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Allina Turns to Compaq for End-to-End Storage Solutions Valued at $1.5 Million
Compaq Technology Chosen for Reliability, Scalability, and FlexibilityHOUSTON, April 8, 2002
Hospitals never sleep, and neither can their information systems.
Allina Hospitals & Clinics found itself outgrowing its old mail-sharing system as well as needing to improve the storage solution for its patient-critical data. The organization's technology team set maximum system availability as its top priority when it formulated its shopping list for more than $1.5 million in new storage solutions.
Allinaa family of hospitals, clinics and care services offering a vast array of services and programs serving Minnesota and western Wisconsinchose Compaq technology as the foundation for a state-of-the-art messaging system that ensures not only the highest availability possible, but the scalability and flexibility necessary to protect their IT investment in a fast growing industry. Systems from both IBM and EMC were evaluated prior to the selection of Compaq storage and related systems.
"We looked at the IBM and EMC solutions, and Compaq simply came out ahead," said David Lind, director of information technology at Allina. "We earlier picked Compaq as our partner for servers. So it was a natural progression for uswhen looking for storage area network solutionsto look at Compaq, based on the performance that we've had with their servers."
Reliability, Scalability, Flexibility
Allina's previous e-mail system was based on stand-alone servers and storage that was internal to the servers themselves. Allina wanted to replace the older systems with technology that would provide greater reliability and scalability, as well as the flexibility to reassign and synchronize resources for optimal data recovery and performance.
Allina worked with Compaq Global Services to design a highly redundant system architecture that would provide Allina users with fast, round-the-clock access to a new messaging and collaboration solution based on Microsoft Exchange 2000 Server. The system architecture includes industry-standard Compaq ProLiant 8500 servers, configured with two dual-node clusters and a Compaq StorageWorks™ SAN comprised of two EMA12000 fully integrated Computer Interconnect storage systemsall running on the Windows 2000 operating system. To manage the redundant controller path, Allina uses SANworks™ Secure Path for Windowsmulti-path, high availability software that manages and maintains continuous data access to Compaq storage systems, ensuring there is no single point-of-failure from server to storage.
"It's a lot easier to grow a storage area network than to add multiple servers and do it the old-fashioned way," said Lind. "In our original design, we had actually accounted for three clusters, and we only implemented two. So when we grow beyond the 12,000-user mark, we'll simply add the third cluster without affecting the storage environment."
"Compaq's value-based approach appealed to Allina particularly because of the growth their health care system is experiencing," said Mark Gonzalez, vice president North America, Compaq Enterprise Storage Group. "The architecture of our StorageWorks system allows Allina to make the most of the resources they have, hardware as well as software. Modularity and scalability are core benefits of our strategy. And SANworks Secure Path software provides continuous data access necessary in a 24x7 environment."
Since implementing the original SAN solution for the Exchange 2000 messaging platform, Allina has signed an agreement to purchase Compaq's new Enterprise Virtual Array to support its patient-data-records application, bringing the total value of the organization's SAN solution investments to about $1.5 million.
Enterprise Virtual Array is a high performance, high capacity and high availability "virtual" RAID storage solution for the high-end enterprise class marketplace that removes the time, space and cost boundaries of traditionally architected storage. The enterprise technology complements Allina's EMA12000 StorageWorks solution and can co-exist in the same Fibre Channel SAN while providing 2 GB/second end-to-end Fibre Channel technology readiness.
Because health care facilities compete for patients based primarily on the quality of care they offer, it all comes down to reputation. When systems are operational and provide the necessary 24x7 functionality, the hospital or clinic can run smoothly and it shows.
"Those of us that work in the health care industry have a great impact on people's lives," said Lind. "We are in the business of improving the quality of their health. And to the extent that our IT systems provide the functionality necessary to do that, those technologies provide a very real competitive advantage. We've been using Compaq systems for five years, and it only reaffirms our confidence every time we make a new purchase or get into a hot piece of technology that's new to Allina. We rely on Compaq to keep us abreast of the latest in terms of whatever new technology comes along."
Allina Hospitals & Clinics is a nonprofit network of hospitals, clinics and other health care services that provide care throughout Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Information about Allina and its hospitals and clinics is available at www.allina.com.
About Compaq Enterprise Storage
Compaq, the number one global storage solutions supplier, is the leader in the development and delivery of the enterprise SAN. Recognized for its vision and ability to execute, Compaq is committed to driving radical simplification and investment protection for enterprise and SMB customers. By continuing to extend its Enterprise Network Storage Architecture (ENSA) in key areas such as virtualization, automation, universal network storage and life cycle data management, Compaq enables customers to efficiently manage complex, mixed storage environments. More information on Compaq's StorageWorks and SANworks solutions is available at www.compaq.com/storage.
Founded in 1982, Compaq Computer Corporation