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The Academic Medical Centre (AMC)

Veeam Management Pack for System Center Monitors Health and Well-Being of Hospital’s VDI

Company:

The Academic Medical Centre (AMC) is one of the most prominent research institutions and one of the largest hospitals in the Netherlands. AMC is part of a long and respected tradition of medical science and teaching in Amsterdam, the beginning of which is immortalized in Rembrandt’s masterpiece “The Anatomy Lesson.”

Challenge:

Limited monitoring and reporting in the virtual environment made it difficult to meet VDI SLAs.

Results:

  • Delivers deep monitoring and reporting in System Center
  • Provides full visibility for proactive issue resolution to meet SLAs
  • Capacity planning increases data centre efficiencies

The Business Challenge

AMC deployed a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) to create more efficiency and flexibility within the workplace. The VDI delivers fast, personalised computing to AMC users along with the security and simplicity of centralised management.

AMC’s IT infrastructure is 90% virtualised on VMware vSphere. Thousands of virtual machines (VMs) run the Citrix XenDesktop VDI and other systems such as electronic medical records (EMR), keycard access to the hospital and Microsoft SQL Server. Physical machines run systems including Microsoft Exchange and Active Directory.

Before deploying the VDI, AMC installed Windows Server 2012 R2 and used Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 to monitor and manage the physical environment. AMC needed to monitor and manage the virtual environment as well, but its monitoring and reporting tools had limited capabilities.

“We could only monitor the basics,” said Patrick Smits, System Engineer at AMC. “We could ping VMware hosts to see if they were working but that didn’t help with memory issues on vCenter hosts and degraded performance on VMs. We didn’t have enough information, so one of our biggest challenges was to proactively resolve issues before they affected end users.”

Meeting end-user service level agreements (SLAs) in the VDI was a major requirement for AMC, so the IT team sought a more comprehensive monitoring, reporting and capacity planning solution for vSphere.

“Our goal was to have in-depth monitoring, reporting and capacity planning plus a central point of view through System Center Operations Manager,” Smits said. “We wanted a single pane of glass to see the interaction between our physical and virtual infrastructures.”

The Veeam Solution

TAMC deployed Veeam® Management Pack™ (MP) for System Center to take control of the entire virtual infrastructure, including the VDI to meet SLAs. Veeam MP provides deep visibility into AMC’s VMs.

“We have specific uptime requirements for the VDI, and Veeam MP and Operations Manager help us meet those requirements,” Smits said. “Having all components of your IT infrastructure under a single pane of glass makes it much easier to see where a problem lies, rather than having 10 to 20 software solutions to monitor all of the components. For example, a network switch might have a bottleneck caused by a fully saturated uplink. We weren’t able to see this before implementing Veeam MP. All we noticed was a slow network, and we had to consult various systems to figure it out. Now we have the information immediately available.”

Veeam MP integrates fully with System Center, providing real-time data and complete visibility of AMC’s virtual and physical infrastructures and applications.

Veeam MP delivers live data with in-context dashboards and heat maps with drilldown capabilities so the hospital can see relationships and dependencies to determine root causes of problems. Veeam MP also lets AMC monitor VM health with correlated events and metrics.

We use Veeam MP to find hot spots in our virtual environment, which helps us resolve performance issues, such as a VM running on a host that consumes too much CPU or memory. Veeam MP lets us pinpoint the host and migrate the VMs to another host.”

Another way AMC’s IT team resolves problems is by accessing Veeam’s built-in knowledge base. When team members see an alert, they link to the knowledge base to find probable causes and view step-by-step instructions for resolution.

“The knowledge base was very helpful when we were alerted to some issues about CIM interaction with Veeam collectors,” Smits said. “We used the knowledge base to understand the issues and resolve them.”

Smits said Veeam MP helps ensure hospital systems are available 24x7x365.

“With Veeam MP we know that VMs are up and running and whether or not they have performance issues.”

The Results

Delivers deep monitoring and reporting in System Center
Veeam MP provides single-pane-of-glass dashboards for monitoring, reporting and capacity planning to keep hospital systems running smoothly.

Provides full visibility for proactive issue resolution to meet SLAs
Veeam MP integrates seamlessly with Microsoft System Center, providing complete visibility of AMC’s virtual and physical infrastructures from a single console. Instead of relying on end users to provide information related to an issue, AMC relies on Veeam MP to help the IT team identify and resolve issues before they affect operations, making it much easier to meet VDI SLAs.

Capacity planning increases data centre efficiencies
Veeam MP provides several capacity planning reports for VMware, built directly in System Center that let AMC examine trends, perform what-if modeling and proactively reallocate virtual resources to optimise the VMware environment.

The Academic Medical Centre (AMC)
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