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Keeping critical information safe with a new network infrastructure for Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust

Discover how our Technology Products and Services (TePAS) framework helped one NHS Trust upgrade their network infrastructure.

Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust employs 5,500 staff who deliver vital healthcare services to inpatients and outpatients at the local general hospital, alongside community services for the 250,000 strong local population.

To securely manage and store vital information about patients, treatments and equipment, they needed a stable and reliable network solution to replace their ageing data centre. 

The requirement

The existing data centre for the Trust was located at their main hospital and was coming to the end of its usable life. As servers age, their reliability and performance decrease, while their ability to support new applications declines.

With a traditional data centre infrastructure, such as the one used by the Trust, there are separate silos to manage for compute, storage and virtualisation, making the network run too slowly. As a result, the Trust was not able to implement new technology as there was no guarantee it would run effectively on its old servers. 

In addition, the Trust’s backup solution was not up to the job of supporting its business requirements and, without adequate backup, they risked not complying with data management regulations.

Scoping out a new solution required forward planning. The production and hardware platforms would have to support the Trust’s business needs, as well as being able to handle future demand over the next 5 years. 

The entire platform, including the primary and secondary site, network, backup software and hardware would need to be procured for a fixed budget.

The solution 

Through our Technology Products and Associated Services framework, the Trust carried out a further competition to decide on their chosen provider, with Insight emerging as the successful supplier. 

As part of an initial review, the supplier carried out a technical workshop with the Trust to determine the most effective solution for the network infrastructure. This led to Insight suggesting that the Trust’s ageing traditional 3-tier infrastructure be replaced with an enterprise cloud environment.

The new infrastructure consisted of the Nutanix hyperconverged VMware vSphere solution that would run the Trust’s business workload. This new solution is much less complex than the previous infrastructure because it integrates the server, storage, virtualisation and networking. And, to address the Trust’s need to manage future demand, the Nutanix enterprise cloud platform provides the ability to run any application at any scale.

To protect the Trust’s data, Insight recommended Veeam Backup and Replication, which is designed for virtual environments. The software enables users to back up, restore and replicate functionality on virtual machines. The Trust can run full or incremental backups and receive automated verification once the data has been recovered.

Finally, for maximum reliability, Insight proposed that the solution should be spread across 4 different locations: 2 locations to protect the Trust’s workload using the Nutanix Metro cluster, and another 2 locations to protect the backup data.

Once the infrastructure was designed, Insight tested the failover and failback of the workload. This ensured that the Trust’s data could be fully protected and returned following a disaster or a period of scheduled maintenance.

The benefits 

  • the Trust can now scale up its infrastructure and adopt new applications and technologies with no limits
  • with a software-defined solution that integrates all IT resources to run any application, it is much easier to manage the infrastructure.
  • having an enterprise cloud platform, the Trust can be more agile in the way it works, adapting its technology estate to its evolving needs.
  • the Trust is now able to comply with the ‘321 backup strategy’ rule, which states that organisations should have three copies of their data on two different media (disk and tape) with one copy offsite for disaster recovery
  • the new backup solution protects the Trust against the risk of ransomware and insider threats with enhanced S3 object storage integration and immutable backups
  • without needing to manage an external storage area network (SAN), the Trust is reducing its use of power, cooling and space
  • the simplicity of the new infrastructure frees up IT resources to focus on vital initiatives and transformation for the future of the Trust

Let us add power to your procurement

Our Technology Products and Associated Services framework offers a flexible way to buy IT hardware, off-the-shelf software and associated services to suit your organisation’s technology needs.

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