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EMC and VMware Put Northern Hospital on Course to Private Cloud

November 29, 2010 No Comments


EMC Corporation, the world leader in information infrastructure solutions, today announced that Northern Hospital of Surry County, a community hospital in Mount Airy, N.C. with more than 850 healthcare professionals including physicians on staff, has implemented EMC and VMware solutions to virtualize and consolidate its IT infrastructure for increased efficiency, agility and data protection.

Robbie Hall, Northern Hospital’s CIO, said, “We were running out of processing capacity and space in our data center as we expanded our Electronic Medical Records (EMR) infrastructure. With a private cloud based on EMC and VMware, we’ve become significantly more efficient while supporting a wave of clinical initiatives that are helping us improve the quality of our patient care.”

EMC and VMware solutions have enabled Northern Hospital to:

  • Save hundreds of thousands of dollars due to the elimination of 20 physical servers, reduced server purchases and minimized server maintenance.
  • Decrease power usage and avoid a $25,000 uninterruptible power supply (UPS) upgrade.
  • Reduce network congestion and backup storage requirements by 80 percent.
  • Compress full nightly backup windows from 14 hours to less than one hour.
  • Reach 70-80 percent server virtualization within the next year.

“We’re a small hospital and yet we’ve engineered this vast expansion and upgrade without adding Full-Time Equivalents,” said Hall. “We’ve also managed 30-40 percent data growth and an increase from 1,000 to 2,000 medical devices in the last 18-24 months –with limited IT budgets. Because we’re more efficient, our ratios of application development vs. technical support resources have gone from 50/50 to 35/65.  As a result, we have more time for IT projects that help streamline the delivery of patient care and enable better collaboration among our clinicians.”

Northern Hospital has begun rolling out EMC’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) Solution to provide clinicians access to their own virtual desktops from nursing stations and other devices, making clinical applications such as EMR more accessible. Provisioning desktop images from central servers also simplifies IT maintenance, enhances compliance with privacy laws and increases data security.

Hall comments, “With EMC’s portfolio of solutions and expertise we’ve effectively transformed our entire data center, integrating storage, virtualization and backup and recovery into a streamlined private cloud infrastructure.  EMC has been enormously helpful in educating us about virtualization and outlining our strategic plans for private cloud. As we roll out additional EMC solutions to support the private cloud, we expect to achieve even greater resiliency, agility and efficiency.”

To increase efficiency and flexibility, Northern Hospital deployed CLARiiON® CX4 storage as the data repository for all of its critical applications, including MEDITECH Health Care Information System (HCIS), Microsoft Exchange 2010, Microsoft SQL Server, Citrix and VMware vSphere. Lower-cost CLARiiON SATA drives store most of the hospital’s virtual servers while CLARiiON fiber channel disk drives support applications requiring higher speed, such as Exchange and SQL Server. The healthcare provider also replaced Symantec Backup Exec with the EMC Avamar® deduplication backup and recovery software. Using VMware vSphere, Northern Hospital virtualized 42 percent of its server environment running MEDITECH and other applications.

About EMC

EMC Corporation (NYSE: EMC) is the world’s leading developer and provider of information infrastructure technology and solutions that enable organizations of all sizes to transform the way they compete and create value from their information.  Information about EMC’s products and services can be found at

EMC, CLARiiON and Avamar are registered trademarks of EMC Corporation. VMware is a registered trademark of VMware. Other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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