The medical technology market is one of the fastest adopters of innovation in the world. Today, a typical product in this market has a lifespan of 18 to 24 months before a new or improved version is launched. Among the biggest players in this industry is HTL-STREFA.
The company ships close to 10 million safety lancets, personal lancets, and insulin pen needles to hospitals, clinics, and laboratories around the world every day, improving patients’ comfort and medical professionals’ safety on a daily basis. The company’s plants manufacture new products round the clock, and the overall process oversight is provided by the engineering and logistics teams at offices in Poland and the US.
To support these operations, HTL-STREFA needed a flexible, secure, and reliable IT environment which could scale with the business without requiring investment in new hardware and personnel.
The organization turned to its long-standing technology partner, Ergonet, a VMware Cloud Provider for assistance in upgrading its existing infrastructure. Ergonet was one of the first vendors in the world to obtain the VMware Cloud Verified status in 2018, and its expertise includes the provision of cloud services based on VMware Cloud Director.
In preparation for the digital transformation of HTL-STREFA’s IT environment, the partner conducted a series of detailed tests and system performance evaluations. “Ergonet’s engineers are true IT detectives, so they left nothing to chance. Before commencing the VMware deployment, they carefully validated the actual workload of our IT environment and identified the core applications, programs and data which had to be migrated to Ergonet’s hybrid cloud in order to ensure operational continuity. In addition, the deployment was preceded by a detailed migration plan which allowed us to prepare internally for the process,” recounts Piotr Wojtkiewicz, Senior IT Manager HTL-STREFA’s.
As a result of that process, some of the company’s resources were migrated to Ergonet’s hybrid cloud, which is based on VMware Cloud Director and the latest versions of VMware Cloud Foundation components like vSphere, vSAN, NSX Data Center and vRealize. “Around 20 percent of our mission-critical corporate systems and applications are now running in Ergonet’s cloud environment, which is connected to our on-premises server facility via a dedicated IPsec tunnel. This includes a file server that supports the stable operation of the company’s manufacturing systems and line-of-business applications,” Przemysław Skowroński from Ergonet.pl.
By deploying hyperconverged solutions like VMware vSAN, the company’s IT was primed for future growth. HTL-STREFA is now able to launch new business critical applications like those needed to design and test new products, much more quickly without having to purchase new IT hardware to upgrade the infrastructure. In effect, migrating even a portion of the resources to the cloud helps accelerate processes not only within the IT organization, but also across the entire business.
Based on technologies such as vSAN and NSX Data Center, the IT environment provides HTL-STREFA with stable network connectivity and ensures system availability in excess of 99.999 percent. HTL-STREFA’s business continuity has improved thanks to the dedicated, customized vSAN witness component. This is a small file that is configured, among other things, to ensure data availability in the event of a failure that affects, for example, a server, a drive or the entire network.
“We create it remotely, for instance from the central office, as a virtual appliance. It contains metadata only and helps determine which copy of the data is current. If any of the company’s assets become cut off from the corporate network, the witness makes it possible to continue operating in emergency mode,” Przemysław Skowroński.
Thanks to Ergonet’s VMware Cloud Verified services , HTL-STREFA employees no longer need to be concerned about potential failures. In effect, they can work more productively as they do not have to deal with access issues. As HTL-STREFA’s Piotr Wojtkiewicz explains, “the underlying technology behind our line-of-business applications and systems provides the assurance that our engineering teams can work smoothly, efficiently and comfortably. This enables us to deliver top-quality medical products, which – when you look at the bigger picture – translates into improved quality of treatment and diagnostics, thus raising the standard of patient care and offering a better experience to healthcare professionals.”