Perth Radiological Clinic upgrades HDS SANs

Perth Radiological Clinic (PRC) has selected twin storage arrays from Hitachi Data Systems (HDS) and will use the hardware to create a nearline archive containing seven years of medical images.

Perth Radiological Clinic (PRC) has selected twin storage area arrays from Hitachi Data Systems (HDS), scaling down its use of direct-attached storage for a wide range of operational and archiving tasks.

PRC operates 19 clinics across Perth, and was the first private company to operate a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machine and a Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS) in Western Australia. The upgrade has seen the company acquire two HDS Adaptable Modular Storage 2500 units, one for its head office and the second for a new, purpose-built, data centre.

Richard Karamfiles, PRC’s Applications and Implementation Manager, told SearchStorage ANZ that PRC has “more storage than the West Australian Department of Health” and therefore had outgrown its old HDS systems and the direct-attached storage it used in its branch offices.

The new storage infrastructure will become the operational and archival storage repositories for the many thousands of medical images the organisation collects and is expected to store up to seven years of data. That role will see the arrays and central storage replace the servers PRC currently locates in each office. Those servers are used to store many images relevant to practitioners and patients.

PRC’s new regime sees it use a single local server as a cache for very recent images, but store the rest in its head office and use private fiber connections to make it possible for each clinic to access other images. Another fiber connection will see the head office array replicated to second machine in its new data center. Policies driven by specialist medical imaging application Intelerad will see images moved from branch offices to headquarters when appropriate.

“The images will sit there [on the head office array] and wait if they are required,” Karamfiles explained. “It’s nearline storage so in five or six years time it could take one or two minutes to retrieve an image. That is more than adequate for doctors’ workflows.”

Karamfiles said the new systems were selected after a survey of the market, but that a combination of HDS’ incumbency and the scalability and environmental credentials of its products won the day.

“The support we get from HDS is good,” Karamfiles said. “If a disk dies, by 10:00 AM the next day someone replaces it.”

That someone almost certainly comes from HDS’ local channel partner Stott & Hoare, which has been engaged to implement the new system.

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