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Categories: DELL EMC Netapp

@JFK Medical Center in New Jersey reduced costs and simplified its storage management with @NetApp technology, including all-flash storage arrays. The health care center includes a 498-bed acute care facility, three long-term care facilities, a rehabilitation center, and a Neuroscience Institute.

Its IT department wanted to refresh its aging Dell EMCstorage infrastructure to accommodate burgeoning patient data, adding capacity and speed. “We certainly had expansive growth of storage needs — about 20 percent or 30 percent growth per year,” said Miroslav Belote, JFK’s director of IT infrastructure.

The health care organization expects its storage needs to reach 2 PB by the end of 2018. And its doctors and other caregivers need speedy, secure access to patient records across locations and on mobile devices.

“We really wanted to bring in a storage platform that gave us that high capacity, high performance that we need with today’s applications,” said Karen Fischbach, manager, infrastructure support for JFK information technology.

Additionally, they wanted to consolidate storage management tools, and monitoring and support capabilities to make it easier for the IT team as well as caregivers who need to access patient data and upload new treatment and medical record information.

Dell EMC vs NetApp

The decision came down to sticking with Dell EMC as the hospital’s storage vendor or switching to NetApp. “We had worked with NetApp previously, and we really appreciated their ease of use,” Fischbach said. “We were looking to simplify the environment. EMC has a very good platform, but it’s a bit complicated.”

Cost and overall performance played a determining role as well, Belote said. “We doubled our environment using NetApp,” he said. “We have two data centers, we created identical environments, and that cost less than one [facility] upgrade with EMC.”

JFK ran a five-year total cost of ownership model, including both capex and opex to compare both vendors’ proposals. NetApp’s, which included both data centers, came in at about $1.8 million, compared to Dell EMC’s at $2.75 million for a single data center, Belote said.

“Needless to say, feature/functionality and technology were a major focus of our decision-making process,” he added. “After a two-month grueling negotiations process, we were on the verge of signing with the incumbent, but at the very end, NetApp came to the table with a proposal that financially, we could not pass on.”

The hospital deployed NetApp hybrid-flash arrays in 2016 and all-flash SolidFire a year later. Using NetApp’s backup and recovery software also allowed the hospital to create data copies faster, and more frequently.

“Our overall deduplication rates run between 25-30:1,” Belote said. This means between 25 TB and 30 TB of data can be backed up to 1 TB of physical storage capacity.

“On our snapshots we average 36 percent to 48 percent deduplication,” Fischbach added, referring to the storage savings.

JFK and NetApp Future Plans

The IT staff is also working on a pilot program for virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), using SolidFire all-flash storage. This will allow the caregivers to access their desktop from phones or tablets, no matter where they are.

JFK plans to start the pilot VDI in the second half of this year.

Over the next few years, JFK may migrate its secondary data center to the cloud using NetApp technology. But the hospital doesn’t want to be locked into one cloudprovider, Fischbach said.

“With NetApp we have options,” she said. “If we want to keep it all on prem, we can keep it on prem. If we want to leverage their tools and move it to AWS or Azure, we can do that, too.”

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