Liverpool Women’s NHS Trust pools storage, boosts data access

Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust has dramatically improved data storage and retrieval after eliminating duplicate data and consolidating servers.

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Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust has dramatically improved data storage and retrieval after eliminating duplicate data and consolidating servers.

It reduced the volume of data by eight times between 2005 and 2008, and cut server power consumption by 70 percent, after consolidating servers using VMware virtualisation, and centralising unstructured storage onto Dell PowerEdge servers.

The move had become vital by the start of the project, as data volume had tripled in the past three years yet was still being stored on servers across the hospital. Finding data had become difficult, the trust said.

It moved to nine centrally located Dell PowerEdge 2850 and 1850 servers running on Microsoft Windows Server 2003, and a Dell-EMC storage area network.

The trust consolidated existing servers using VMware Virtual Infrastructure virtualisation software. Before centralising storage, it standardised its file naming and terminology, in order to more easily eliminate duplicates.

As a result, it said, it can locate patient data more quickly and easily, a process that had become a problem under its previous setup.

The trust, which as a ‘foundation’ NHS organisation runs as a profit-making business, said it was also cutting data management costs as a result of the programme.

Dr Zafar Chaudry, director of information management at the trust, told Computerworld UK: “Our IT just wasn’t performing. We had multiple copies of the same file digitally and on paper, there was a data sprawl and we had real problems accessing the right data at the right time.”

“For the first time, we are able to easily roll out applications, because of servers being virtualised to one place,” he added.

Chaudry was recently named Techworld CIO of the year after installing a Wi-Fi-based system within a tight timeframe to improve patient care, deliver speedy response for clinical data and cut operating costs.

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