Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority

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NHS Case Study - Suffolk Coastal Port Health

The Background

Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority partnered with MCSA to create a new storage infrastructure, with dual site replication and full disaster recovery, for its key information management application. This enables the Authority to ensure excellent business continuity and save related management and downtime costs Suffolk Coastal Port Health Authority (SCPHA) is part of Suffolk Coastal District Council and is based at the Port of Felixstowe, the UK’s largest container port. SCPHA is responsible for the operation of the Felixstowe border inspection post. The Authority oversees imported food control non-animal origin products) at Felixstowe, Harwich International Port, Harwich Navyard and Mistley Quay

The Challenge

The Authority has recently created an inhouse, information management application, to manage their food standard operations, which required a new stable, supporting IT infrastructure. SCPHA needed a complete refresh of its legacy storage infrastructure to eradicate the risk of disruption to services and meet expected future volumes of data. The application also had to be highly available and experience practically zero service outages. Foresight Consulting, the procurement and technology delivery partners for SCPHA, chose MCSA as the prime contractor for the partnership and management of key vendors.

The Solution

Two VMware ESX host servers were deployed at the two Authority locations, providing the necessary high availability and failover. A new backup server at Woodbridge was also utilised as the VMware VCenter Management server. For added flexibility, the servers have local mirrored boot disks to reduce configuration complexity and resource time. To create the SAN shared disk storage solution for the VMware clusters, MCSA chose HPE SAN Array. These units were configured with high performance SAS disk drives and SATA disks for archive/backup/test & development use.

To deliver the Authority’s application availability, a mixed approach was employed, providing high availability and disaster recovery of application services in the virtual environment. MCSA used HPE’s replication software to control the application’s availability. For the backup solution, MCSA specified a scalable backup capability using disk-to-diskto-tape (D2D) architecture, with dynamic deduplication of data. A backup to disk unit was used as the primary backup storage device, to enable the Authority to maintain a greater number of daily backups online. MCSA also used HPE Data Protector, to secure the virtual server environment machines environment machines

The Results

MCSA has created a robust, stable and protected IT environment that underpins the capability and continuity of the Authority’s services. This future proof IT architecture has enabled the Authority to improve storage utilisation and application performance. Phil Gore said, “Our key application and systems are now protected with a modern, scalable IT infrastructure which is enhancing our business continuity and service delivery. The virtualisation of our servers is resulting in reduced power costs, so the cost of ownership has dramatically reduced.”

Users are seeing a significant reduction in information risk and increased operational efficiency. In MCSA, we have a trusted and highly capable partner who fully understood our needs. They have designed and implemented a highly optimised, secure and cost effective IT environment for us. Their technical expertise and assistance has been excellent, as has their best practice approach to service delivery.”