Challenge: Provide healthcare professionals with seamless access to critical data while reducing storage costs.
Solution: Work with Hitachi Vantara to design and deliver a hybrid cloud data center solution.
Hundreds of thousands of people across the state of Utah and beyond rely on University of Utah Health for a broad range of health care services. The organization employs more than 5,000 health care professionals, who care for patients from four hospitals and 12 community clinics.
University of Utah Health's mission is to continually improve individual and community health and quality of life. To achieve this mission, the organization must deliver excellence in patient care, education and research.
With constant change and flux within the industry, University of Utah Health must be agile and able to support innovation. University of Utah's clinical professionals rely on hundreds of IT systems and applications to look after patients – from patient record systems to hospital management tools. With an increasing number of systems producing an ever-growing pool of data, the IT department must ensure its data centers can support the organization now and in the future.
"As well as providing IT services to our hospitals and clinics, we support thousands of research projects that are transforming health care," explains Jim Livingston, Chief Technology Office at University of Utah Health. "To prevent disruption to patient care and research, we need to provide efficient access to a massive range of data while keeping costs as low as possible."
Implementation services for HCP and HNAS provided by Hitachi Vantara
Having worked with Hitachi since 1999, University of Utah Health decided to work with Hitachi Vantara to establish a new datacenter infrastructure based on hybrid cloud. "Hitachi Vantara consistently deliver outstanding service, performance and innovation while making sure they provide best value," comments Livingston.
Underpinned by Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform (VSP), Hitachi Content Platform (HCP) and Hitachi NAS Platform clusters, the solution combines on-premise and public cloud storage. "The new data center infrastructure features advanced automation and orchestration to maximize storage efficiency and simplify data management," explains Livingston.
Following a successful three-month proof of concept (POC) exercise, University of Utah Health deployed the new data center infrastructure and migrated its systems under a six-month project.
Using the Hitachi Virtual Storage Platform in combination with the Hitachi Content Platform enables the health care organization to automatically tier data in alignment with its data management policies. "Hitachi Content Platform also protects our data from ransomware, giving us an additional layer of protection that we didn't have previously," comments Livingston.
Suitable data and workloads are migrated to the public cloud environment, enabling faster provisioning for new services and accelerating workloads by up to 40%. The Hitachi Content Platform eliminates the need for separate tape backups with dynamic data protection. To protect data that cannot be hosted in the public cloud, the Hitachi NAS Platform provides encryption for data at rest, without compromising on performance.
The project team also worked closely with Pentaho Data Integration and Analytics to provide University of Utah with discovery, reporting and analytics. These advanced capabilities enable the IT department to accurately charge-back storage costs to different parts of the business.
Working with Hitachi Vantara, University of Utah Health has been able to transform its data center, reducing storage costs without compromising the security of its confidential patient data.
"The new software-defined environment means we can support growing data volumes without having to invest in additional hardware," explains Livingston. "We've seen a ten-fold decrease in storage costs, despite storage growth across the organization."
Most importantly though, the new environment provides health care professionals and researchers with fast and reliable access to the systems and data they need. "We've had 100% uptime with our Hitachi solutions since implementation and that's something we know we can rely on through 15 years of working with Hitachi," comments Livingston.
With a converged infrastructure, the University of Utah Health can manage both on-premise and public cloud resources to simplify management and increase the efficiency of the IT team. And greater capacity to support new research projects means the organization has also reduced the risks of shadow IT.
"We now have the data center efficiency and agility we need to support innovation and future changes within the health care sector," Livingston concludes. "And by reducing data center expenditure, we can keep focus our resources where it counts – on providing exceptional health care services to the residents of Utah."
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