Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust provides local general hospital and community services to around 270,000 people in Walsall and the surrounding areas.
As the only provider of NHS acute care in the area, the Trust’s 5,500 staff deliver vital healthcare services to inpatients and outpatients at the Manor Hospital and the local community.
To be able to securely manage and store vital information about patients, treatments and equipment, Walsall needed a stable and reliable network solution.
The existing data centre for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust was located at Manor Hospital and was coming to the end of its usable life.
As servers age, their reliability and performance decreases, and the ability of the Trust’s servers to support new applications was beginning to decline.
With traditional data centre infrastructure, such as the one used by the Trust, there are separate silos to manage for compute, storage and virtualisation, making the network run too slowly.
As a result, the NHS Trust was not able to implement new technology in the knowledge that it would run effectively on its old servers.
In addition, the Trust’s backup solution was not up to the job of supporting its business requirements. Equally, without adequate backup, the Trust risked falling short of compliance with data management regulations.
Scoping out a new solution called for forward planning. The production and hardware platforms would have to support the Trust’s business needs, as well as being able to handle future demand over the next five years.
The entire platform, including the primary and secondary site, network, backup software and hardware would need to be procured for a fixed budget.
“Insight has given us peace of mind with a secure, stable and scalable network that will take the Trust into the future. The low-level design for the new infrastructure was excellent, and the level of detail was superb. We are very impressed by the solution deployment and the ease of use.”
Ranj Dhanjal, IT Infrastructure SME, Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust
Insight carried out a technical workshop with Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust to determine the most effective solution for the network infrastructure.
Having completed its review, Insight suggested replacing the Trust’s aging traditional three-tier infrastructure with an enterprise cloud environment.
The new infrastructure consisted of the Nutanix hyperconverged VMware vSphere solution, which would run the Trust’s business workload.
The new hyperconverged platform is much less complex than the Trust’s previous infrastructure, because it integrates the server, storage, virtualisation and networking.
And to address the Trust’s need to manage future demand, the Nutanix enterprise cloud platform provides the ability to run any application at any scale.
To protect the Trust’s data, Insight recommended Veeam Backup and Replication, which is designed for virtual environments. The software enables users to back up, restore and replicate functionality on virtual machines.
The Trust can run full or incremental backups and receive automated verification once the data has been recovered.
For maximum reliability, Insight proposed that the solution should be spread across four different locations: two locations to protect the Trust’s workload using Nutanix Metro cluster, and another two locations to protect the backup data.
Once the infrastructure was designed, Insight tested the failover and failback of the workload. This ensured that the Trust’s data could be fully protected and returned following a disaster or a period of scheduled maintenance.
Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust can now scale up its infrastructure and adopt new applications and technologies with no limits.
With a software-defined solution that integrates all IT resources to run any application, it is much easier to manage the infrastructure.
Having an enterprise cloud platform, the Trust can be more agile in the way it works, adapting its technology estate to its evolving needs.
The Trust is now able to comply with the ‘321 backup strategy’ rule, which states that organisations should have three copies of their data on two different media (disk and tape) with one copy offsite for disaster recovery.
The new backup solution also protects the Trust against the risk of ransomware and insider threats with enhanced S3 object storage integration and immutable backups.
Without needing to manage an external storage area network (SAN), the Trust is reducing its use of power, cooling and space.
The simplicity of the new infrastructure frees up IT resources to focus on vital initiatives and transformation for the future of the Trust.
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