In conversations with customers, I often hear awesome ideas, and I would like to share one. Recently, I started a new TAM engagement at a large academic hospital in the Netherlands ErasmusMC in Rotterdam. During the TAM kickoff and introduction meetings, one of the architects Marco Reitsma mentioned one of these awesome ideas.
The IT departments of the hospital and the DNA labs—both linked to the hospital—have separate IT facilities. They both bought their own hardware and manage their individual environments. The staff in the IT department of the hospital focused on managing IT solutions, but to the IT staff in the DNA labs, IT is a part of their job but not the main focus.
The hospital’s IT department is currently preparing, developing, and building new IT solutions, like VMware vSphere for desktops and VMware Management solutions based on VMware vCloud Suite for their data center. The goal is to move toward the new IT era where IT is not just a cost – but can really add value for the patients and staff.
In this particular case, I will focus on vSphere for desktops. This environment will initially host a Citrix Desktop solution for 3500 users. The users can work on- and off-premises, and will work during flexible opening hours. Hardware available for this solution will consists of HP blade servers and a HP 3Par central storage solution. To ensure performance the hospital made significant investments in hardware.
During low-demand hours, only a small portion of vSphere for desktop hardware resources will be used, while the rest are in a waiting state; this is the kernel of the plan.
How can we use the compute resources in waiting state during low-demand hours for other purposes? How can we provide more value to the patients and staff? Can we lower TCO and raise ROI with the compute resources not in use?
“Yes, we can!”
We can configure one or more resource pools – depending on the final design for the Citrix environment that will host the virtual Citrix servers and their management and deployment servers. This resource pool will guarantee desktop performance.
Depending on the particular DNA sequencing calculations employed, we must deploy either large or small Linux virtual machines (VMs). These VMs can reside next to the single Citrix resource pool in the root of the cluster, or in a separate resource vSequencing pool with lower capacity. This decision depends on the outcomes from vRealize Operations Manager, which will also be responsible for measuring resource usage.
For different parts of the organization to gain access to the VMs, both the Citrix hosts and the DNA sequencing VMs must be segmented in a secure manner. The best way to implement this is with NSX Micro-segmentation, which will create a highly secure access and security solution. But some advantages and challenges come along with this.
- Better ROI and lower TCO for both departments
- DNA lab staff can focus on their main job
- The IT department shows their added value in new business initiatives
- How do you license a VMware infrastructure with a split personality?
- How can we manage the resources without disrupting either IT department?
- How can we ensure desktop performance during transformation times between low and high peak times?
- How do we ensure DNA sequencing is not disrupted? And what are the consequences if the calculations are slowed down due to resource constraints?
As you might read between the lines, this is just a concept idea; the customer and I are working toward a proof-of-concept. Even now there are ideas coming from Marco Reitsma to extend the possibilities to other parts off the Hospital in need for Calculation power. I will keep you posted!
TAMs are good listeners; we can pick up a customer’s ideas, and help them investigate the possibilities for implementation. This is not limited to technical VMware-related ideas. We can also support them in their business initiatives.
VMware TAMs are able to support customers in many ways!
Peter joined VMware in 2015 as a Technical Account Manager based in Utrecht, Netherlands. Having 17 years experience in the IT field, he has worked with VMware products since 2004, and has been focused on VMware-based solutions ever since. He has been a certified vExpert for 5 years. When he isn’t working , Peter enjoys traveling and geocaching with his wife, and quality time with his family and friends.