Interfaith Medical Center deploys VMware infrastructure as platform for Windows applications

Palo Alto 23 September 2008Interfaith Medical Center (IMC), a New York City hospital, has created a virtualized application environment with VMware Infrastructure - the industry-leading data centre virtualization and management suite to ensure manageability, high availability and rapid disaster recovery for the hospital's Microsoft Windows-based applications.


IMC serves over 250.000 patients annually in the borough of Brooklyn. The hospital features a nationally acclaimed Sickle Cell programme, innovative cardiac care, a state-of-the-art emergency department, and a comprehensive array of behavioural health services. The hospital began investigating virtualization when its server hardware requirements reached unsustainable levels. IMC faced power, space and budget constraints and needed a strategic IT solution. After considering offerings from VMware, Microsoft and Citrix, IMC selected VMware Infrastructure. The hospital is now running nearly all of its critical applications in VMware virtual machines and has implemented a strict VMware-first policy for all new applications.

"We looked at several virtualization options and it was clear that VMware was the best fit for our hospital", stated Meraz Nasir, manager of infrastructure at Interfaith Medical Center. "VMware offered the most robust solution. Capabilities like VMotion and Storage VMotion have been invaluable. We have experienced zero downtime since going virtual. Application performance has never been better. We're even developing an in-house disaster recovery plan. That wasn't possible in the past due to cost and technical limitations. Ultimately, when we considered all aspects of virtualization, it wasn't even close. VMware was the smart choice."

IMC has achieved consolidation ratios as high as 17:1 on its physical hosts and has virtualized approximately 95 percent of its Microsoft Windows-based applications. These applications include IMC's core Meditech health information system that is the foundation for patient care and billing, BlackBerry Enterprise Server, Microsoft SharePoint, Kronos software for timekeeping and scheduling, and Lawson software for finance and accounting. IMC is also running sophisticated medical software on the VMware platform, including glucometer software to help treat diabetes patients, and endoPRO for gastro-intestinal screenings.

"VMware is helping make our hospital more efficient and effective", stated Meraz Nasir. "We've increased server utilization from eight percent to 70 percent. We expect to save over half a million dollars in two years with virtualization. That means we can focus more resources on delivering world-class health care. And all the improvements we've made in application availability and performance are helping our nurses and doctors spend more time attending to their patients rather than dealing with technical issues."

Meraz Nasir cited a number of specific instances in which VMware technology has made a significant difference in hospital operations. One example was a recent storage area network (SAN) upgrade. The hospital used VMware's Storage VMotion capability to migrate two terabytes of data in real time to a new SAN environment. There was no interruption in data availability. Without Storage VMotion, Meraz Nasir estimates a full migration would have taken two days and required the expertise of expensive outside consultants.

VMware is a global expert in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the data centre. Customers of all sizes rely on VMware to reduce capital and operating expenses, ensure business continuity, strengthen security and go green. With 2007 revenues of $1,3 billion, more than 120.000 customers and nearly 18.000 partners, VMware is one of the fastest growing public software companies. Headquartered in Palo Alto, California, VMware is majority-owned by EMC Corporation. More company news is available in the VMW September 2008 article Rochester General Hospital runs mission-critical applications on the VMware platform.

Leslie Versweyveld

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