Dorset Trust Makes Milestone Move to Adopt Server Virtualisation

Dorset HealthCare NHS Foundation Trust (DHFT) has appointed healthcare IT specialist The MCSA Group to consolidate and virtualise its server and storage infrastructure after identifying a critical need to free up data centre space and power. All applications will now benefit from high availability and resilience, streamlining business continuity processes.

The move will see DHFT improve ICT infrastructure costs with a more energy efficient data centre that meets green IT imperatives whilst future proofing application flexibility. It will enable the Trust to better serve staff and patients in a more sustainable manner.

The MCSA Group is consolidating the Trust’s extensive Windows server estate by 67%, using HP Blade Server Infrastructure and virtualisation.

The solution also offers capacity and flexibility to migrate the Trust’s live and legacy UNIX systems to the blade infrastructure, either remaining natively UNIX or moving to Windows, with the option to virtualise under either environment. The MCSA Group and DHFT are currently working together to design an optimal migration plan for the UNIX systems.

With an expected saving of 74% on annual energy costs due to a more efficient and concise server estate, which requires less cooling and power, the Trust will free up capacity for testing and refining its fail over services alongside the core of its wide-area network. This is at the heart of DHFT’s business continuity strategy in conjunction with high availability features delivered by virtualisation.

Nigel Rodgers, Head of Information Technology at the Trust, said: “In order to meet the Trust’s growing information and accessibility demands, our server estate has increased over time like many others. Our biggest constraints to further growth have been space, power and cooling capacity. Consolidation to a Virtual Infrastructure was identified as the only feasible option, and blade architecture offers the flexibility to further consolidate our live and legacy UNIX systems.

“The MCSA Group has worked in partnership with the Trust for over a decade in the UNIX arena, and has now proposed a creative approach to tackling our key operational issues with a value for money solution that offers future application flexibility across both Windows and UNIX platforms.

“This will reduce both physical and energy footprints whilst improving application resilience and availability. We will be able to provide scalability and business continuity within existing constraints, rather than worrying about having to extend physical capacity. The MCSA Group’s solution is a win win, reducing our operational costs and improving our infrastructure with a rationalised, simple environment.

“With a virtual infrastructure we will be able to fulfil the Trust’s requirements to provide and support information systems which underpin the provision of high quality patient care.”

This win follows a recent streak of form for Buckinghamshire based The MCSA Group, following a strategic partnership with Catalist approved technology services provider Probrand and a series of further wins through Connecting for Health’s ASCC framework.

CSA Waverley Managing Director, Andrew Boyle, said: “Virtualisation is helping the NHS stay one step ahead of data and disaster recovery needs. Our expertise is in helping organisations meet the government’s efficiency targets and green IT directive within a value for money ‘best-in-class’ framework. Dorset HealthCare is another example of how a creative approach can unlock huge value to keep the organisation ahead of its operational needs.”