NHS Trust reduces storage costs by 50% with Dell servers

Service Management

by Amy-jo Crowley| 28 February 2014

The Trust swaps its NetApp storage system for Dell’s.

An NHS Trust says it can store more data and access applications faster at reduced costs by 50% after deploying Dell's storage infrastructure.

The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust has replaced its NetApp storage system with Dell servers to support the increasing volume of data, applications and service requests within the Trust.

Giles Madin, IT manager at the Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS trust, told CBR the success of the project meant the Trust no longer had to pay for a maintenance contract or face issues of replacing an entire storage system at once.

"If we had to update and replace our last system, it was going to cost us a lot of money, probably half a million. We were also paying a support fee every year, which had cost us roughly in the region of £290,000 over five years, and we're not actually paying that with this solution now," he explains.

"Dell's solution has a five-year warranty, which saved us a lot of money...We also could scale it so we didn't have to take the whole thing out and replace it.

"And as we grow with our storage, we can add the kit in, so in five years time we'll only have a small chunk of this kit going out of date."

Madin had looked at support systems from HP before settling with Dell.

"Dell system integrates better with the servers, and we felt from a storage point of view it had an edge in terms of performance.

"The relationship with the company also helped...It's a trusted relationship, we've dealt with them for years so there's an element of confidence."

Dell provided the Trust with ESX servers, M620 servers that run VMware vSphere 5.1 and back up and recovery software called Dell EqualLogic.

"Two thirds of our estate is now probably virtualised whereas before it was probably the other way around. It was largely physical, so one of the benefits of this project is reducing our physical footprint," explained Madin.

"We're reducing our footprint, which means we're reducing our power and load on air conditioning, I can't actually give you any figures yet, but I know that it's happening and it's something we will look at measuring."

While the implementation process started in January 2013, it wasn't fully deployed till April 2013.

"I've got limited staff, so in fairness, if I had more people we could have probably have delivered it quicker. We have to juggle that with other projects.

There were also teething issues in terms of bandwidth capacities, according to Madin.

"But we've recognised what's causing the issue, and bought file headers from Dell. We just need to install a couple of those either side and that will increase our capacity."

Photo credit: John Firth, Wikipedia

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