Redefining the Way Local UK Health Authorities Consume IT

first_imgThe UK public healthcare system is currently under tremendous pressure to reduce costs as part of a wider review of public sector spending within the UK. However, this doesn’t stop the need for the constant evolution of its IT infrastructure to meet the growing needs of its patients and clinicians.For the last 18 months, VCE has helped a number of local health authorities to rationalise their existing IT estates by modernising aging critical systems through virtualisation, whilst also increasing system availability.“All these health authorities had roughly the same core requirements: they needed to do more with less, both physically to save on continuous power and cooling costs, but also from a management perspective.ShareThe obvious OPEX savings in minimising power and cooling costs by physically reducing a datacentre’s footprint was clear, but a more pressing challenge was enabling the current IT staff to focus on deploying new applications rather than supporting the aging infrastructure.For the first time, clinicians were appealing to their boards of directors to make substantial improvements in the way patient records were stored and accessed. Clinicians need information to be mobile as they move between departments or as patients move between wards on the way to recovery.  In order to enable this transformation, IT needed to free up existing staff that had the knowledge of how this data needed to flow, but who were constrained by simply keeping the lights on with the original infrastructure.VCE leveraged our partners’ existing healthcare initiatives to solve these problems and quickly transformed the IT infrastructure to better serve clinicians and patients.By deploying Vblock Systems, our partners and the health authorities were able to quickly utilise a pre-engineered, pre-validated and pre-tested solution that was specifically tailored to their exact requirements.  The Vblock Systems dramatically reduced the time it took to deploy infrastructure and transition live workloads.  This was seen as a major benefit to both the health authorities and our partners – who viewed the Vblock System implementation as just a single task rather than an elongated project.Our partners were then able to deliver a number of advanced services that they specifically developed for the health authorities within the United Kingdom. Of primary concern was the ability to deliver a secure desktop solution for clinicians to use anywhere in the hospital, accessed via a secure single sign-on technology.  Through VCE’s extensive knowledge in this area, we were able to combine both the VDI workloads and backend application workloads within the same Vblock System, whilst maintaining known performance and scalability matrixes for the projected lifespan of each solution.  Our partners then integrated the single sign-on technology for different health care applications, providing the clinicians with the portable desktop solution.On top of the clinical desktops, the handling of patient records into a central, single location was achieved through the deployment of EMC’s Documentum product.  By deploying this plus other solutions in the form of EMC DataDomain, EMC RecoverPoint and VMware vCenter Site Recovery Manager, VCE and our partners were able to provide the local health authorities with a complete IT infrastructure refresh program.  In addition, VCE provided a single number to call for all support requirements, which again reduced ongoing management costs and allowed IT staff to focus on improving clinicians’ IT experience and enabled the clinicians to focus on patient care.The combined experience that VCE and our partners brought to these local health authorities was identified as a tremendous value and something that de-risked an otherwise difficult set of requirements the health authorities needed to achieve within aggressive timeframes.last_img read more

