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Hospital Saves With Server Shakeup

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Storage Networking World -- Mention "earthquake" to most IT managers and the color will drain from their faces, but Bud James, technical services director at the El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, Calif., expects to shave more than $2 million off his IT costs thanks to seismic threats.

Located close to both the San Andreas and Monte Vista faults, the hospital is being rebuilt to boost its ability to withstand earthquakes. Rather than seeing this as a source of stress, James tells NDCF that it has been a golden opportunity. The new hospital for us was a terrific change agent -- people could grudgingly move along with that,” he says, referring to the difficulty IT managers often face pushing through major projects.

The construction work has also opened the door to big cost savings. “We’re estimating that we have saved about $1.2 million,” says James, thanks largely to a server consolidation push. This figure could reach $2.4 million when the project is complete in 2007.

When the consolidation started in 2002, El Camino relied on 160 servers; James and his team have slashed this figure to around 100. ”The fewer servers you have, the better. We can put new applications onto our server farm without buying new hardware.”

In the past, rolling out new applications was a big hassle, thanks, in part, to the hospital’s reliance on a number of machines based on Novell Inc. (Nasdaq: NOVL) software. James acknowledged that Novell has a “great” directory model, but added that “there aren’t that many applications that use it.”

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