Dell helps Welsh health board breathe new life into IT infrastructure
Board drives more-efficient clinical services with highly-scalable storage as clinicians benefit from faster access to data for improved patient care
Cwm Taf University Health Board (UHB) has deployed Dell storage arrays and moved to a Hyper-V environment to support the continued development of electronic patient services.
Cwm Taf UHB serves a local population of 289,000 residents and has been instrumental in ensuring they benefit from the latest developments in technology through the digitisation of patient records and the introduction of mobile devices in every department. However, these initiatives have resulted in the need for a robust and flexible IT infrastructure to support the growing amount of data that plays a crucial role in the delivery of quality care.
The introduction of data tiering is a smart way for organisations to reduce storage spend
Matt Palmer, head of server management at the health board, said: “From executives to clinicians, everyone relies on networked data to do their work. Many applications are mission critical for running our sites so when our storage infrastructure approached the end of its lifecycle we knew we needed to take action and introduce a new IT environment that would improve performance and support continued data growth.”
After considering EMC, HP and Dell, the board chose Dell due to its impressive data tiering functionality, which would futureproof its investment through cost-effective expansion of the IT infrastructure. The Dell Compellent storage arrays deliver a higher number of IOPS than ever before, allowing clinicians to access stored data faster and therefore help treat their patients more effectively.
Richard Rawcliffe, healthcare director at Dell UK, said: “The introduction of data tiering is a smart way for organisations to reduce storage spend. Cwm Taf UHB has managed to reduce the amount of data that is stored on highest-end disk storage from 90% to 30% by deploying Dell Compellent, saving the organisation a significant amount of money that can be redirected elsewhere.”
Cwm Taf UHB has also rolled out Windows Server 2012 with Hyper-V as the server virtualisation software with help from Dell. With the IT team busy with day-to-day operations, they needed additional assistance to help with the migration and decided to engage Dell Infrastructure Consulting Services.
Palmer said: “Knowledge transfer during our move to Hyper-V was excellent. It was a good experience and we soon took over the build of our virtual cluster and transferring data to the new environment.”
The Hyper-V cluster delivers around 80 virtual servers, which support a wide range of applications. These cover clinical services such as radiology, pharmaceuticals, pathology, maternity and administrative systems including Microsoft SharePoint Server and Microsoft Exchange Server 2010.
With these upgrades to our IT infrastructure, we’re in a better position to support clinicians and staff with faster access to data stored on the network
“With these upgrades to our IT infrastructure, we’re in a better position to support clinicians and staff with faster access to data stored on the network,” said Palmer.
Personnel are seeing enhanced application performance with Dell Compellent storage, helping them provide an improved service. As well as being much easier to manage from our perspective, the Dell storage solution also provides us with capacity and performance for future healthcare applications as we are able to scale the storage incrementally.
“The addition of Dell Compellent Enterprise Manager also means that we can manage the infrastructure much more proactively including the accurate prediction of when extra storage will be required. We can push ahead with the development of our clinical systems knowing that we have a reliable storage platform in place.”