Akademicki Szpital Kliniczny (Academic Clinical Hospital) selected SUSE Linux Enterprise Server to support its efforts to standardize on Fujitsu hardware while supporting legacy IBM, Dell and many other hardware platforms.
ASK has been building its data center infrastructure much as other large organizations have: Over several years the hospital's data center has added hardware and software solutions that met specific needs at the time.
The result today is a host of disparate applications, from business-critical office solutions to web-based patient portals and custom-built applications that handle confidential patient information. These applications were running on a variety of Microsoft-based single-purpose servers. Managing such a varied collection of platforms was time consuming, and the hospital was concerned about reliability and its ability to maintain patient confidentiality in accordance with government regulations in systems that track patients, their medications and their records.
At the same, the IT department had decided to standardize on Oracle 10 Real Application Clusters (RAC) and was planning to turn to virtualization in the future. It needed a solid platform to host the clusters and virtualization.
The hospital decided that it needed to standardize on one hardware platform and one operating system to bring its data centers under easier control and reduce management effort and costs. Administrators decided on Fujitsu for its hardware platform, but due to budgeting cycles and the monumental task of migrating its servers, it set plans to migrate to Fujitsu servers over time. The hospital thus needed an operating system that would run on its diverse legacy hardware as well as the Fujitsu platform in addition to supporting the hospital’s many business applications and its massive patient databases. It also needed to be the best system for database management applications such as the Novell® Open Workgroup Suite that the hospital was also considering. It wanted a platform that would provide high availability, clustering and the option for future virtualization. After sending out requests for tenders about three years ago, ASK administrators determined that SUSE Linux Enterprise Server was by far the best choice.
The hospital also quickly recognized the value of contracting with SUSE Professional Services and now relies on SUSE to provide the support the hospital's IT staff has had to provide in the past. The hospital saw the need to add a logical directory tree, policy-based management and automation to its mix and decided to add Novell® ZENworks® products to its solution. Today the network with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server as its base is a smooth-running system that is much more reliable, secure and easier to manage.
The hospital still has Microsoft-based single-purpose servers, but with its legacy support, SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has enabled the hospital to migrate to its unified platform at a pace that fits with its budgeting cycles and ability to physically replace servers.
Where ASK had a puzzle of servers and applications in the past, it now has an orderly data center that saves time and money. “Our data center had grown organically over the years, with equipment and software that solved important individual needs but didn’t necessarily work together. Standardizing on Fujitsu hardware with SUSE Linux Enterprise Server is enabling us to consolidate our servers and free up IT personnel to focus their efforts in other areas,” said Strzelbicki. “Thanks to SUSE, ASK has managed to standardize on Oracle 10 RAC as a solid base for all our medical-related IT systems in the hospital.”
The reliability of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has pleased the hospital staff. “Doctors, nurses and patients don’t know about the underlying structure of our data center, what servers it’s running on or whether it is standardized on one platform. They don’t want to know. They just want to be able to access information when they need it. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, we are able to give them the information they need and deliver it securely,” said Strzelbicki. “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server has enabled us to continue using our legacy hardware, of which we have a lot, while we gradually standardize on one platform. This was the only solution that enabled us to do that, and it came in at a much lower bid than the other solutions we were looking at. What's more, our server uptime is now 100% better than before.”
The hospital IT administrators are now happy that they can rely on a platform that provides high availability, lower management costs and effort, clustering, and the option to move to virtualization when they are ready.