In October 1877, future Fort Worth, TX mayor John Peter Smith deeded five acres of land at what is now 1500 South Main Street to provide a place where individuals from Fort Worth and Tarrant County “could have the best of medical care.” In 1906, a hospital affiliated with the Fort Worth Medical College was opened in Fort Worth, and the foundation for JPS Health Network was laid. Today, JPS Health Network continues to serve the needs of the families in Tarrant County, working to improve individual health and access to high-quality health care. The facilities have grown to include a 567-bed hospital that is attached to a Patient Care Pavilion—a five-story acute care facility, along with an outpatient care center and a dedicated facility for psychiatric services.
Health Network’s Tarrant County main datacenter has a 200+ terabyte SAN growing at over 40% annually connected to application servers through a Brocade fabric supporting 300 Fibre Channel SAN ports. To optimize budget and resources, JPS uses both VMware server virtualization and storage virtualization. Their storage array comprised of two modular systems virtualized behind it and another standalone modular array. There are now 3 full-time staff managing all storage and backup related tasks for the entire JPS organization, supporting all office functions like email and billing, and the ongoing migration to online patient records.
One of the key challenges was in maintaining traditional high service levels in the face of 40% annual data growth, while keeping costs down. With a growing number of ports and disks, lack of standardization amongst vendor-supplied tools, and an inability to do predictive problem avoidance, it was becoming a challenge to manage the SAN.
With an increasingly digitized patient-facing environment, Christopher Carlton, Storage Team Lead at JPS states, matter-of-factly, that JPS IT systems “can’t really be down at all.”
Like many IT shops, JPS was challenged with tight budgets and with getting more performance from existing resources. To do this, IT knew it must be proactive; it had to avoid problems and anticipate issues before users and application owners were affected. The only way to do this without dramatically increasing the staff size was to find some way to proactively automate the monitoring and analysis of the effect of the SAN on application availability. According to Christopher Carlton, “All the storage vendors will help you to fix problems, if you can identify the problem, and that’s the trick.” JPS wanted:
Prior to the VirtualWisdom deployment, JPS would have to wait until a problem was reported, perhaps even in the form of an outage. In a typical scenario, they would look at individual components and system logs and do “process of elimination” troubleshooting. With VirtualWisdom, problems were identified much earlier, before they became serious, and root cause analysis became more efficient. For instance, with VirtualWisdom, a problem the server team thought was SCSI controller related turned out to be an HBA issue, saving potentially days of wasted investigative work.
Specific Virtual Instruments benefits to JPS Health Network include:
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Tags: healthcare, infrastructure performance, JPS, health, SAN optimization, cost optimization, low latency, application performance