Virtualization Technology News and Information
DataCore Software Partner Far West Technologies Implements Compliance, Virtualization and Business Continuity Solutions for Anaheim Memorial and San Gabriel Valley Medical Centers

DataCore Software, a leading provider of storage virtualization, business continuity and disaster recovery software solutions, today highlighted the recent successes of one of its West Coast partners – Far West Technologies, a systems integrator, reseller and provider of information technology, telephony, compliance and  virtualization-based solutions. Understanding business continuity – in terms of the compliancemandates required of hospitals today as well as the technology available to make these compliance objectives possible – has enabled Far West to obtain marquee hospitals in southern California as new customers. With a deep understanding of policies and procedures within healthcare as well as domain expertise in terms of disaster recovery (DR), Far West has built an enviable practice in tailoring technology solutions to foster compliance in relation to the required policies and procedures within the healthcare and other highly regulated industries – all by leveraging technology to meet requirements as stipulated in, for instance, PCI, HIPPA, SOX, 17a-4, FDA 21 CFR Part 11 compliance standards, and many more.


“We appreciate the budget constraints hospitals are facing,” stated Eric Lissoy, chief technology officer, Far West Technologies. “What we try to do is leverage their existing systems – so these organizations do not have to engage in a drastic ‘rip-and-replace,’ while bearing in mind just what new technologies are out there – that can help meet today’s business objectives – and may be added to the infrastructure non-disruptively.”


An Appreciation for Legacy Systems and the Necessity to Embrace Business Continuity Economically 


Understanding what is required in terms of the business continuity side of things (as far as compliance regulations) as well as the latest in virtualization technologies has served as a “nexus of opportunity” for this service provider, which serves as a ”virtual CIO” for its client companies.


“Many companies have CTOs or CFOs, but they do not have someone who truly understands how to build in ROI and integrate multiple facilities under a cohesive DR strategy based on leveraging high availability environments, which meet compliance objectives,” commented Lissoy. “Companies fail to achieve their business continuity objectives because they typically have a fragmented approach, where certain people are on the network side, others are on the systems side, others are on the database side, and another group understands the phone system. Far West understands all of these facets. We always make the point that we serve to integrate all of these technology elements into a comprehensive infrastructure that delivers on business objectives.”


Systems Integration that Supported an Acquisition: A Whole Network and Systems Infrastructure Migration/Integration – In Five Days


Far West Technologies was brought in by AHMC Inc. & AHMC Healthcare Inc. (AHMC) to do the systems migration and integration that was necessary in its merger and acquisition of Anaheim Memorial Medical Center. Part of the architectural design that was required as part of the acquisition, had to do with meeting the requirements for specific amounts of “horsepower” for the new network. Knowing that certain servers were not going to be able to be deployed in a timely enough fashion, Far West used DataCore’s SANmelody to create the backend infrastructure for a virtualization environment in order to get all of the databases and all of the infrastructures migrated without losing performance over to the new architecture.


“AHMC, which was acquiring Anaheim Memorial Medical Center from its previous owner Memorial Care, gave us five days to evaluate everything and migrate from one complete infrastructure to another, while keeping the hospital up and running,” explained Lissoy. “It was a massive undertaking. DataCore’s SANmelody enabled us to build an infrastructure for Anaheim Memorial in less than five business days to support an architecture that was necessary in the acquisition of the hospital by AHMC Inc. & AMHC Healthcare Inc.”


Anaheim was an EMC CLARiiON shop when Far West Technologies first came on the scene. The firm knew that the hospital was coming up on end-of-life on some of its CLARiiON boxes and sought to provide a solution where Anaheim Memorial Medical Center would no longer encounter these proprietary, end-of-life scenarios. Far West was able to run both old and new system code at the same time with SANmelody serving as the backbone of everything. The initial size of the data pool that SANmelody supported was eight (8) terabytes (TBs).


Spotlight on San Gabriel Valley Medical Center: Another Hospital Meets Its Business Objectives with DataCore


The management at San Gabriel Valley Medical Center wanted to move to a virtualization environment in order to reduce the size of their existing footprint within their data center. The goal was to eliminate many legacy systems and originally the hospital was poised to deploy an HP storage area network (SAN), utilizing HP blades. Far West Technologies showed the IT staff at San Gabriel Valley just how flexible DataCore would be for them – without getting stuck with proprietary hardware, which was the case with a traditional SAN. “When I was able to show the decision-makers at San Gabriel Valley Medical Center that there would be no degradation in performance with a DataCore software-based SAN – it was a real eye-opener for them.”


By working with the IT and operations staff at San Gabriel Valley Medical Center and showing them how DataCore’s SANmelody can deliver high availability, while still using some of the hospital’s existing hardware, Far West Technologies found this to be just the right, non-disruptive footprint that made it easy to get the product in the door. After doing an onsite presentation and building a base model of the SANmelody system, in less than 24 hours the system was sold and Far West Technologies was able to do the full installation of the SANmelody-powered SAN. The new SAN supports Exchange and SQL databases as well as legacy Linux systems – all in a high availability environment. When Far West Technologies built the SANs for these two hospitals, they were 100% integrated to either VMware or Citrix XenServer. Far West migrated core systems over to the virtualized environment – fulfilling on the promise of a smaller footprint within the data centers and ensuring industry-leading performance, while delivering on high availability.


Both hospitals not only have fully integrated server and storage virtualization environments, the SANs are integrated to serve as LUNs to other servers that provide space for back-ups. Far West was able to put the CLARiiON servers behind SANmelody and use the LUNs of SANmelody to take snapshots or to have disaster recovery (DR) built into those machines that are hitting end-of-life. When those machines get decommissioned, the SAN is not connected to the production machine that is using SANmelody as a front-end.


“I give credit to DataCore for giving systems integrators and solution advisors the means by which we can move their software-based SANs to other hardware without incurring other expenses,” commented Lissoy. “You buy or re-purpose hardware and DataCore lets you move the license for the SAN to new, faster hardware – without any upgrade fee or penalty. This is a refreshing change – and it is certainly not the norm with proprietary, hardware-based SANs.”

Published Wednesday, September 30, 2009 6:03 PM by David Marshall
There are no comments for this post.
To post a comment, you must be a registered user. Registration is free and easy! Sign up now!
<September 2009>