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Big Savings Beckon for BUPA

Private healthcare provider BUPA expects to save nearly $2 million over the next three years by overhauling the storage infrastructure at its UK data centers.BUPA has deployed Symmetrix DMX and CLARiiON arrays from EMC Corp. (NYSE: EMC) as part of a new Information Lifecycle Management strategy to support its 41,000 staff. A primary data center in Staines, Middlesex, will host the Symmetrix array, and a secondary site in Warrington in the north-west of England will provide a home for the CLARiiON kit.Iain Roy, enterprise center manager at BUPA, expects to slash the company's total cost of ownership (TCO) as a result of the technology update, which replaces previous EMC kit. He says, The key driver was to reduce the TCO of BUPA’s storage infrastructure, whilst creating a platform for Information Lifecycle Management.” “Owing to the age of the [existing] systems it was becoming harder to efficiently allocate disk storage, and simply buying more disks did not result in a compelling lower TCO.” ILM is one of the hot data center topics at the moment, enabling users to move data onto the most cost-effective storage medium in relation to its value. Although precise details of the deal between EMC and BUPA are unavailable, the healthcare company expects to achieve the $2 million saving by reducing storage admin costs and consolidating existing systems.Private healthcare is big business and BUPA is currently confronted with a data explosion in areas such as membership information, patient records, and hospital data.Previously, the company had relied on a 3930 Symmetrix and two 8530 Symmetrix boxes, providing a total 8 terabytes of storage. But with the company’s data growth forecast to reach 3 terabytes a year, it was obvious that change was necessary.The Symmetrix DMX system has 16.5 terabytes of useable storage, which will host BUPA’s core applications, call center systems, and Oracle databases. The CLARiiON array offers 2.5 terabytes and will host the healthcare firm’s data warehouse.Roy added that ‘keeping it simple’ was one of the key lessons learned during the deployment of the new systems. He says, “Only by keeping the infrastructure simple, and focusing on solving business problems, will a storage strategy deliver real business benefits.”Other vendors involved in BUPA’s storage infrastructure include Dell Computer Corp. (Nasdaq: DELL), which provides NAS kit, and Storage Technology Corp. (StorageTek) (NYSE: STK), which supplies tape drives and libraries.

— James Rogers, Site Editor, Next-gen Data Center Forum