Leeds NHS virtualises to streamline IT processes

Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust is using virtualisation technology to cut the amount of hardware it uses.

Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust is using virtualisation technology to cut the amount of hardware it uses.

The trust has made 23 of 32 physical servers redundant, which has reduced operational costs, improved flexibility and make it easier to manage the IT infrastructure.

Three of the servers that are no longer needed at the main datacentre have been moved to the trust's disaster recovery site. A Wan link to the site enables data replication on to the disaster recovery servers - which have also been virtualised - if the need arises.

Russell Hornshaw, server desktop and applications manager, said the move to virtualisation has made life easier for IT staff. He said, "The system allows us to deploy manage and utilise our IT staff more efficiently rather than wasting their time on legacy tasks like manual tape back-up."

He said staff can now deploy new applications in minutes instead of weeks. Staff find it easier to create test builds before launching new services, because testing can be done within a virtual rather than a physical environment, Hornshaw said.

"This saves at least a day a week in time to build and deploy a fully patched server. The time is now being used to focus on our core role of managing and maintaining the system to help users deliver a better service to the public."

The Trust is using HP Blade servers and VMware virtualisation, and the system was provided by CSA Waverley.

Head of ICT at the trust, Dave Shelley, said, "We have increased the effectiveness of our overall ICT infrastructure. With a consolidated centralised provision we can better manage and monitor servers, reducing our total cost of ownership and increasing the productivity of IT staff."




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