Stockport NHS Foundation Trust embarks on Cisco and Cohesity-based datacentre revamp

NHS Foundation Trust opens up about the work its done to streamline and centralise its server estate with the help of Cisco's hyperconverged technologies

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust has revamped its IT infrastructure estate to make it more efficient and easier to manage through the deployment of hyperconverged datacentre technologies.

The project was prompted by a need within the Trust to improve the performance of various mission-critical apps and devices that relied on a distributed and decentralised network of servers, scattered across three hospitals and two dozen clinics, to function.

According to Hugh Hughes, network and unified communications (UC) lead for NHS Stockport, this setup of “disparate systems” needed a multitude of management tools to bring it under control, which in turn led to data backup and licensing issues.

The Trust, which takes care of more than half a million patients every year across Stockport, East Cheshire and Derbyshire, therefore decided to also overhaul its data backup procedures to ensure compliance with the ISO 270001 data security certification.

The Trust enlisted the help of technology provider CDW to design a new IT infrastructure on its behalf before deciding to press ahead with a plan to build its revamped setup using a mix of Cisco and Cohesity disaster recovery technologies.

Eoin Perera, head of healthcare at CDW UK, said: “We recognise that outdated IT infrastructure presents major challenges to most healthcare organisations, risking financial wastage, data breaches and inefficiencies.

“Using an agnostic approach, we worked closely with Stockport NHS Foundation Trust to orchestrate the most suitable technology solution to meet its requirements.”

Specifically, CDW opted to combine Cisco’s HyperFlex hyperconverged infrastructure offering with the networking giant’s Intersight software-as-a-service-based (SaaS-based) systems management platform.

The Cohesity software, meanwhile, was installed on the Cisco hardware to fulfil the need for a new data backup system that could provide the Trust with synchronous data replication capabilities to help ensure the two datacentres this setup was deployed in would be resilient to cyber attacks and system failures.

“The Trust’s IT team now has a single, easy-to-use dashboard to monitor usage and capacity, and to predict future requirements,” the Trust said in a statement.

Joachim Mason, UK and Ireland director for specialists at Cisco, said the organisation was proud to lend its support to the project.

“Having a simplified, robust and resilient datacentre infrastructure is important for any organisation, but for healthcare providers, it can be critical,” said Mason.

“Our hyperconverged infrastructure solutions and SaaS management platform means that the foundation gets a simplified, holistic view of its datacentre, while also saving costs and speeding up critical applications.”

Andrew Fitzgerald, sales director for western Europe, at Cohesity, added: “By consolidating the Trust’s legacy IT infrastructure, Cohesity was able to deliver a highly efficient data management solution that removed infrastructure silos so often seen in healthcare organisations.

“In addition, the NHS Stockport team was able to leverage backup data for development testing while enhancing its security posture – critical as more organisations are being targeted by cyber attacks.”

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