the storage platform to create the “backup copy”, and finally notify the MEDITECH Backup listener server that the backup has been prepared.
  4. After each server responds to the MEDITECH Backup listener, this server then notifies the backup software to start the backup.
  5. The actual process for writing the “block level backup” is a discussion for  another time, but the end result is a backup saveset written to another form of media.
  6. As each server’s backup is completed the backup server notifies the MEDITECH Backup listener that the specific server is complete at which time the MEDITECH Backup listener notifies the specific MEDITECH server to clean up/close the backup.

As you can see from the process above, the MEDITECH ISB and IDR procedure is not your normal tape based file level backup that so many have grown to know and love.  Stay tuned for the next installment of MEDITECH Backups Demystified.

John Duffy is a Senior Systems Engineer on the OpSus team at Park Place International.  John has extensive experience performing disaster recovery tests and restoring MEDITECH data, and continues to build this experience delivering OpSus|Recover services to our customers.  John has the unique ability to translate complex technical processes into terms a layperson can understand, and is one of our resident experts on backup technologies.



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