DataCore Software and VMware Virtualization Deliver Virtual
Infrastructure Productivity to Munich's Largest Multi-Hospital Network
FORT LAUDERDALE and MUNICH – July 11, 2006
- DataCore Software today announced that because of the notable success
its customer Munich-Schwabing Hospital has achieved through its
technology, the five hospitals in the Bavarian capital of Munich are
currently centralizing their information technology in order to save
costs and provide a more efficient data management system. With its
positive experience in the field of virtualization tools – in
particular, VMware for servers and DataCore Software's SANsymphony™ for
storage – the Schwabing Hospital is now expanding its operations
multi-site and helping the other hospitals within its network. The
Schwabing Hospital is now responsible for storage and server
architecture for all five hospitals due to the successes already
achieved in improving productivity and resource utilization through its
deployment of a comprehensive virtual infrastructure.
Consolidating IT and Providing Central, Virtual Infrastructure
Schwabing Hospital opted to move its Direct Attached Storage (DAS) to a
Storage Area Network (SAN) so that the data storage resources could be
more easily added and connected to more systems. Another reason was
that IT administrators wanted to consolidate and virtualize a portion
of their system landscape using VMware's ESX-Server software as part of
their plans in the medium term. To do so, they knew that VMware best
practices dictated that a SAN infrastructure would be a necessary
requirement. "When choosing the SAN solution, the overall costs were
decisive for us," explained Kosmas Schütz, the chief IT administrator
at the Schwabing Hospital in Munich at that time, who is now in charge
of the IT infrastructure across the entire multi-hospital network. "We
wanted to move away from hardware and supplier constraints and provide
ourselves with the opportunity to expand storage as we needed, in a
linear fashion. This is only possible with a SAN, which virtualizes and
centralizes storage management and storage services. After taking a
good look at the market, we were certain that a software-based
virtualization solution was what we needed."
For Schwabing Hospital, what DataCore adds in terms of
flexibility and better productivity on the storage side is what VMware
does on the server-side. Virtualized systems are precisely tailored to
the hospital's requirements and overall the utilization of the IT
systems has improved greatly – enabling the hospital to avoid the
scenario of having very expensive hardware standing around in computer
centers that doesn't get utilized enough. "Today, we can manage far
more systems with the same number of employees,” said Schütz.” Without
SANsymphony, that would never have been possible. We also have the
advantage of the scalability of our systems due to SANsymphony, which
allows continuous expansion. We began with one terabyte (TB) and two
applications. Today we have 14 TBs and another 20 applications!" The
combination of server and storage virtualization offers the hospital
real advantages. Whereas earlier the IT team had to order and set up
servers, today they can simply copy images in the SAN and assign them
to the applications. With this solution, the team can set up systems
within minutes or hours that would have previously taken days.
One productivity example that has made a big difference
is the use of large virtual volumes of up to 2 TB each which can be
served to the applications so that they can continue to operate without
running out of capacity. The actual physical storage used across the
site and per machine is obviously much less. The virtual capacity only
uses storage when actually needed; the physical storage pool
utilization is optimized since the true capacity of the pool is managed
centrally and shared across many systems.
Various Applications on the SAN: Centralized Storage Management
It was a big job to consolidate the five computer centers, SAP R/3
applications were running on Sparc servers under Sun Solaris as well as
on Opteron servers under Linux. Blade Servers with MS Cluster for
Windows 2003 were deployed for central Filer, Exchange 2003 and SQL
2005 Server applications. "We wanted to make it easier to manage, and
therefore we set up a single and central storage network using DataCore
SANsymphony for as many of our systems as possible," said Schütz.
CEMA, DataCore's authorized partner, installed the
initial Fibre Channel SAN infrastructure and storage in just four
weeks. Two Dell Servers running Windows 2003 were transformed into
storage servers using SANsymphony and they formed the basis of a dual
high-availability architecture, which was connected to two redundant
Silkworm 3800 Fibre Channel-switches from Brocade.
Since first installed, additional applications were
integrated into the SAN, and the SAN was extended to 14 TBs. After
continual expansions, the Schwabing Hospital now has data storage
functionality and capacities of varying types, performance levels and
quality, which are used for different purposes depending on the
application need and requirement. The more expensive, high-performing
FC Systems (FC interfaces, FC disks) are used for "mission critical"
applications, such as SAP. The laboratory system runs under FC/SCSI.
FC-/SATA disks are used for other applications with lesser demands.
"This was a fundamental decision," noted Schütz. "We get around the
possible higher risk of system failure from cheaper hardware by
implementing a fully redundant system. The ability to support different
classes of storage and the ability to deploy a completely redundant
storage architecture enables protection and a choice of hardware –
heterogeneous storage managed by SANsymphony. Interestingly, this is
still cheaper than a single, high-end solution from other providers and
it protects our data just as well, if not better."
Munich-Schwabing is now providing the central
infrastructure for servers and storage in the integration project for
the five hospitals.
"When choosing the SAN solution, high availability,
central storage management, and flexibility were decisive for us,"
explained Schütz. In terms of utilization, maintenance and
administration of servers and storage, Schütz estimates that the use of
virtual infrastructure improved overall resource utilization by at
least 10% – and possibly as much as 30%."Our virtual SAN solution fully
meets our expectations. We have attained mainframe like features at
Intel server prices," he concluded.
An extended interview and full case study documenting
this multi-site hospital deployment is available in PDF via the
Interview and Case Study of Munich Schwabing Hospital
About Municipal Hospital Munich GmbH
On January 1, 2005, the five Munich hospitals of Bogenhausen,
Neuperlach, Harlaching, Schwabing and Thalkirchener Straße as well as
the Institute for Nursing, Blood Donation Service, and even the central
laundry service for the Munich hospitals were merged. With 3,800 beds,
230 day clinics, and 9,000 employees, it is the largest provider of
health services in the south of Germany. Almost one-third of all
patients in the Munich area are treated and looked after through the
Municipal Hospital Munich GmbH.
The Munich-Schwabing Hospital on its own is the largest
hospital in the Bavarian capital with 1,253 beds, 26 specialist wards,
and currently 2,900 employees. It is an academic, teaching hospital
affiliated to the Ludwig-Maximilian-University and is run in close
collaboration with the ISAR hospital and the Technical University of
Munich, which runs the pediatric hospital.
CEMA is a
specialist in IT and network solutions as well as ASP and is based in
Mannheim, Frankfurt a. M., Berlin and München. Since CEMA was founded
in 1990 it has been working in consulting, conception and
implementation and in the operation of IT projects and services, with
the emphasis on innovation, practice orientation and economic
viability. This IT knowledge lead is an advantage for the customers
with consulting, conception, conversion and enterprise of IT projects.
The service and support concept of CEMA extends from a 24x7 helpdesk
and individual training to complete IT outsourcing. Whether customers
realize IT needs with market-well-known standards or with individual
special solutions, CEMA always pays attention to a healthy balance
between technology, organization and economy. As a partner with
numerous certifications and authorizations from the most important
vendors, CEMA has direct access to support and specialist knowledge.
About DataCore Software
Software fundamentally changes the economics of managing storage.
DataCore's disk server software easily adds capacity expansion and
centralized storage management for Windows, UNIX, Linux, VMware, MacOS,
and NetWare systems. DataCore is privately held with corporate
headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. For more information, visit www.datacore.com
DataCore, the DataCore logo, SANsymphony, and SANmelody, are trademarks
or registered trademarks of DataCore Software Corporation. Other
DataCore product or service names or logos referenced herein are
trademarks of DataCore Software Corporation. All other products,
services and company names mentioned herein may be trademarks of their