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LifeLink Gets iSCSI Recovery

How can a nonprofit healthcare organization afford mission-critical disaster recovery? For LifeLink Foundation, the answer was iSCSI.

The 500-employee foundation, based in Tampa Bay, Fla., specializes in transplant medicine and organ donation. Its activities include working with organ donors and their families in 22 counties in the U.S., as well as the entire state of Georgia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A key element is maintaining data on donated organs -- which requires sizeable and secure storage facilities.

Until last year, those facilities comprised over 40 Windows-based production servers from Hewlett-Packard, backed up with direct-attached RAID gear. But for Vice President of Information Systems John Rhon and his team, the handwriting was on the wall.

"Our key initiative was disaster recovery and getting off direct-attached storage," Rhon says.

They'd already put the first piece in place by adopting server virtualization software from VMware in 2004, a move that allowed the group to start replicating their data and streamlining server resources. But when it came to the storage piece, a review of solutions from the group's existing vendors, HP and EMC, turned up expensive proposals.

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