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Hospital Goes Green With DataCore

MUNICH -- DataCore Software, the leading provider of storage virtualization SAN software, has today announced that St. Marien Amberg Hospital, a German teaching hospital, has implemented SANmelody as the reliable storage foundation that supports its information systems and PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) project running on a VMware environment. The virtual infrastructure not only offers high availability, better performance and lower management costs, but also halves the electricity and cooling costs by using less hardware to do more work. By using a combination of DataCore storage and VMware server virtualization, we have laid the foundation for an IT environment of the future,” said Dr. Dietmar Braeuer, head of information technology at St. Marien Amberg Hospital. “More flexibility, more functionality and performance, less hardware.”

St. Marien Amberg Hospital is a large community and teaching hospital in Amberg, Germany. A 12-person IT team administrates approximately 650 workstations used by 1,300 members of staff. The hospital operates around-the-clock, so constant access to patient data must be guaranteed – with archiving periods lasting up to 30 years. The increasing digitalization of patient and administrative data puts tremendous pressure on managing data. With tight public sector budgets, this posed a real challenge.

To increase flexibility and to optimize the utilization of resources, the hospital decided to use virtual servers running under VMware for the PACS project. For shared storage, St. Marien Amberg Hospital evaluated and selected DataCore’s SANmelody. The DataCore storage servers supply 35 virtual machines with the PACS archive, a backup server, various file and database servers for the management information system (MIS) and several web applications with high-availability storage capacity. DataCore’s Thin Provisioning is used for the dynamic and automatic allocation of virtual disks, meaning that up to 95 percent of the existing storage capacity can be used before additional disk drives have to be allocated – resulting in less hardware required, reduced maintenance and lowered energy consumption. The bottom-line: costs dropped by 50% in the computer center.

SANmelody was installed on two standard servers on the site. These servers are located in separate fire compartments within the computer center and have been equipped for high performance with QuadCore Xeon 5400 CPUs and a 16 GB cache. By using its own performance acceleration caching algorithms, DataCore’s SANmelody speeds up read and write access times, providing a maximum performance of well over 200,000 I/O operations per second, per server. The two separate servers as well as dual switches and FC paths ensure redundancy, not only for the data but also for data routing. The SANmelody storage servers form an active/active high-availability pair for fail-safe data protection across the SAN. To further maximize resource savings, SANmelody was, from the very beginning, also used to structure the data archives into various storage pools with different service levels.

“SANmelody is a flexible, highly functional and fail-safe storage system that completely fulfills our expectations and optimally supplements the VMware virtualization with regard to storage,” explained Dr. Braeuer. “SANmelody is now an important and integral component of our server and storage unit consolidation program. We have increased both availability and performance and are able to make server platforms, including their storage, available more quickly. Future storage space extensions will simply involve buying inexpensive disk shelves.”

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