Isilon: Richly Featured for Your Enterprise

first_imgIn previous posts, I’ve discussed how scale-out storage needs to live up to its promise to scale out, in performance as well as capacity. Along with storage capacity and performance, enterprise-grade scale-out storage distinguishes itself with functionality. It’s a significant capital and resource investment, and the payback should be solving your storage problems, currently and as your needs grow.Dell EMC Isilon is currently in the eighth generation of its OneFS software on its sixth-generation hardware platform. Since just 2014, customers have deployed over 100,000 Isilon nodes with more than 10 Exabytes of capacity. Over Isilon’s product lifetime, we have engineered a vast list of features that our customers depend on. By comparison, Pure FlashBlade provides little more than basic file services. Let’s take a look at some key differences.Isilon was designed from the ground up to protect your data. This functionality includes snapshots, which allow quick access to read-only copies of older, changed file and directory versions. We’re proud of the power and flexibility of our snapshot implementation, but for network attached storage (NAS), snapshots have become table stakes, required for a “real” product. Pure FlashBlade is shipping without snapshot capabilities, leaving customers dependent on a promise that it will be available at the end of 2017.Moving onto Disaster Recovery / High Availability (DR/HA) capabilities, Isilon-integrated SyncIQ goes beyond simple replication. File systems, directories and individual files can each be replicated at your desired intervals based on their business criticality.  Inactive data can be automatically remote archived to reclaim valuable capacity in your production system.By comparison, Pure FlashBlade has no integrated replication at all, leaving it as the customer’s responsibility to handle externally. A separate, attached server, requiring extra support, runs file synchronization software like “rsync,” knowing nothing about file usage or ensuring that files aren’t changing in the midst of replication. Integrated replication, like SyncIQ, uses its privileged system knowledge to assure your data and replicas remain consistent.Customers are enthusiastic about Isilon seamless tiered storage. This enables their data to be automatically and transparently migrated between high performance, economical archive and public or private cloud. This functionality allows Isilon clusters to be built from a mix of nodes of differing performance characteristics – speed and size – providing both high performance and cost-effective overall TCO. Pure FlashBlade offers no tiering at all, as their blades differ only in capacity. That works if your workload requires a separated flash silo, but most are more efficiently conducted as part of the enterprise.The “N” in NAS stands for network, and a mix of standard network protocols are used by clients to talk to that storage. Given the varied nature of NAS workloads, supporting multiple data access protocols on the same storage platform is critical for enterprise customers.Isilon supports Network File System (NFS) v3 and v4, along with Server Message Block (SMB). SMB is a very complex protocol to implement, with many versions and lots of special cases. Thanks to our own highly functional SMB protocol stack, Isilon supports SMBv2 and the newer, more performant and available, SMBv3. Isilon rich support for SMB also includes SmartConnect, providing automatic load balancing and failover of client connections across Isilon nodes.Pure FlashBlade was introduced only supporting NFSv3, but lacking the ability to properly support NFS file locking, a notable deficiency for many workflows. Recently Pure is attempting to remediate these deficiencies by adding NFS Network Lock Manager support and basic support for legacy SMBv2.Given the immensely long and deep list of Isilon features, especially security and compliance – so critically important these days – this posting could go on and on. If you listen to Pure Storage, this isn’t a features race. And we at Dell EMC strongly agree – when looking at highly functional scale-out storage, there’s only one choice: Isilon.last_img read more

Data Protection Evolution in the Coming Decade – Part 2

first_imgIn the first part of this blog series we reviewed how unrelenting data growth, the increasing value of data and the transformation of application services are introducing increased complexity and risk into the data protection process.In part two, we will examine how the increased distribution of data along with the maturation of artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies is adding further complexity to how critical data should be protected across Edge, Core and Multi-Cloud environments.Trend 3: Distributed DataAs the Internet of Things (IoT) drives intelligence deeper into the edge of the network,  growth in data and the IT infrastructure itself will not be confined to just the four walls of the data center and the public Cloud. From autonomous vehicles and smart cities to automation on factory floors, data is being created at every conceivable corner around the globe. This data is stored and analyzed locally without being uploaded to a central data center or to the Cloud.This distribution of compute, storage and code changes the game not only for the applications but also for data protection systems that can no longer rely on a centralized control server to manage protection for all the entities that make up an application service. If data is captured and analyzed at the edge, its importance is being determined there and therefore the level of protection required for it also needs to be applied there. Moreover, data is becoming ephemeral and predefined data protection policies may not apply anymore.One example of this would be the video feed from a connected car. Typically, this data is deleted after a short period of time, however, if there is an accident or the car is stolen, the value of the video dramatically increases. In this instance, the video should be immediately protected and replicated to the core data center. A traditional, centralized data protection control plane cannot manage this type of a distributed environment that could potentially constitute many thousands of individual endpoints. Consequently, data protection implementation methods need to change.Trend 4: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning The fourth trend is the growth in artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) technologies. For centuries machines worked for humans, but now we have entered an era where intelligent machines work alongside humans.Humans, in many cases, are guided by machines and interact with them similarly to how they engage with other humans. Digital assistants, navigation systems, auto-pilots and autonomous cars are just a few examples[1]. Such new models of interaction between humans and machines will become the norm not only in our daily life but also in how we operate IT systems. Users who grew up talking to Siri or Alexa will be the next generation of application developers and IT system administrators. The solutions deployed in the Cloud, data centers or Edge will need to evolve to enable user interaction using natural language and to automate most of the mundane work, leaving the users/administrators to perform high-level guidance and exception handling.So how will these four mega-trends impact and change the data protection solutions of the future? In Part 3, we will discuss the four pillars of future data protection management.[1] For more information on human|machine partnership check out the paper from the Institute For The Future and Dell Technologies here.last_img read more

