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Tristar Medical Group Discovers Solution That Reduced its AWS Costs by 60%

Healthcare organizations are increasingly turning to the cloud to meet their IT needs, but while there are many advantages to be gained from migrating applications, infrastructure, and datacenter operations to the cloud, managing cloud costs remains a major challenge.

Many healthcare organizations choose AWS EC2 instances for their servers. While the platform meets their needs, the high cost of running AWS EC2 instances – or equivalent instances from other providers – is forcing many healthcare organizations to scale back their cloud migration plans.

The cost of running AWS EC2 instances can be considerable. Tristar Medical Group, the largest privately-owned healthcare provider in Australia, runs facilities across the country, spread across multiple time zones. Its clinics need access to servers around the clock and cloud instances were left running 24/7.

Tristar soon discovered its strategy was proving prohibitively expensive. While the needs of its clinics were being met, the cost of its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) solution was unsustainable.

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The rising OpEx costs meant Tristar had to scale down its instances and servers. “This led us to two conclusions. Either spend a large amount of capital upfront to increase the efficiency of our VDI solution, or automate and fine-tune our AWS servers to maximize output,” said Tristar CTO Dewald Botha.

Most organizations overprovision cloud resources and do not rightsize resources for their needs. Cloud instances are run 24/7 at a significant cost, when a large percentage of the time those resources are not in use.

The simplest solution is to schedule resources and switch off instances when they are not required and turn them back on when they are needed. Scheduling alone allows cloud users to make significant savings and dramatically reduce their monthly cloud bills, although complex hybrid cloud environments require an automated scheduling solution.

Tristar determined the easiest solution was to find an application that could be used to schedule instances and optimize cloud costs and searched for a suitable cloud cost management solution.

Various solutions were trialed, and while all offered the opportunity to eliminate inefficiencies and schedule resources, the most flexible and easy to use solution that achieved the greatest savings was provided by ParkMyCloud. After signing up for the free trial, Tristar discovered it was able to almost instantly reduce its AWS costs by between 40%-60%, depending on its operational needs.

With costs reduced and spending optimized, Tristar has been able to accelerate cloud migration and has now moved many of its current datacenter instances to AWS. By the time that process is completed, Tristar expects to be able to save around $20,000 a month on cloud costs – $240,000 a year.

Author: Steve Alder is the editor-in-chief of HIPAA Journal. Steve is responsible for editorial policy regarding the topics covered on HIPAA Journal. He is a specialist on healthcare industry legal and regulatory affairs, and has several years of experience writing about HIPAA and other related legal topics. Steve has developed a deep understanding of regulatory issues surrounding the use of information technology in the healthcare industry and has written hundreds of articles on HIPAA-related topics.