Helping the UK’s largest health and social care trust cope with growing numbers of cancer patients.

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About our client.  

Our client is a 900-bed ultra-modern university teaching hospital that is tasked with delivering the very highest quality treatment and care to the many thousands of people who live its vicinity.  

As part of the largest integrated health and social care Trust in the UK, in addition to providing local acute services the hospital also covers a number of key regional specialties, including an extensive range of cancer treatments.  

With cancer rates steadily increasing, so was the demand for our client’s services. As a result the hospital decided to access the knowledge and expertise of the global oncology community by investing in a state-of-the-art Oncology System. 

The challenge. 

This strategic investment demanded an underlying IT infrastructure that would guarantee the performance and security required for the oncology team to fully realize its goals. 

It wasn’t sufficient to engage an IT integrator that would simply supply and deploy the infrastructure. This crucial project required both outstanding technical ability, together with ongoing service and monitoring to ensure the system was operating at maximum efficiency – every moment, of every day. 

So, with the highly sensitive nature of the system in mind, our client enlisted Quadris with its proven track record in configuring, deploying and supporting critical IT infrastructure. 

The solution. 

This potentially life-changing project meant that Quadris’ solution focused on optimum system performance, together with steadfast fault tolerance and rapid disaster recovery. 

1. Performance. 

To ensure performance is optimized at all times, the core infrastructure deployed by Quadris centres around an All-Flash stretched cluster VxRail solution 

Furthermore, by employing a combination of All-Flash and NVMe write cache drives, Quadris’ solution delivers unsurpassed storage performance; resulting in more responsive apps, reduced login time for users and backup jobs completed in record time.  

The All-Flash architecture of the solution means application responsiveness across the board is lightning fast, with super low latency. Database queries and reports typically show a 10-fold performance increase when compared to hybrid based solutions. 

2. Fault tolerance and disaster recovery. 

Quadris designed the application with the VxRail nodes divided between two separate data centers in a stretched cluster configuration; but managed as a single cluster. This configuration means that in the event of a site failure, all VM workloads are automatically transferred to the other site and immediately powered up; an ingenious setup that results in VM recovery times of less than a minute. 

Furthermore, many of the VM workloads are specifically designed to work in an active-active configuration. By having the machines split evenly between the sites, should a problem occur the systems will continue operating without having to rely on the recovery of VMs. 

3. High performing virtual desktops. 

Quadris implemented a resilient and highly responsive desktop experience using Citrix Virtual Desktops to provide all clinicians access to the oncology software suite; ensuring rapid login times and seamless access to patient treatment data and imagery. 

The implementation. 

In order to mitigate any problems during the actual deployment, Quadris’ employs a unique and thorough implementation methodology; whereby the entire system is tested before being operationalized at the eventual site. This involves a comprehensive ‘predeployment’ in which the entire system was initially delivered to Quadris’ own premises, where it was unboxed, racked, powered up, configured and comprehensively tested.  

Phase #1.  

After passing Quadris’ own stringent assessment, the system was transported to site where Quadris’ own engineers set about installing the system across the 2 sites. 

Phase #2. While the system was in the process of being installed, the hospital made the decision to scale up their service to meet the needs of an additional 50 users. Quadris took the request in its stride and proved the scalability of the VxRail solution by simply ordering the 2 extra nodes required to expand the cluster and had the upgraded system up and running in less than a day. 

Once completed, expert technicians took over the system and seamlessly carried out full acceptance testing and the installation of the system software. 

 Ongoing support. 

This wasn’t the end of Quadris’ active involvement, as the system comes with a five-star maintenance service agreement that provides ongoing support to the system for its entire lifecycle.  

At the heart of this support is Quadris’ proprietary Prevensys monitoring solution that delivers 24/7 monitoring and real-time alerting to service ticket requests.  

To complete the picture, Quadris continuously monitors trend performance over time; ensuring the system is always performing to the very best of its abilities. 

The key project benefits at a glance. 

  • Delivers unparalleled storage performance ensuring that apps are far more responsive and backups are completed in record time 
  • Historical reports and searches are completed just as quickly as new data 
  • In the event of a site failure, all VM workloads are automatically moved to the second site and immediately powered up with recovery times <1minute 
  • The entire system tested at Quadris’ own premises before being operationalized at the eventual site
  • Full support through a comprehensive maintenance service agreement supported by Quadris’ proprietary Prevensys Monitoring solution 
  • 24/7 alerting continuously monitors trend performance to ensure optimal performance at all times