Emory Healthcare virtualizes datacentre with Egenera BladeFrame System

Orlando 21 October 2003Egenera Inc., specialized in next-generation datacentre infrastructure, has received an order for its BladeFrame system from Atlanta-based Emory Healthcare, one of the United States' largest health care organisations. As part of a strategic initiative to simplify the datacentre and reduce IT spending through utility computing, Emory is moving mission-critical applications from proprietary Unix and mainframe platforms to the Egenera system.


Emory Healthcare reached its decision by comparing the server-virtualization capabilities of the BladeFrame against virtualization offerings from the industry's largest providers of enterprise-class processing systems. The BladeFrame's superior virtualization functionality is enabling Emory's IT group to:

  • Reduce capital costs by two-thirds
  • Lower total cost of ownership by 60 percent
  • Improve processor utilization five-fold
  • Compress the time required to provision a server from two weeks to 10 minutes
  • Reduce system administration requirements by more than 80 percent.

"At Emory, decisions about IT infrastructure are made based on long-range business requirements", explained Joe Medley, director, infrastructure support services, Emory Healthcare. "To deliver the sophisticated services our user community expects, with the zero downtime medical applications demand, and do it all while spending less requires a visionary approach. We found that the Egenera BladeFrame is the only platform available today that delivers the resource virtualization needed to support our vision for utility computing."

"It's gratifying to have one of the health care industry's most advanced IT organisations validate our position as the industry leader in virtualization technology", stated Vern Brownell, founder and CEO, Egenera. "We remain committed to dramatically improving the reliability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness of our customers' datacentres by delivering tomorrow's vision of virtualized processing systems today."

Emory Healthcare is passionately committed to providing the highest quality patient care, innovative research, medical education and health information to serve the local and global communities. Emory Healthcare is affiliated with the world-renowned Emory University School of Medicine and Emory University Hospital, all located in Atlanta, Georgia. Since 1915, Emory University has been at the forefront of medical knowledge and research, pioneering many of the procedures that have changed the face of medical history. As part of that heritage, Emory Healthcare was established to provide improved access to the physicians, resources and facilities that have grown with Emory through the years.

With the BladeFrame, Emory IT personnel can assign Egenera Processing Blade resources to internal users as well as to partners, doctors and clinicians outside the organisation. A system administrator can easily configure and allocate a virtual server in minutes, sparing users the complexity of connecting to Emory's SAN and IP networks.

Additionally, by utilizing third-party virtual machine software on the BladeFrame, Emory Healthcare can run multiple operating systems and OS images on a single Processing Blade. This capability enables Emory to build test systems without procuring dedicated hardware which, according to Joe Medley, represents the most significant reduction in capital costs enabled by the BladeFrame over traditional architectures. Instead, virtual servers for testing are created on the Processing Blades allocated for failover, minimizing the number of systems required and notably increasing processor utilization.

"We saw our server farm exploding", stated Betty Troup, Emory Healthcare's director of operational services. "As we added servers to accommodate our growing need for processing capacity, management was becoming increasingly complex. By consolidating servers onto the BladeFrame, with its centralized connections and simplified architecture, we can avoid costs by holding down the number of system administrators required to manage our datacentre operation."

Due to government regulations and regulatory compliance, high availability was also a factor in Emory Healthcare's decision-making process. The BladeFrame's diskless Processing Blade design and N+1 failover will help ensure that patient records and other information are accessible and preserved in accordance with government mandates.

The Egenera BladeFrame, with its Processing Area Network (PAN) architecture, assembles purpose-built hardware and virtualization software in a fully integrated computing platform that enables enterprise-class datacentres to lower total cost of ownership and achieve sustainable competitive advantage. The system combines the scalability of server blades and the price/performance of commodity components with mainframe-class functionality, enabling customers to leverage Linux and Microsoft Windows for mission-critical applications.

The BladeFrame creates a pool of up to 96 server-class Intel processors on 24 Egenera Processing Blade resources that are deployed and managed entirely through Egenera PAN Manager software. Processing power can be dynamically increased, decreased and reallocated to support new applications or accommodate variable demand on existing applications without purchasing, installing or managing incremental equipment.

Egenera's breakthrough virtualization technology optimizes the use of network, compute and storage resources to enable the next-generation utility datacentre. The company's Egenera BladeFrame system leads the industry in both server blade technology and virtualization software by enabling datacentres to run any application, on any resource, at any time, automatically. Today, BladeFrames are installed at marquee customers worldwide, including many of the world's largest investment banks, major Internet service providers, telecommunications companies, health care providers and government agencies.

A world-class service and support organisation ensures customer satisfaction. Moreover, the company has assembled a senior management team and engineering staff with an average 20-plus years' experience. Relationships with Microsoft, Intel, BEA Systems, EMC, Itochu Techno-Science Corporation (CTC), Oracle, Red Hat and Veritas, among others, further strengthen the value proposition. Headquartered in Marlboro, Massachusetts, Egenera has offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Hong Kong, Kansas City, London, New York City, San Francisco, Tokyo, Toronto and Washington D.C.

Leslie Versweyveld

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