Data Center Tips

HIPAA Questions Answered – A Real World Scenario

male doctor with stethoscope and virtual screen

Topics: Cyber Liability Insurance, Patching, Disaster Recovery, Encryption at Rest & Data Destruction

Healthcare companies around the United States know that they must meet the standards of two landmark pieces of healthcare legislation, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996) and HITECH (Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act of 2009). Although of course many healthcare providers, plans, and data clearinghouses care about the privacy and security of their patient information, these regulations sought (in part) to make failing to protect sensitive medical data extremely unattractive.

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Efficiency, Upfront Price, TCO: Solid State Drives Are On the Rise

SSD vs. HDD dogs humor

We recently drafted a piece for Wired on cloud computing trends (submitted but not yet published at this writing). One of the trends we discussed in the article is the transition from hard disk drives (HDD’s) to solid state drives (SSD’s) by cloud service providers. Although this development is still in the “early adopter” phase, we expect SSD’s to become a standard expectation by the end of 2014.

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A broad view on IT geostrategy: what datacenter managers can learn from geopolitics

geo-strategy comics

A broad view on IT geostrategy: what datacenter managers can learn from geopolitics

At first glance, datacenter management and international relations would seem to have little in common. However, the international strategy of a company, sometimes called its geostrategy, comes directly from the language of global politics or geopolitics. When a data center wants to develop a stronger geostrategic approach, it relies on a similar conceptual paradigm to that used by world leaders and alliances on the geopolitical landscape.

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HIPAA Compliant Hosting for a Web Application – A Real World Scenario (Continued)

Comic: comparison of PHI to phi (the golden ratio)

<<< PREVIOUS

This interaction between a hosting consultant and client, a two-part installment of our “Real World Scenario” series, continues from the previous post. The client is getting answers to questions regarding an HIPAA compliant application environment.

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HIPAA Compliant Hosting for a Web Application – A Real World Scenario

Comic: comparison of PHI to phi (the golden ratio)

Medical organizations – including healthcare practitioners, plans, and clearinghouses – are considered covered entities under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. HIPAA was enacted to safeguard the security and privacy of the protected health information (PHI) of patients. Healthcare companies must be compliant with the law to avoid hefty fines. They can choose to work with HIPAA compliant business associates, such as web hosting companies, if they choose.

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How Load Balancing Works, with Explanation and Sample Types: Perceptive, Fastest Response Time & Weighted Round Robin (Comic)

load balancing humor

Load balancing methods have expanded and increased in sophistication tremendously since the advent of cloud computing. The cloud is a structure that is built fundamentally to optimize the balance of loads on the individual devices that make up the cloud network. However, this piece is more of an introduction, so we will focus on the basic idea of what load balancing is, along with extrapolation into three sample types: perceptive, fastest response time, and weighted round robin.

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Are You Considering Colocation? Ask Prospective Data Centers These 9 Questions to Make the Right Decision

datacenter humor colocation

When you look into colocation, what you need to know to find the right data center is a more limited list than with web hosting because you are providing all the equipment yourself. However, a number of crucial questions beyond price remain. Top concerns are provided below, boiled down into ten questions, in two categories:

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What’s the difference between a NAS (Network Attached Storage) system and a SAN (Storage Area Network)?

hosting humor - NSA vs. NAS

When two technologies have a similar function and a similar name, they can easily be confused. A typical source of confusion is the two common storage systems, NAS (which stands for network attached storage) and SAN (storage area network). Both of these solutions connect with a network and store files and databases for machines in the network. Cloud versions of the two perform the same function virtually rather than physically.

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What do I need for colocation hosting? (& comic)

hosting humor colocation

Are you considering colocation? It’s not easy to find balanced information on the topic because the top search rankings are dominated by companies pitching their own colocation services. There are three primary questions you need to answer to be able to confidently choose colocation:

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Solving HIPAA, HITECH, SSAE16 Server Compliance Issues with Next Generation Datacenters

next-generation-datacenter

HIPAA stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, and HITECH stands for Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health Act. Both acts have to do with how health records and data are handled. SSAE16 is similar. It’s an accounting standard created by the Auditing Standards Board (ASB) of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). The parameters of all three have enormous implications both for healthcare and for web hosting. Dedicated server and managed hosting services that use next generation datacenters must ensure that they can meet the requirements as outlined in the compliance requirements of each one of them.

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