FairWarning Privacy Monitoring Solutions Rely on MySQL to Secure Patient Data

FairWarning® solutions have audited well over 120 billion events, each of which was processed and stored in a MySQL database. FairWarning is the world's leading supplier of privacy monitoring solutions for electronic health records, relied on by over 1,200 Hospitals and 5,000 Clinics to keep their patients' data safe. In January 2014, FairWarning was awarded the highest commendation in healthcare IT as the first ever Category Leader for Patient Privacy Monitoring in the "2013 Best in KLAS: Software & Services" report[1].

FairWarning has used MySQL as their solutions’ database from their start in 2005 to worldwide expansion and market leadership. FairWarning recently migrated their solutions from MyISAM to InnoDB and updated from MySQL 5.5 to 5.6. Following are some of benefits they’ve had as a result of those changes and reasons for their continued reliance on MySQL (from FairWarning MySQL Case Study).

Scalability to Handle Terabytes of Data FairWarning's customers have a lot of data:

  • On average, FairWarning customers receive over 700,000 events to be processed daily.
  • Over 25% of their customers receive over 30 million events per day, which equates to over 1 billion events and nearly one terabyte (TB) of new data each month.
  • Databases range in size from a few hundred GBs to 10+ TBs for enterprise deployments (data are rolled off after 13 months).

Low or Zero Admin = Few DBAs "MySQL has not required a lot of administration. After it's been tuned, configured, and optimized for size on initial setup, we have very low administrative costs. I can scale and add more customers without adding DBAs. This has had a big, positive impact on our business.”
- Chris Arnold, FairWarning Vice President of Product Management and Engineering.

Performance Schema  As the size of FairWarning's customers has increased, so have their tables and data volumes. MySQL 5.6’ new maintenance and management features have helped FairWarning keep up. In particular, MySQL 5.6 performance schema’s low-level metrics have provided critical insight into how the system is performing and why.

Support for Mutli-CPU Threads MySQL 5.6' support for multiple concurrent CPU threads, and FairWarning's custom data loader allow multiple files to load into a single table simultaneously vs. one at a time. As a result, their data load time has been reduced by 500%.

MySQL Enterprise Hot Backup Because hospitals and clinics never stop, FairWarning solutions can’t either. FairWarning changed from using mysqldump to MySQL Enterprise Hot Backup, which has reduced downtime, restore time, and storage requirements. For many of their larger customers, restore time has decreased by 80%.

MySQL Enterprise Edition and Product Roadmap Provide Complete Solution "MySQL's product roadmap fully addresses our needs. We like the fact that MySQL Enterprise Edition has everything included; there's no need to purchase separate modules."  - Chris Arnold

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[1] 2013 Best in KLAS: Software & Services report, January, 2014. © 2014 KLAS Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved.

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