Gateshead NHS trust slashes datacentre costs

By Computing Staff
03 May 2011 View Comments
nhs

Gateshead NHS Foundation Trust says it has reduced running costs for its datacentre by 80 per cent as a result of implementing management software from Veeam.

The software offers data protection, disaster recovery and VMware management and has been configured for a virtualised environment, meaning there is almost no downtime during backup.

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The trust has recently received a free upgrade to version 5 of the software after implementing version 4 in September last year for £10,000.

The trust purchased the technology ahead of the release of version 5 at a "reduced price", in anticipation of the free upgrade, according to Jon Potts, infrastructure manager at Gateshead Health

Veeam replaces a solution from HP called Data Protector.

The implementation follows an ongoing virtualisation project across the 117 servers in the datacentre, which is about 80 per cent completed. The datacentre supports three sites and 2,500 users.

The trust began virtualising its datacentre using virtualisation solution VMware in 2006.

Commenting on the move to Veeam, Potts said: "The Veeam solution integrates more tightly into the virtual infrastructure and allows us to view the progress of backups while they are being tested.

"This wasn't possible with HP Data Protector, which hadn't been designed for a virtualised datacentre.

"The restore time with the previous technology was approximately two hours while it takes 15 minutes with VMware," he said.

He added that the solution has been configured so that there is very little downtime during server backup. This is because the software creates a sandbox within the virtualised environment which can operate while the server is still running. It does this by making use of spare capacity.

Potts explained that it was this function that prompted the trust to choose this solution over a one from VRanger that it also tested.

The trust has already configured the solution across critical servers managing information for Pathology, A+E and Endoscopy and will have finished rolling out the solution across the other 85 virtualised servers by June.

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