Case study: Medical college transforms IT infrastructure

By Dawinderpal Sahota
17 Aug 2011 View Comments

The Royal College of General Practitioners (RCGP) has virtualised its server environment and invested in a new disaster recovery solution to make its IT infrastructure more resilient.

The college has implemented NetApp's storage and disaster recovery solution, and VMware software. The new technology replaces ageing physical servers that supported 28 sites around the UK.

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"We had old SQL servers and tape backups - we also had disparate systems all over the place," explained Andy Smith, head of IT.

"While we had a fairly good disaster recovery solution, it would take a long time to process. However, we couldn't do what we wanted with the business based on what we had. We had to either lower our expectations or increase our spend."

Smith went on to consolidate all of the various aspects of the college's infrastructure - using HP servers, Cisco networking and NetApp storage.

"All of them are probably best of breed. We felt on brand alone, the right people for our storage would be NetApp."

Over an eight-week period, during the summer of 2010, the RCGP implemented a scalable platform that included the installation of a network in the datacentre and migration of the entire estate from physical to virtual.

It has also helped consolidate over 40 servers to just six highly partitioned systems, and the new storage core has enabled better business continuity with two datacentres being set up and constantly refreshed.

The solution has enabled RCGP to accommodate hot desking and other forms of flexible working.

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