Press Release: 17. January 2014

HP Saves Data Centre Space, Time, Costs for South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust

Two 20-foot HP Performance Optimised Data Centres will meet Trust’s compute requirements for the next seven to ten years
BELFAST, Northern Ireland, Jan 17, 2014 – HP today announced that the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust has improved its IT services while saving space, time and costs by installing two HP Performance Optimised Data Centres (PODs) at the Ulster Hospital, Belfast.

The two 20-foot HP PODs deliver the equivalent compute power of a 2,000 square foot bricks-and-mortar data centre, providing reliable, cost-effective IT services to the Trust’s four hospitals and 120 facilities. Housed within the PODs, an HP private cloud solution forms a single virtual data centre environment for all the Trust’s IT operations.

The South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust provides acute hospital, community health and social services for a population of 345,000. It encompasses the government districts of Newtownards, Down, North Down and Lisburn, and employs around 11,000 staff.

“Demand for IT services in the healthcare sector has grown exponentially in the past few years, but the simple fact is that hospitals are not designed to house data centres,” says Stephen Stewart, Assistant Director Technology and Telecommunications, South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust. “We have centralised all server support for the Trust at the Ulster Hospital, which is undergoing a rebuild. Originally this included the provision of two new bricks-and mortar data centres but, instead of putting an expensive data centre in each of the new buildings, we have located two containerised HP PODs right next to them. From day one, we know that the HP PODs will deliver scalable capacity to meet our compute requirement for the next seven to ten years.”

As well as making the Trust’s internal IT more agile and responsive, the HP private cloud solution provides a secure, flexible, reliable platform for the future. Two HP Client Virtualization systems will enable the Trust to implement a virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) and deliver IT connectivity anywhere, anytime, from any device. Rapid, secure provisioning of virtual machines will enable the Trust’s mobile workforce to BYOD (bring your own device), improving user productivity.

“This new infrastructure will enable the Trust to modernise and improve its delivery of services to patients without being constrained by ICT capabilities,” says Edwin Poots, Minister of Health, Social Services and Public Safety in the Northern Ireland Executive. “As they move within and between different locations, clinicians will have immediate access to patient information. This will give professional staff more time to spend with patients and ensure that the appropriate care can be delivered in the right place and at the right time.“

Each of the Trust’s high density HP PODs houses an HP CloudSystem comprising space-saving HP ProLiant BladeSystem c7000 enclosures with virtualised HP ProLiant BL460c Gen8 Server Blade. High availability HP Virtual Connect FlexFabric 10Gb Ethernet Modules simplify the connection of the server blades to an iSCSI storage area network (SAN) based on scalable HP StoreVirtual Storage systems. The PODs are connected across a 40GB campus fibre network utilising a high performance HP FlexFabric Virtual Switch 5920v backbone to improve IT productivity by unifying the virtual and physical fabric.

In conjunction with its partner BT, HP was involved from the initial stages of the deployment of the PODs, from planning to RFP and designing the specification. HP Technology Services provided complete implementation services, and will ensure that the HP PODs run without interruption. A five-year HP Proactive Care agreement on the HP data centre equipment provides fast resolution coupled with proactive services to help prevent problems before they occur.

“The complexity and speed at which technology moves in the healthcare sector meant that the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust needed to be more responsive to IT needs across its organisation,” says Martin Murphy, managing director, HP Ireland. “The rapid availability of scalable compute power offered by HP PODs has enabled them to bring forward their development plans.”

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