Customers Hyperconverged Infrastructure vSAN

HCI for Healthcare: A Snapshot of Virtual SAN Customers


iStock_000059547512_SmallThe IT demands of the modern healthcare industry can be challenging. From HIPPA, to the digitization of patient health records, IT professionals constantly find themselves juggling scalability, availability, performance and security of apps and data. Increasingly, more healthcare organizations have started looking at simpler and more efficient approaches to the datacenter – Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) based on VMware Hyper-Converged Software (learn more). The Virtual SAN team recently talked to several customers in healthcare. Here’s a snapshot of how they are using VMware Hyper-Converged Software to realize excellent benefits:

Baystate Health

About a year ago, Baystate Health, one of the leading healthcare providers in the nation, embarked on an update of its entire IT infrastructure, with the goal of deploying the latest and greatest technology to support their mission of offering high quality healthcare. Massachusetts-based Baystate employs over 12,000 employees and serves over one million patients a year so needless to say cost, complexity and scale were a huge factor in exploring options available on the market. In fact, that’s why they chose to leave behind the conventional approach of building a new data center and instead targeted a HCI solution. After briefly exploring many solutions, they found that one solution stood out amongst the rest – VMware Hyper-Converged Software (HCS) with vSphere and Virtual SAN.

“Based on the requirements of up-time, integration of all the different silos and essentially the seamlessness of the architecture, VMware is, as far as we’re concerned the proper choice – pretty much the most solid approach to hyperconvergence”, says Mike Feld, interim CTO of Baystate Health (watch full interview here).

Baystate chose VMware HCS solution deployed on Cisco UCS hardware for running a variety of workloads from Electronic Medical Records systems to SQL databases to virtual desktops. Right out of the gate, Baystate was not only able to save about 40% in capital expenses, but also save on power and cooling costs and data center footprint. It also means faster provisioning – instead of days and weeks to get resources provisioned; now it is a matter of hours. Meanwhile, Baystate’s Horizon VDI environment has helped shed the cost of maintaining 12,000 computers, while eliminating security issues of having data on laptops or mobile devices lost or stolen. Additionally, they can avoid large one-time purchases – instead of spending a million dollars on a new fiber-channel SAN for the next stage of growth, they plan to grow horizontally by adding nodes to the VSAN cluster.

“Before Virtual SAN we had a lot of disparate storage solutions,” says Joel Vengco, CIO of Baystate Health. “Now we have a single, homogeneous storage environment, and a multi-datacenter, always-on, highly available approach. We couldn’t do that without Virtual SAN.”

For more details read on here or watch the Mike Feld’s interview.

State Department of Health

Let’s look at another healthcare customer in the government sector. For more than 100 years, state health departments have been promoting healthy lifestyles and ensuring the delivery of quality healthcare to the communities they support. To ensure easy access to quality healthcare for its populace, an East Coast Dept. of Health relies on partnerships with numerous federal and community-based agencies like the Bureau of Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) which provides services like nutrition and education assistance, healthcare, social service referrals, and healthy foods to low-income women and children at risk.

Supported by grants, the WIC program was being hampered by aging infrastructure and out-of-capacity storage. “Every time WIC’s system goes down, it’s a major issue throughout the state, because suddenly the bureau can’t do things like print out checks for women to use to buy food,” says the DOH network administrator. “Obviously, this is unacceptable.”

The server team evaluated replacement storage solutions from several vendors, but chose VSAN in the end, with over 45TBs currently hosted and plans to double. Today they are running SQL databases, FTP servers, web servers and a number of application servers on Lenovo 3650-M5 servers. The team was very happy with the ease of migration and very soon started noticing that system and application performance are also no longer issues to lose sleep over – what took 8-9 hours in the old environment now finished within the hour. Of course, with VSAN, cost savings are a given. The Lenovo-based VSAN solution was 50% more cost-effective while providing more capacity and better performance.

Read more here.

Stay tuned for more stories. Also if you’d like to share your VSAN experience let us know here.


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