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New SANs Heal UPMC Constraints

The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) has moved more than 100 Tbytes of data to new SANs since signing a long-term deal with IBM earlier this year, and its technology architect says hes only just begun.

UPMC signed an eight-year, $402 million deal with IBM last April that covers its entire IT infrastructure. Storage consolidation is a huge part of the deal, and the first phase of that involved migrating data off Hewlett-Packard EVA and IBM Sharks to three IBM TotalStorage DS8300 enterprise systems and two DS6800 midrange SANs.

UPMC technology architect Joe Furmanski migrated 120 TBytes of financial systems and electronic medical records to the new IBM systems. That’s just a drop in the bucket for the 19-hospital health center, though. Furmanski says UPMC’s total capacity is 300 TBytes and growing 50 percent every year. Still in the works are plans to implement IBM’s SAN Volume Controller (SVC) to virtualize storage, as well as Tivoli Storage management and monitoring software, additional storage tiers, an email archive system, a director switch upgrade, and perhaps NAS filers.

While Furmanski notes that the financial applications are running faster on his new systems, the main benefit of the IBM deal is cost control. The deal allows the medical center to upgrade while keeping its storage budget at its current level.

“Like most health care facilities, as our infrastructure grows, we can’t expand our staff,” Furmanski says. “We had to find a way of doing more with the same amount of people. They’re not going to give us more money to do things. We challenged the vendors (HP and IBM) to look at our overall budgets for eight years. The $402 million is virtually the same budget we have today.”

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