As the practice of healthcare becomes increasingly data-centric, Delaware Valley Community Health was finding that its legacy IT environment couldn’t keep pace with the needs of the health system and its providers.
“Our EMR (electronic medical record) application was running on seven-year-old hardware. When you put 74 providers on our system, it was very taxing on our environment. Our old SQL cluster with 64 GB of RAM was at risk of crashing,” says Isaiah Nathaniel, Chief Information Officer, explaining why modernizing the DV
CH infrastructure became a critical priority.
After evaluating several hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solutions, Nathaniel chose Nutanix Enterprise Cloud due to its unmatched performance, flexibility and easy integration with DVCH’s existing storage infrastructure.
While Nutanix delivered immediate performance benefits, backup and recovery using DVCH’s legacy backup solution was consuming too much time.
“We needed a four-hour backup window. This created a real challenge for our providers, who usually complete their patient notes and charts between 5:00 PM and 11:00 PM. We were having difficulty giving our providers the after-hours experience they wanted and making sure our systems were available 24 x 7,” Nathaniel explains.
DVCH’s Nutanix account representative recommended taking a look at HYCU for backup and recovery, noting its seamless and tight integration with Nutanix and AHV in particular. Nathaniel decided to give HYCU a try.
“Wow, was Nutanix right. With HYCU, backing up a database went from four-and-a half hours to just a half hour. You can’t beat that,” Nathaniel explains.
The combination of Nutanix and HYCU also dramatically accelerated the process of migrating from DVCH’s legacy infrastructure. “We migrated nine servers using Nutanix Move and HYCU and we accomplished it in just seven hours over the weekend,” Nathaniel says.
Ensuring round-the-clock data availability became even more critical in March 2020, when the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic transformed business as usual. Suddenly, the majority of DVCH’s 300+ employees shifted to working remotely, placing even greater demands on IT systems. Nathaniel says HYCU has been instrumental in maintaining productivity during the “new normal” of the pandemic.
“We’re ready for whatever the new wave brings because we have HYCU in place,” he says. “Any CIO in healthcare looking to transform the patient experience in this new normal, you have to look at HYCU, Nutanix and AHV. It’s just that simple.”
Backup times slashed
Nathaniel says backup times for a 1.2TB database, which previously required about 4.5 hours overnight, takes just 30 minutes with HYCU. “We also use HYCU to perform our daily one-hour transaction backups, and we’re not losing any efficiency. They take just 6 minutes—that’s incredible,” he says.
Improved disaster recovery
HYCU has dramatically improved DVCH’s DR capabilities across its two on-premises data centers connected by a WAN. “We tested DR with HYCU, pulling the plug on a Nutanix node and spinning up two servers at our backup site, and the process took six minutes. Prior to Nutanix and HYCU, DR took 24 to 48 hours,” Nathaniel says, noting that HYCU also provides automatic archiving. “Now I’m able to sleep knowing that if something were to fail, I just push a button and it’s there.”
Better financial performance
The combination of HYCU and Nutanix has dramatically accelerated access to critical data, Nathaniel says. “Now we can push data to our production reports database faster, which improves our revenue cycle,” he explains. “The ROI on HYCU and Nutanix is phenomenal.”
Nathaniel has high praise for HYCU’s Support Team, who he turned to for help when he wanted to configure archiving to align with the setup he had with his previous backup system. “The HYCU support team helped us map it all out in a two-hour training session. We were up and running within a week with all the things we had before. This is something that took us months with our previous virtualization vendor,” Nathaniel says.
About the Customer
Delaware Valley Community Health, Inc. (DVCH) is a non-profit, community-focused healthcare organization providing affordable, accessible care to patients across Southeastern Pennsylvania from eight regional locations. DVCH relies on its information systems to support the critical data that is the foundation of its operations.
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