Modernizing a data-center network is no easy task under any conditions, but when a healthcare system that includes hospitals and emergency care depends on that network, the pressure is only more intense.
But that’s the challenge Tom Hull, CIO of Kaleida Health, the largest healthcare system in western New York, has undertaken in the past year-and-a-half with the goal of building a secure, software-defined data-center environment capable of moving the provider into the future.
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“We had an older healthcare-network systems environment that had lots of single points of failure, no business continuity, and a barely good disaster-recovery operation, so the idea was to remake that into a more flexible, dependable software-defined data center that takes the risk out of the equation and gets us into a more private, cloud-capable environment,” Hull said.
In addition, about 90% of the infrastructure, from compute and storage to networking, was reaching end-of-life and just wasn’t going to be able to support future plans, Hull said. Technology integration and consolidation will enable Kaleida to simplify its IT operations, decommission at least nine monitoring and management tools, and save millions of dollars each year as a result, Hull said.
The overarching plan is to support two data centers to provide full redundancy, automatic failover, and the hardware flexibility to support 11,000 users, 30,000 endpoints, and remote sites that include acute-care hospitals, hundreds of specialty clinics and a mobile visiting-nurse association.