Botticelli painting sells for $92 million at auction in NYC

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — A small painting by Sandro Botticelli has sold at Sotheby’s in New York for $92.2 million, an auction record for the Renaissance master. The painting, “Young Man Holding a Roundel,” depicts a young nobleman holding a round painting of a saint. It is one of just three portraits in private hands by the artist best known for “The Birth of Venus” and “Primavera.” The seller was the estate of the late real estate billionaire Sheldon Solow. Two bidders competed for the painting at Thursday’s livestreamed auction. Sotheby’s did not disclose the identity of the buyer.last_img read more

Rod Stewart lawyer: Plea deal in works in hotel altercation

first_imgWEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Lawyers for Rod Stewart and his son say they’ve worked out details for a plea deal to settle misdemeanor battery charges stemming from an altercation at a posh Florida hotel. The South Florida SunSentinel reports Stewart and his son Sean Stewart would not be going to trial for the altercation at The Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach on New Year’s Day 2020. Prosecutors had no immediate announcement, saying Saturday that plea deal negotiations are continuing. A security guard said Sean Stewart pushed him and Rod Stewart punched him after he barred their admission to a party they weren’t authorized to attend. The 76-year-old rocker’s hits include “Maggie May” and “Tonight’s the Night.”last_img read more

A month on, post-Brexit ‘teething problems’ hit UK-EU trade

first_imgLONDON (AP) — One month after Britain made a New Year split from the European Union’s economic embrace, businesses that once traded freely are getting used to frustrating checks, delays and red tape. British meat exporters say shipments have rotted in trucks awaiting European health checks. Scottish fishermen have protested at Parliament over the catch they can no longer sell to the continent because of complex new paperwork. Manufacturers’ organization Make U.K. said Monday that 60% of manufacturing companies have experienced “significant disruption” since Jan. 1. The British government says the troubles are “teething problems,” but companies say they are causing serious pain.last_img read more

Virginia Sen. Amanda Chase sues over being censured

first_imgRICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A firebrand conservative Virginia state senator seeking the Republican nomination for governor has filed a federal lawsuit over her legislative colleagues’ recent decision to censure her. The Virginia Senate approved a measure rebuking Sen. Amanda Chase for a “pattern of unacceptable conduct” last week in a bipartisan vote. In a news release announcing the lawsuit, Chase’s office said she was “being singled out and selectively penalized for taking unpopular political positions.” The lawsuit seeks an injunction preventing the Senate clerk from allowing the publication of the censure resolution in the chamber’s official journal. The state officials named as defendants didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.last_img read more

3 overdue hikers found dead after Alaska avalanche

first_imgANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The bodies of three overdue hikers have been found in the debris of an avalanche slide near Alaska’s largest city. Alaska State Troopers say the bodies of Thomas Devine of Chugiak, Matthew Nyman of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Edward Watson of Miami were recovered near Bear Mountain. It’s about 25 miles north of downtown Anchorage. The three had gone for a hike on Tuesday. When they didn’t return, they were reported overdue. Troopers and the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group began a ground search Wednesday. They ran across what appeared to be a recent avalanche. The bodies of the three men were found in the slide area.last_img read more