Two 20-foot HP Performance Optimised Data Centres (PODs) have been installed on site at Ulster Hospital.
The PODs rest neatly inside the hospital in two portakabin-sized outhouses, which were up and running in just three months, saving valuable time and space for the South Eastern Health and Social Care Trust in Northern Ireland, compared to standard data centres.
Housed within the PODs, an HP private cloud solution forms a single virtual data centre environment for all the Trust's IT operations, including three additional hospitals and 120 facilities.
"A grey box may not seem that exciting to members of the public," confessed Edwin Poots, minister for health in Northern Ireland.
"[But] this new infrastructure will enable the Trust to modernise and improve its delivery of services to patients without being constrained by ICT capabilities," he said.
Two HP Client Virtualisation systems within the POD will aid a virtual desktop infrastructure for enhanced connectivity as well as enabling a mobile workforce with BYOD provisions to improve productivity.
"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 for the 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," he said.