The Emmental Regional Hospital AG has successfully consolidated its IT data center into a virtualized infrastructure, powered by Microsoft Hyper-V and DataCore storage virtualization software. DataCore’s virtual infrastructure software for storage in combination with Microsoft server virtualization work together to make business processes significantly faster, more productive and lower in cost to implement. The hospital has leveraged its server and storage virtualization to achieve hardware independence enabling it to improve its purchasing power since it is no longer locked-in to any specific hardware supplier. Overall, Emmental has realized savings of up to 15 percent for hardware purchases and around 30 percent in on-going operational savings. Beyond the cost savings, DataCore has enabled a new level of high availability, increased resource utilization and greater flexibility in provisioning and managing storage.

Emmental Regional Hospital turned to DataCore’s Partner ONETec AG to design and implement a configuration of DataCore and Microsoft® Windows Server® 2008 Hyper-V R2 in the hospital. DataCore’s storage virtualization software runs on two HP servers – safeguarding the storage and improving high-availability by eliminating single points of failure in order to maximize uptime.

The hospital currently has around 20 physical Hyper-V servers hosting many virtual machines that are supported and provisioned with storage under the control of DataCore’s storage virtualization software. The resulting SAN, powered by DataCore software, contains file and print services, Exchange and SQL servers and a number of hospital-critical applications including the echocardiography system.

“The operational and productivity benefits are enormous. In the past, setting up a new server with the appropriate storage often took many hours. Today we can set up an entire system within 15 minutes. The management of our servers and storage with the Microsoft System Center and DataCore is simple to use and intuitive,” says Falko Gieldanowski, Head of IT at Emmental Regional Hospital. “In addition, we are seeing savings of 30% in terms of time and resources needed. And we expect this value to improve even further over time.”

Next up, the hospital expects to add its high-capacity picture archiving and communication system (PACS) to be migrated into the DataCore architecture. Moreover, with the planned introduction of Microsoft App-V, the hospital wants to take another virtualization step at the application level.

“DataCore storage virtualization and Microsoft Hyper-V are integral to our IT strategy. They combine to significantly cut our costs for hardware, power and administration,” states Gieldanowski. “We have added a high degree of flexibility for new projects; now we are independent of hardware vendors and we can easily expand our storage dynamically as required. I estimate that the software has resulted in cost savings of around 15 percent for hardware purchases.”