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To a care provider from a century ago, today’s healthcare would likely seem like science fiction.  VMware continues to innovate, enabling Healthcare IT to improve patient care through technology.  Over the past several months, we have introduced a number of improvements to existing products which provide new functionality; and a new deployment and maintenance model.  

Cloud Foundation

Standards in healthcare are critical.  We need look no further than the operating room checklists to see examples of how we work to simplify everything into a series of standard steps.  With the launch of Cloud Foundation, VMware creates a similar series of standards for healthcare IT.  vSphere for virtualized compute, VSAN for virtualized storage, and NSX for virtualized network and security provide the building blocks for the healthcare datacenter.  

In healthcare IT, with so many systems revolving around the electronic medical records system, maintaining a standard becomes a challenge.  Cloud Foundation provides a standardized deployment and patching of the core software defined infrastructure products.  A single sku for purchase, and a single deployment and patch for the core software defined infrastructure.  We are no longer required to manage dependencies on the core infrastructure side.

VM Encryption

Virtual machine encryption has long been a request of many healthcare security teams.  While there are third party solutions, native VM encryption provides a policy driven security solution.  Encryption is completely agnostic to the operating system, encrypting the components rather than using an agent.  Because it is policy-driven through the vCenter, encryption can become part VM lifecycle management, much like network and storage policies.  Policies can also restrict locations the VM may be moved to so that critical systems are always on systems capable of encryption.

Managing encryption raises a number of potential concerns for security teams and regulators alike.  To simplify management, while providing for separation of duties, VM encryption is designed to use an existing key management system, with additional roles in vCenter to separate administrators managing virtual machines from those managing encryption.  With the rise in identity theft, especially from medical records, encrypting critical systems answers security concerns and brings them into the virtual environment as a valued team member.

vCenter Appliance

In many healthcare IT environments, vCenter has become a critical application.  As more systems become managed through vCenter, high availability, virtual systems updates, and accessibility become expectations.  Since the introduction of the vCenter appliance, additional features have been moved toward a more integrated model.  With the latest update, native replication provides an active-passive cluster with a witness node.

Update Manager in vCenter is a critical component, especially in healthcare, to ensure that the virtual infrastructure remains current.  Including this within the vCenter appliance, there is again a single system to maintain rather than multiple components.  User experience and accessibility has been improved with the new HTML 5 interface, incorporating the latest update manager components.  Additionally, a new rest based API makes vCenter more accessible.

 

VMware continues to innovate, enabling Healthcare IT to improve patient care through technology.  This is a very small summary of some of the new announcements.  Please consult your local VMware Healthcare team for a discussion on some of the new innovations and how they can benefit your organization.