Reading, UK, 15 August, 2011: – Veeam Software, innovative provider of VMware data protection, disaster recovery and VMware management solutions for virtual datacentre environments, today announced that it has completed a deal with The Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust, a major UK Healthcare provider serving over 600,000 patients, to supply its award-winning Veeam Backup & Replication software.
From today, the trust′s 10,000 IT users, from medical staff to technicians, can have greater confidence that patients will not suffer in the event of an IT outage. Indeed, recovery of data and applications that would previously have taken up to a day to complete can now be performed in a matter of minutes, meaning that the risk of doctors and other staff being unable to do their jobs effectively is dramatically reduced.
“We were one of the first NHS trusts to implement virtualisation, with our first project in May 2005,” said Kevin Woodley, Data Centre Manager at Oxford Health Informatics Service, the section of the trust responsible for IT management. “With spending control being a top priority in the NHS, the decision to dramatically reduce costs through virtualisation was a simple one. Virtualisation not only helps lower hardware costs, but side benefits also include reductions in power use, space needed for physical machines and carbon emissions. However, as over 50% of our estate became virtualised it became clear that our disaster recovery processes were not suited to the virtual environment.”
Oxford Radcliffe Hospitals NHS Trust has adopted a “virtual first” policy that any new IT infrastructure implementation is to be virtual, making the most of the cost and efficiency savings the technology delivers. Currently 25% of the virtual infrastructure is viewed as mission-critical: with the trust intending to have 75% of its infrastructure virtualised by December 2011, this proportion is set to increase.
Working with Veeam ProPartner, NCE, Oxford Radcliffe is forging ahead with its virtualisation programme. NCE is an established and a proven storage and virtualisation specialist with numerous NHS customer successes for the solutions that it has provided. It has a reputation built on its ability to design, provide and support solutions that meet customers′ needs, expectations and budget. As a result, it was able to advise Oxford Radcliffe on exactly what was needed to make its implementation work successfully.
Kevin Woodley continued: “With plans to virtualise more and more of our estate, we needed a disaster recovery solution specifically tailored for a virtual environment. At the same time, it had to provide the best possible performance at the lowest cost. Veeam Backup & Replication has fulfilled all these needs and more, allowing us to take advantage of the benefits of virtualisation without putting patients at risk through unsuitable data protection.”
The trust currently maintains three data centres, containing 168 physical servers and 217 virtual servers. It has a core IT team of 100, who are responsible for all management tasks even as the virtual infrastructure expands beyond these machines. The trust has virtualised a variety of Microsoft and other applications, including many critical clinical applications and SQL Server databases.
When the decision was made to implement a specialised disaster recovery tool, the trust reviewed two products, from which Veeam Backup & Replication was chosen. There were a number of reasons for this:
- Cost: Veeam allowed the trust to replicate its entire virtual infrastructure at 50% of the initially budgeted cost.
- Recoverability: Veeam allows multiple roll-back points, meaning that even if corruption spread from a live machine to its replica, the machine could still be recovered to an earlier roll-back point.
- Backup: Veeam′s backup capabilities provided an added bonus to the trust, by allowing it to implement new, faster backup procedures without having to spend money on extra tools.
- Scalability: Veeam Backup & Replication imposes no limit on the number of machines that can be replicated or backed up, meaning that it can continually serve the needs of the trust′s expanding virtual infrastructure, allow the trust′s 100 IT staff to maintain control over the growing number of machines and, over time, replace the need for expensive physical backup licenses and associated maintenance.
“At Oxford Radcliffe, we believe in the power of IT to help healthcare, and are always happy to invest in new technology if it will help lower costs and improve patient care,” continued Kevin Woodley. “Veeam proved its value to us within the first week of installation. One of our live production servers had hung: normally the time-honoured solution to this problem would be to power off and power on again. However, this time the server failed to boot up. Traditionally, a situation such as this would have required a full rebuild and potentially long downtime. With Veeam installed, we were simply able to boot the DR replica and have a live system operating again within 3 minutes. The solution, which included the underlying Dot Hill 3720 2.5” Disk Array, paid for itself in one week, which is another reason why Veeam is now a cornerstone of our disaster recovery strategy.”
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