The data center is the hub of healthcare IT organizations, supporting mission-critical data and applications and also consuming a lot of resources, including power. Healthcare has rigorous requirements for data center performance and availability. Moreover, facilities must find a way to grow capacity while generating operational efficiencies. For these reasons and others, virtualizing healthcare data centers is gaining a lot of momentum.
Virtualization plays an increasingly important role in many areas of healthcare, from servers and storage to the desktop. It delivers instant flexibility, scalability, and IT agility, reducing costs and increasing performance. As facilities evaluate their options, many decide it simply makes sense in terms of space and manageability to move to a virtual platform. In addition, major electronic health record (EHR) vendors have now adapted their applications to run on virtual servers, removing a stumbling block that held back virtualization in healthcare IT.
What the Doctor Ordered
Hospital consolidation is creating larger hospitals, and that makes virtualization attractive: the bigger the hospital, the more servers to virtualize, and the greater the savings. When a facility decides to refresh its hardware and moves to virtual machines (VMs), it can consolidate at the same time it implements solutions like picture archiving and communication systems (PACS) on virtual servers.
Even larger ambulatory practices can benefit from server virtualization. They can place multiple applications and operating systems on one server, which means lower hardware and energy costs. Remember to create a disaster recovery and business continuity plan to ensure your data is protected.
A Long List of Benefits
Dynamic virtual server architecture brings tremendous gains in health IT agility and efficiency and dramatic cost reductions. With virtualization you can:
- Drastically reduce implementation times/costs when deploying applications or services.
- Optimize use of server resources; configuration is more flexible than with a physical machine.
- Increase availability and eliminate costly outages. Virtual servers automatically migrate to available physical servers—very useful for disaster recovery and absolutely essential for patient safety.
- Reduce your data center footprint up to 50% and IT energy costs up to 80%. Fewer physical servers mean lower cooling costs. Server virtualization goes hand in hand with green IT initiatives to reduce or at least maintain electrical use over time.
- Free up your IT staff with simplified management and effortless provisioning.
- Become more flexible. A new VM can be provisioned as needed without the need for an up-front hardware purchase.
Where to Start
To get off to a good start, you may want to assemble a team with varied backgrounds: storage, server, networking, etc. Virtualization is such a far-reaching technology that it's important to have everyone on the same page, which makes it much easier to spot opportunities to improve service.
Expanding a virtual environment to its full potential demands a capable storage solution that's just as scalable as the machines that run your applications. Many healthcare organizations are investing in network storage technologies such as storage area network (SAN) solutions for added flexibility and agility.
Build a disaster recovery (DR) plan that takes advantage of virtualization. Virtualization simplifies your DR needs by reducing the number of physical machines.
You can re-use hardware at the recovery site and consolidate multiple apps on a single machine for maximum efficiency. IT staff can implement, test, and initiate recoveries with greater ease and speed than ever before.
Fix Your IT Ailments
Cut costs and server sprawl when you consolidate your data center with virtualization strategies from Connection.
By implementing a virtual solution, you can shrink your infrastructure and optimize utilization for better IT outcomes.
Our virtualization specialists are skilled technologists. They carry certifications from leading manufacturers including HP and VMware. They are well qualified to help you design and deploy custom solutions that meet your healthcare organization's needs.
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Account Executive at 1-800-369-1047.