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VMware helps hospital reduce data center power, increase performance

Palo Alto, Calif.-based VMware, Inc. announced that Rochester General Hospital(RGH) deployed VMware Infrastructure 3 to scale and manage its growing IT environment.

RGH, a community-based teaching hospital, has an IT infrastructure supporting business applications and patient-critical systems as well as massive amounts of data storage that is growing exponentially.

“We started using virtualization to address power and space issues in our main datacenter. We quickly adopted VMWare ESX as our standard platform for new projects and consolidated existing servers,” Tom Gibaud, an IT manager at RGH, said in an email. “It allowed us to continue business as usual and we experienced no delay in completing projects on time. Today we are way below our power threshold and gained about 50% of our floor space even after we doubled the amount of Windows Servers.”

In VMware’s statement, VMware Infrastructure has improved application performance and availability, and strengthened the hospital’s disaster-recovery capabilities. “Before going virtual, our datacenter power supply was maxed out. We couldn’t plug in a toaster. Now, with less hardware, we have capacity to handle whatever comes our way,” Gibaud said.

The hospital now runs 50 virtual machine hosts running 400 Guests with a mix of large and small workloads including terminal services, Gibaud said. In all, RGH has virtualized about 95% of its Windows-based applications, including Exchange, SQL Server, the ClinicalCare portal that physicians and nurses use to access electronic medical records, and RGH’s billing system.

In the initial phase of the virtualization deployment, Gibaud said the hospital used IBM Bladecenter servers (HS20, HS21, LS20). “This allowed us to condense many servers is a small amount of space. With VMware and IBM Bladecenters we were able to consolidate over a 150 Servers into one rack,” he said. “Today we use IBM x3850 and HP DL580 G5 to handle larger server workloads.”

In addtion, the hospital is running 200 Windows XP desktops using VMware’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure on just two IBM x3850’s.

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