Regional Healthcare Provider Chooses Performance Storage | Tintri

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Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare Chooses Tintri Storage

Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare

Tintri Provides a High Performance, Cost-Effective Solution for All Enterprise Workloads and Virtual Desktops

Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare

Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare is a regional healthcare provider offering access to complex medical specialties and innovative programming in the western suburbs of Chicago. It is now one of the larger integrated health systems in the state, with revenues of $1 billion and more than 50 outpatient locations across a service area of 1.7 million residents. The system employs nearly 7,700 healthcare professionals and has more than 1,680 physicians on staff.

Don Fosen is the Director of Technology at Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare. “I am responsible for all of our server, network, telecom, IT security, service desk, and desktop support teams.”

IT Challenges

Edward Elmhurst Hospital was relying on a mix of SAN storage technologies from multiple vendors. “With the changes in the healthcare laws and the increased focus on providing patient-centered, quality healthcare across all populations, we are storing more and more data every day,” Fosen explained. “In addition to needing more capacity for all of our initiatives, we were also getting ready to refresh some of our aging storage technology. One of our main goals was to reduce costs, because we have tremendous pressure on margins and need to work more effectively. But we didn’t want to bring something in that was just cheaper – it had to be cheaper AND better. Luckily, we are at a fairly unique point in the evolution of data storage technology where we can actually get both.”

Evaluating the Alternatives

Fosen and his team started looking at options to replace the aging storage systems. “I rely on my IT team to keep an eye on the market and bring forth new technologies that would be a good fit for our organization,” noted Fosen. “Our Enterprise Architecture Manager, Chuck Timm, had previous experience with Tintri and was very impressed with the performance and ease of use of the solution. He suggested that we give Tintri a try for our hospital environment.”

In addition to looking at Tintri storage, Fosen and his team also considered several all-flash solutions. They also talked with their current storage vendor to find out about their next generation of solutions. After reviewing the alternatives, Tintri emerged as the leading candidate based on ease of use, price, and performance.

Fosen then invited Tintri to come out and give a demo to the Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare IT team. “We have a group of ‘rock stars’ in our IT group -- some of the smartest people I have ever worked with,” Fosen reported. “The Tintri demo was extremely persuasive and our people got really excited about the solution. One of our star IT team members walked out of the Tintri demo and said, ‘This is something that we are going to be able to use on day-one. It’s easy to use, and it brings a lot of features that are extremely compelling.’“

Fast and Easy Deployment

Fosen then made the decision to purchase Tintri VMstore T620, T650, T820, and T880 systems for the hospital’s two main datacenters. They also implemented Tintri Global Center and ReplicateVM. “The Tintri deployment was very straightforward,” Fosen reported. “We were up in running within a day. Our previous storage arrays took several months to get operational. The Tintri deployment was so fast, I was quite surprised.”

Running Multiple Workloads on Tintri

Edward-Elmhurst Healthcare is now running a variety of different applications and services on the Tintri systems. “We quickly moved key systems and enterprise workloads over to Tintri,” said Fosen. “The systems are performing exceptionally well, especially in our VMware VDI environment.”

Fosen and his team is currently in the middle of another big integration project where they are creating a centralized Active Directory domain and a new MS Exchange environment. “We are merging all of the users from our two current domains into one,” Fosen explained. “All of the new servers systems we have spun up are now running much faster on the Tintri systems.”

Backup and Data Protection

Due to a recent merger, Edward Elmhurst is currently operating four separate data centers. “We are moving to a hub and spoke methodology for disaster recovery,” Fosen explained. “The Plainfield data center is used as a fallback center for each of the nodes, and we run our EMR in an active- active configuration. Whenever we put new capacity in, we make sure that we have backup capacity in the second datacenter just in case we need it. We are now starting a big project to revamp our DR and BC capabilities. We plan to use the Tintri systems for all of those sites as well.”

Simple Management and More Accurate Capacity Planning

“Ease of management is the one of the biggest benefits of Tintri,” Fosen said. “Our entire IT team enjoys working with the Tintri technology since it’s a lot easier to get into production and manage on a daily basis. With our previous storage technology, every request had to be ‘single-threaded’ through the one specialized storage admin who knew what was going on. Whereas with Tintri, anyone on our team can use and manage the systems with minimal training. With Tintri, we can get the information we need quickly without having to ask our technology expert to break down the enormous amount of reporting data to get the relevant stats. The detailed performance metrics are enabling us to operate efficiently and predict our capacity needs much more accurately.”

Tintri Support

“Our experience with Tintri support has been excellent,” noted Fosen. “With our previous storage provider, our IT team had to escalate problems to me so I could put pressure on the vendor to get the level of support we needed. I never have to push anyone at Tintri, they are committed to providing a very high level of support from beginning to end.”

“Don and his team have been fantastic to work with,” noted Tony Bontempo, Tintri account manager. “They have a fantastic IT shop with a real appetite and appreciation for new technologies that can better their IT environment. Given the fact that the healthcare environment is changing so fast they need to be agile in terms of how they deploy their applications. We are enabling them to do everything faster, accelerating time-to-value for the IT services they deliver to their constituents. They often come to us with great suggestions for features they’d like to see in new releases. We really value and appreciate their input. A customer that is willing to engage with us as a business partner and help us with beta testing enables us to continually improve our solutions.”

Final Thoughts

“Our business is changing so rapidly, it’s just crazy,” Fosen concluded. “Being able to adapt and move quickly is a huge advantage that we have gotten from Tintri. The tight integration and adaptability between VMware and Tintri, the amazing ease-of-use of the Tintri platform, and the attractive ROI are all big advantages for us.”



Naperville and Elmhurst, Illinois

Virtualization environment

VMware vSphere 5.5

Traditional storage: EMC

VM profile

Electronic Medical Record (EMR) systems and enterprise workloads

Key challenges

The cost of the existing storage platform was increasing rapidly

Storage performance was unpredictable

Tintri solution

TintriVMstore™ T620,T650, T820, and T880 systems

TintriGlobalCenterand ReplicateVM

Primary use case

Tintri is now providing high performance for the hospital’s VDI environment

Business benefits

Reduced deployment times from several months to just one day

Greatly improved storage performance for virtual desktops

Eliminated the requirement for specialized training to operate the Tintri systems

Obtained easy access to key storage metrics