|Home > Storage Virtualization > News > Storage Virtualization SoftwareContinuum Health Partners||
Virtualization World 365: Storage virtualization, block virtualization, file virtualization, abstraction logical storage, physical storage, file level virtualization, NAS challenges
Moreover the data storage requirements of hospitals are climbing astronomically. Whereas 10 years ago Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Computer Tomography (CT-scan) images may have been several megabytes, today the images are appreciably larger, ranging into the gigabytes. Every X-ray and sonogram must be stored on disk. Of course there are medical records as well that add to the enormously expanding data pool. Furthermore, hospitals are required to retain medical images of adults for seven years after they are taken. For minors, hospitals keep the medical images until the child turns 21 years old.
Solution: DataCore Software for Multi-site Data Protection and Failover
Metro clusters comprise multiple distinct computer systems capable of taking over for each other despite being separated geographically over metropolitan distances of 10-20 miles.
The major technical challenges arise in trying to maintain separate mirrored copies of data at each site without incurring downtime when switching between them. DataCore makes that possible. Synchronously mirroring data between two sites in different buildings, on different power grids, on different flight paths, on different flood plains, and with different employees, ensures that data is continuously available even in the event of site-specific outages.
DataCore synchronously mirrors the PACS (Picture Archiving and Communications Systems) images from Beth Israel Medical Center and Roosevelt Hospital in New York to Continuum’s data center in Secaucus, New Jersey.
DataCore software runs at each hospital and communicates with its mirrored counterpart at the central data center, where the rest of the organizations’ data is also stored.
Either of these installations can automatically fail-over to the other “hot site.” When one side of the cluster goes down – the other side comes up; and that happens at the application-level, seamlessly.
The hospitals replicate their images to the data center using Fibre Channel protocol over separate “dark” fiber pairs at a rate of 200 megabytes (MBs) per second. A Verizon DWDM (Dense Wave Division multiplexer) Metropolitan Area Network (MAN) provides full loop connectivity ensuring two diverse paths for each connection.
“Our goal here was to deploy a system that would allow us to achieve high availability and business continuity for all of our clinical systems,” states Jill Wojcik, IT Director, Continuum Health Partners. “Since we have implemented this, we have not experienced any downtime - even for system maintenance.”
Microsoft solutions deployed by Continuum Health Partners that are part of the DataCore virtualized infrastructure:
In this deployment, the application servers are clustered and their disks are also redundant. Should the system go down at the core data center, the applications can failover to the hot site to provide the user community continuous access to their applications.
Continuum runs the DataCore SANsymphony™ software at the two hospitals and at the central data center on IBM x3650 servers. The combination is known as a DataCore storage virtualization node. Each node has eight Fibre Channel ports transmitting at 8 Gbps. Over 20 trays of IBM 32-port, 8 Gbps switches make up the storage area network (SAN) topology. For backend disks, the DataCore nodes control IBM DS 4800 and DS 5100 storage subsystems. An additional pair of DataCore nodes manages the SAN at Long Island College Hospital – separate from the metro-clusters.
To top things off, both the Roosevelt Hospital and the Beth Israel Medical Center take advantage of DataCore™ CDP (Continuous Data Protection) software for the hosted images to rapidly rollback to an earlier point in time.
Continuum also employs DataCore software to virtualize the storage pool for their file and print infrastructure, as well as all other newly implemented clinical systems. Whereas PACS relies on IBM storage devices on each side of the cluster, DataCore mirrors disks for network attached storage (NAS) and print servers between Xiotech and IBM storage devices.
In total, DataCore SANsymphony software virtualizes and manages well over 200 TBs (collectively) for the various hospitals in the Continuum network. The environment supports a community of 14,000 users using over one hundred and twenty (120) servers.
However, the overarching benefit of this implementation has been unprecedented high availability. The key to this is that the data resides on geographically separated 100% mirrored systems. Now, cluster continuous replication (CCR) splits the storage between two locations – where one set of disks resides at the data center and one set resides in a “remote” hospital.
Continuum has effectively eliminated the need to do traditional disaster recovery should a calamity happen. Whereas many IT organizations normally go through a painful process of assembling resources to recover data following a site-wide outage, the metro clusters at Continuum Health Partners allow them to take over operations from their hot site uninterrupted.
Prior to using DataCore, Continuum did not have a system that was highly available. The storage for the PACS images was local to each server.
“With DataCore in place and with hardware in two different locations, this has allowed us to make our mission-critical, clinical imaging along with other systems highly available,” Wojcik commented. “Since we have implemented this, we have not experienced any downtime – even for system maintenance.”
Tags: Storage Virtualization
|Related White Papers|
|Read more News »|
|Related VW365 TV|
|Related Web Exclusives|
|White Paper Downloads|
Keep up to date with the latest industry products, services and technologies from the world's leading IT companies.