Virtualization Technology News and Information
Egenera Helps U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System
Egenera Inc., the data center virtualization company, today announced that the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) Military Health System (MHS) is deploying Egenera® BladeFrame® systems at more than 100 Military Treatment Facility (MTF) sites worldwide to help ensure that critical patient care systems are available 24x7x365 in support of United States military personnel and their families. The total amount of the Enterprise Blades Systems Contract awarded to federal integrator, Apptis, Inc., which manages the deployment, exceeds $60M.  The U.S. Department of Defense MHS is one of the world's largest integrated healthcare delivery systems with 132,700 personnel, and makes wounded warrior care its highest priority.

The U.S. Department of Defense Military Health System's mission is to ensure that the United States has available at all times a healthy fighting force supported by a combat-ready healthcare system.  MHS personnel are responsible for delivering the highest quality healthcare to wounded warriors, active duty members, veterans, survivors and their families through a worldwide network of 65 military hospitals, 412 medical clinics and 414 dental clinics.  The Egenera deployment will encompass 104 MTF sites - 208 Egenera systems and 680 blades.

In order to ensure that United States' wounded military personnel continue to receive uncompromised health care, MHS' systems must be up and running every day and night - with high security, uptime, utilization and simplicity - all within budget.  After an extensive evaluation, including five of the industry's largest systems suppliers, Egenera was selected as a key building block for MHS' focus on providing outstanding care to more than 9 million beneficiaries worldwide.  Moreover, Egenera's unique architecture enables the remote provisioning and management of all of these systems from one location, greatly reducing administrative cost and complexity.

Egenera systems are highly available, flexible platforms that eliminate the need to dedicate servers to applications.  Instead, Egenera's data center virtualization architecture - the patented Processing Area Network (PAN), replaces physical components with software, and automatically repurposes and reallocates servers on demand.  Virtualization means that servers can be easily shared, enabling customers to slash server count, increase uptime and reduce data center complexity by up to 80 percent.

Egenera was selected based on several key criteria:

Continuity of Operations (COOP):  Based on a White House mandate requiring that every agency have a COOP strategy, N+1 failover was a key requirement of the evaluation. By removing a live Egenera blade, technicians forced a failure and documented that all applications migrated automatically to the backup resource in just a few minutes. Egenera also enables MHS to provide COOP for every Military Treatment Facility (MTF) application without sacrificing cost and consolidation goals.  While the previous architecture required a backup for every primary machine - doubling server count - Egenera consolidates multiple backup machines onto a single blade.

Security: Egenera was the only system evaluated to meet the requirements of the DoD Information Technology Security Certification and Accreditation Process (DITSCAP), a comprehensive assessment of both technical and non-technical security features. DITSCAP examines the physical, personnel, administrative, information, information systems and communications attributes of an IT platform. Based on its DITSCAP results, the Egenera BladeFrame received formal accreditation from the DoD.

Savings: In response to an MHS initiative to reduce operational costs and increase utilization of resources, while ensuring the highest quality of care for our nation's service men and women, lowering operational expenses was a priority.  Based on a detailed report prepared by a third-party retained to provide an independent economic analysis of the deployments, Egenera's data center virtualization technology, modular form factor, and centralized management has produced the following savings.

  • 32 percent in overall operating expenses
  • 80 percent in electricity usage
  • 75 percent in floor space
  • 34 percent in onsite contractors
  • 62 percent in CPUs

Consolidation: Each MTF runs a growing set of mission-critical applications.  In the prior legacy environment, every application ran on a dedicated rack-mount server in a classic "silo" configuration.  By running VMWare on the Egenera® BladeFrame® ES system, MHS has consolidated five applications previously running on independent machines onto a single Egenera Processing Blade™ (pBlade™) module.

Simplicity: The incumbent rack-mount systems - and blade offerings evaluated from other vendors - contained dozens of cables, each a failure point.  Alternatively, the Egenera system requires as few as eight connections, greatly simplifying field management and improving reliability while lowering costs.

The worldwide MTF deployment is managed for MHS by Apptis, Inc. The Apptis team leverages Egenera® PAN Manager™ software, Egenera® CIO™ software and hardware from Xceedium, an Egenera Alliance member and DITSCAP-compliant provider of secure remote access and touch-free support for non-blade components, to provide 7x24x365 production operations and maintenance services.

Published Wednesday, October 03, 2007 10:29 PM by David Marshall
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