DuPage Medical Group (DMG) is one of the largest and most successful independent multispecialty physician groups in the state of Illinois. With more than 425 physicians practicing in 50 medical and surgical specialties, DMG continually strives to innovate through a model of quality, efficiency, and access.
To provide the best care, DMG wanted to deploy the latest applications and upgrades, but ran into space, compute, and storage limitations in its data center. As part of the technology upgrade, IT wanted to put a storage infrastructure in place that would allow DMG to operate with near-zero downtime. For example, if a DMG patient goes to a nearby hospital in the middle of the night, the DMG IT team can’t tell the hospital doctor to wait for an image because a firmware upgrade is under way.
DMG engaged Meridian IT Inc., a technology solutions provider, to help it evaluate storage solutions from three vendors, including NetApp. “We decided to go with NetApp for three reasons,” says Beaird. “First of all, NetApp gives us the capacity we need in a compact solution that takes up the least amount of rack space. Second, the clustered Data ONTAP operating system allows us to have multiple high-availability targets instead of a typical two-node cluster. The third reason is performance: it far exceeds what we had previously, which has a positive impact on healthcare operations.”
“We now have four storage controller nodes at each data center,” says Tony Beaird, IT Manager. “If there’s a hardware failure or we need a patch, we can roll our environment between nodes without downtime using clustered Data ONTAP and avoid service interruption. That’s vital to enabling uninterrupted delivery of care.”
Data is replicated between data centers with NetApp SnapMirror which transfers only new or modified data blocks to reduce bandwidth utilization and accelerate data transfers. In addition, NetApp also improves storage efficiency in a virtual environment with deduplication.
In addition to improving patient care by avoiding system downtime, DMG was able to improve performance for Citrix XenApp and other workloads, conserve data center space with intelligent caching and expand capacity quickly to onboard new physician practices faster.
“Now, with NetApp clustered Data ONTAP, we can operate with near-zero downtime and minimize data access issues, " says Tony Beaird.
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