• Press Release

    September 27, 2011

    EMC VPLEX Brings Life to Northern Hospita Private Cloud

    EMC Products Enable Data Center Transformation, Eliminate Downtime, Increase Efficiencies While Saving $25,000 in Upgrades and Reducing Backup Windows by 98%

    HOPKINTON, Mass. - September 27, 2011 -

    EMC Corporation (NYSE:EMC) today announced that Northern Hospital of Surry County, a community hospital in Mount Airy, N.C. with more than 850 physicians and healthcare professionals, is utilizing EMC® VPLEX® Metro to transform its data center operations and implement a private cloud for greater efficiency and agility. EMC VPLEX enables information in the cloud, public, private or hybrid, to be shared, accessed and moved within, across and between data centers, federating various storage systems into a single resource. Northern Hospital has seamlessly shifted operations into a new state-of-the-art data center that automatically rebalances virtual server and storage resources between the older and newer sites for redundancy—increasing server utilization in an IT environment that will soon be 100% virtualized. In addition, Northern Hospital has redesigned its data protection infrastructure using EMC RecoverPoint®, EMC NetWorker® and EMC Avamar®.

    Customer Benefits:
    • Eliminated Downtime—Using VPLEX Metro, Northern Hospital was able to dynamically move more than 100 virtual machines, along with applications and storage to its new, state-of-the-art data center without disrupting clinical and administrative operations, avoiding an estimated 50 hours of downtime.
    • Increased Efficiency—Available RAM increased from 33% to 71% resulting in increased redundancy, improved server performance and a savings $25,000 in server memory upgrades alone.
    • Reduced Costs—By moving to a private cloud and utilizing physical servers and storage systems as a virtualized shared resource, Northern Hospital was able to eliminate more than 100 physical servers, saving thousands of dollars in energy and maintenance costs annually.
    • Improved Data Protection—Using a RecoverPoint, NetWorker and Avamar, Northern Hospital condensed its backup window timing by 98% – reducing a 24-hour process to approximately 30 minutes, while accelerating recovery times from hours to minutes with zero data loss, a critical requirement for a healthcare organization.

    Seeking to achieve greater efficiency, agility and data protection, Northern Hospital virtualized 90% of its server infrastructure using EMC unified storage and VMware™ vSphere™ solutions. It also needed a way to dynamically move virtual machines, applications and data between data centers without disrupting critical applications as it continued its data center transformation and journey to the cloud. Northern Hospital chose EMC VPLEX Metro for information mobility, EMC RecoverPoint for replication, and VMware Site Recovery Manager and VMware vMotion solutions to move its entire physical and virtual server infrastructure.

    "Other offerings we considered required shutting down our virtualized server infrastructure and some of our hospital's most critical applications—that would have potentially meant 50 hours of downtime," said Robert Hall, Northern Hospital's CIO. "We chose EMC VPLEX to migrate over 100 virtual machines, along with applications and storage to our new data center—with less-than one minute of downtime. VPLEX took a lot of pressure off our team so we could achieve this complex move and not worry about interrupting patient care."

    Northern is currently using VPLEX Metro to balance the workload its virtualized server and storage infrastructure between its production site and disaster recovery sites. Northern is also constructing a new disaster recovery environment nearby.

    "Now that we offload some of our production operations to our DR site, we're only using 25% of our server memory resources compared to 67% before," said Hall. "Not only did we boost server performance and avoid $25,000 in memory upgrades but better server efficiency will help us drive more quickly to 100% virtualization within the next 6 to 12 months. VPLEX is worth every penny because it's an incredibly solid and versatile product."

    Hall continued, "Our whirlwind journey to cloud computing has been accelerated by EMC's deep cloud expertise and excellent integration between EMC and VMware solutions. We now have an agile and resilient environment that aligns with the changing needs of the hospital. The ease of growing and taking care of our systems has transformed the way we manage our IT assets. And we've already eliminated over 100 physical machines, which is saving us thousands of dollars in maintenance, power and cooling costs."

    For disaster recovery, Northern Hospital replicates its server and storage infrastructures with EMC RecoverPoint and VMware Site Recovery Manager. The hospital also replaced a Bridgehead tape backup solution with an EMC NetWorker solution certified for MEDITECH and an EMC Avamar deduplication backup system to address growing backup windows and accelerate recovery times.

    "RecoverPoint is so granular that we can identify a recovery point right up to the minute before a loss or corruption occurs. In this way, we're able to ensure compliance with requirement for guaranteed zero data loss," said Hall. "In our tape environment, we were approaching a 24-hour backup window for MEDITECH and our other applications were pushing 14 hours. Restoring from tape was done off-site and could take anywhere from 2-3 hours for a small application and 24-36 hours for MEDITECH. Now with NetWorker and Avamar, we can backup MEDITECH in about 1 hour and everything else in 30-40 minutes. We can also restore any of the applications ourselves in 10-15 minutes."

    Supporting Resources:

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