Tucson Medical Center Reduces Costs and Time with NetApp

Tucson Medical Center“Our latency improved greatly moving from CLARiiON onto NetApp,” says Paul Lemmons, Open Systems Group Lead, Tucson Medical Center. “It’s almost like comparing a Volkswagen to a Maserati.”

Tucson Medical Center (TMC), licensed at more than 600 beds, has been Tucson’s locally governed nonprofit regional hospital for more than 70 years. Named one of the nation’s “Most Wired” hospitals for five consecutive years, TMC is Southern Arizona’s leading provider for emergency care and pediatric care (including Tucson’s first Pediatric Emergency Department), with top-notch intensive care units for adults, children and newborns. Other specialty areas include women’s, maternity, cardiac care, orthopedic, neuroscience, hospice, surgical, vascular and geropsychiatric care.

With increasing amounts of patient data and an outdated infrastructure, TMC faced real challenges in providing fast, highly reliable, 24/7/365 connectivity to Epic electronic health records and 700 other mission-critical applications for its 120,000 annual patients.  Its previous data storage platform, EMC Corp.’s CLARiiON SAN disk array, just couldn’t keep up with the workload despite extensive data reorganization. So TMC turned to cStor to simplify their infrastructure with NetApp.

Using NetApp ONTAP data management software running FAS and all-flash systems, the team has achieved faster access to data with improved IOPS, and has decreased latency from 15ms to 4ms.  NetApp technology has been an instrumental tool in the virtualization of 98% of the healthcare organization’s more than 700 applications. In addition, it allows TMC to support its 1,300 users concurrently – which would have been unthinkable five years ago. Before NetApp, TCM employed two people for 1.5 years who spent their time writing their own performance software to fix CLARiiON issues.  Now storage management happens in minutes.

With NetApp’s Snap technologies, specifically SnapMirror and FlexClone, TMC has been able to increase its ability to respond to development environment requests, and spin up dev environments in just 20 minutes rather than two days. Clustered ONTAP, meanwhile, lets TMC reorganize storage structures without downtime and no I/O impact on applications.

“With NetApp, we have not had downtime, which gets overlooked because it’s unheard of. But it’s a phenomenal statistic,” said Drew Burnett, Systems and Network Manager, Tucson Medical Center.  “It makes my job easier; it keeps my hair from going as gray.”