Case Study: Healthcare Software Solutions
As technology transforms healthcare, a well-designed flow of data can make a tremendous difference that leads to better patient outcomes and greater efficiencies.
Integrated Healthcare Network
- Easier storage administration because a single interface can manage multivendor storage systems
- Increased storage utilization by combining multivendor arrays into single, virtualized storage pool
- Faster backups due to increased storage performance
An integrated healthcare network in the mid- Atlantic region of the U.S. serves more than a million residents in multiple counties. It includes 600 physicians and 1,100 licensed beds at 200 practice sites. To run the latest version of Epic electronic medical records (EMR) software, the healthcare network needed to upgrade servers and replace storage that was nearing end of life.
The IT team also wanted to simplify the management of multiple storage systems from different vendors. Each system had to be managed with vendor-specific tools, and this increased cost and complexity.
The healthcare network evaluated proposals from several major technology vendors and chose a solution from Mainline and IBM. One reason was that part of Mainline’s solution, IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center software, can turn storage systems from multiple vendors into a single, virtualized pool of storage. Virtual Storage Center also enables performance, availability and capacity utilization of the network’s multivendor storage to be managed from a single interface, saving time.
Another reason for the choice was that the Mainline solution includes software, servers and storage from a single vendor (IBM), supported by a single partner, Mainline. This further simplifies the environment. The choice was made easier by the fact that Epic uses IBM servers and storage to test the limits of its software.
The Mainline solution enables faster failover and enhanced disaster recovery because the Metro Mirror feature of IBM SmartCloud Virtual Storage Center automatically copies data between IBM System Storage DS8870 subsystems at two different sites. Mainline also recommended installing two clustered IBM Power 780 servers in the main data center to run Epic, with the ability to fail the application over to an IBM Power 750 server at the remote site, if necessary. Backups to tape, which were exceeding the backup window in the prior environment, now fit in the window easily, due to increased storage performance. they are allowed to see. Mainline is now a trusted partner, and has been tasked with establishing an Analytics Center of Excellence.
Provider of services for health plans
- Twice as many virtual desktops/agents supported with only a 25% increase in IT costs
- 55% more processing power at only 20% more cost, due to mainframe cost efficiency
- 60% estimated licensing savings by virtualizing with IBM z/VM vs. VMware
- Faster storage I/O, as IBM Easy Tier feature moves frequently accessed data to the fastest drives, and the added performance boosts scalability
This customer provides services to health plans offered by dozens of leading insurance companies and associations, serving almost two million people nationwide. Soon, millions more consumers will seek healthcare plans online through new State Health Insurance Exchanges mandated by passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act. To support rapid growth, the customer needed to scale services easily and cost-efficiently.
Mainline advised the customer to keep the performance and scalability of a mainframe while reducing mainframe operating costs by transitioning to IBM Linux on System z. Mainline further reduced costs by having the customer process new transactions on a Linux-based IBM BladeCenter platform, while using the mainframe to host historical data. IBM WebSphere MQ serves as a single, universal messaging backbone, integrating all systems with speed and reliability. Mainline is also providing IBM Rational solutions to streamline application development, and IBM Tivoli Storage Manager to enable data to be backed up to virtual tape cartridges and replicated at the same time to a disaster recovery center 2,000 miles away. This strategy minimizes tape costs and enhancing resiliency.
Using the Mainline-designed solution, the customer has added 1,000 desktops to its customer care centers, doubling the number of desktops and agents available to support customers, yet raising infrastructure costs only by 25 percent. Because data is growing by as much as 10 terabytes a month, Mainline introduced the customer to IBM Easy Tier, an IBM storage feature that moves frequently accessed data to the fastest drives, keeping performance high while minimizing the number of new drives that must be purchased. Mainline showed the customer how to add 55 percent more processing power on the mainframe at only 20 percent higher IT costs. And the Mainline solution will enable the customer to achieve a projected licensing savings of as much as 60 percent by virtualizing with the IBM z/VM hypervisor instead of VMware. The end result is competitive advantage in the fast-growing health services marketplace.
Leading healthcare system in a southern state
- Integrated remote mirroring across multiple storage systems is projected to:
- reduce storage management time
- enable disaster recovery to come back in house for savings
- 10% licensing savings projected over three years for remote mirroring, with doubled capacity and new capabilities included