In today’s landscape, image storage debates have entered an interesting new phase. It wasn’t that long ago that all data had to be stored on-premise. That wasn’t as challenging years ago when image files were still manageable, but as technology has evolved and some mediums create images that are gigabytes large, the on-premise situation became a little more extreme.

Enter cloud storage options and you have a new element in the conversation about image storage. Not everyone has fully bought into cloud computing, which means their path to managing multiple terabytes worth of data is difficult because they’re limited in terms of space. Where do you cram in your servers for storage in an already tiny footprint of a facility?

Cloud Options: Choosing Wisely

Finding the right vendor can be the most difficult part of the process for many radiology organizations, because everyone offers something a little different and some will only come in a one-size-fits-all scenario, which might be more costly than the budget can afford.

Several aspects of cloud-based services have to be taken into account, such as risk, latency, modality, system management preferences and your ability to scale under each vendor’s image storage plan.

To ensure your image storage situation is running smoothly, it’s recommended that you test the system frequently, particularly the back-up storage system. You and your cloud vendor should have a strategy in place for whom should be responsible for what in a disaster situation, and you should be able to test this strategy, so your team is ready to react when needed.

What To Look For

Aside from partnering with a vendor that will not make you pay for bells and whistles you don’t need, you should look for one that offers the following:

  • Redundant Datacenters
    With your data residing in multiple datacenters, you aren’t putting “all your eggs in one basket,” meaning should something catastrophic befall a datacenter in one region, you’ll have your data available through a geographically disparate center.
  • Compressed Encryption
    With 128-bit encryption with compression for file transfers from your system to the vendor’s archiving system, your data will be protected and quickly transferred.
  • Minimum Recovery Time Object
    You want business continuity and your vendor should be able to assure that you get it.
  • Minimum Recovery Point Object
    Your vendor should provide you with real-time replication, which keeps your RPO to a minimum and your ability to provide your services on the go.

The best cloud-based radiology image service vendors will also be able to provide you with non-proprietary viewer options that are understood by the community at large.

At OffSite Image Management, we’ve worked for years to assist our clients with the best cloud-based image storage services, and more. Contact us and find out how we can store and protect your data.