Building a Healthy Data Infrastructure
One of the largest health care associations in the United States with numerous locations and divisions, this client’s operations run and depend on its data center. For a number of years, data center operations were outsourced to a hosting partner, and fees and costs continually increased. Further, accessibility to the partner’s location was restricted and the client representative expressed concerns about the overall security and true costs associated with this outsourced model. Upon discussing the issues with Nathan Young, MicroAge Solutions Expert, it was clear that the client needed a new model—one that they owned, controlled and managed themselves.
“In our conversations and subsequent research, we uncovered that their equipment was not dedicated, it was shared; concerns about security breaches were high; and the equipment itself was old and approaching obsolescence,” notes Nathan. “I suggested that they re-create the data center in their building and at another outside center, replicating functionality to secure their data… they agreed and we began the process of constructing a data center that would meet their needs both today and tomorrow.”
Within nine months, after extensive planning and revisions, MicroAge took the client from its subpar solution to a dynamic, cost-effective and transparent data center over which they have complete control. The solution included installing 20 HP servers, developing an HP storage area network (SAN) to fully enclose data, and introducing virtualization with VMware and a Microsoft corporate licensing program. APC back-up systems rounded out the data center’s security profile. Overall, the data center took the client to a higher level of technology, security, and efficiency; combining some servers at the home office and the rest in a rack-and-stack configuration at another data center, they essentially pay for space and broadband lines, without incurring inflating fees. Given the space limitations of headquarters it makes sense to utilize an outside location, which also provides a level of security with replication.
Nathan’s expertise played a vital role throughout the phased solution: he assisted with model selection, equipment sourcing, managing implementation, and installing redundant back-up power to ensure that all project milestones were met. While the purchasing/installation phase is complete, he is engaged with the client to support easier management with remote control software. “Nathan makes a concerted effort to develop solid business relationships with clients; from on-site visits to technical support, he is seriously committed to MicroAge’s core values, always ensuring customers have the right technology solutions to support their business mission,” observes Wyatt Bowman, MicroAge Chief Engineer and Director of Technical Services & Professional Services.
Since the client has a relatively small IT staff monitoring approximately 50 offices, the value-add of collaborating with MicroAge helps ensures that full functionality remains constant. With better reporting tools, interdepartmental linkages, and a more cohesive network structure, the client is well positioned to control and manage a healthy rate of growth in a consistently productive environment.