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University hospital Southampton NHS Foundation trust migrates to Tintri storage

Tintri VM-aware storage chosen as standard platform for all virtual workloads

Company Background

University Hospital Southampton NHS Foundation Trust (UHS) employs 10,550 staff and provides services to over 1.9 million people living in Southampton and South Hampshire in the United Kingdom. UHS also delivers a variety of specialized services, including neurosciences, cardiac services and children's intensive care, to more than 3.7 million people living in central southern England and the Channel Islands.  

IT Challenges

UHS had been relying on a mix of IBM storage systems and HP servers. “Our team of 4 IT professionals is responsible for supporting all servers and storage for over 10,000 end users, approximately 200 applications and more than 60TB of data,” noted Mike Ives, UHS IT manager. “We were running out of capacity for our existing workloads, and we also needed additional virtual server capacity to support several new Trust-wide projects. And finally, we wanted to enhance the performance of our existing virtualized applications and simplify management across all of our IT infrastructure.” 

The Search for New Storage Infrastructure

Ives and his team evaluated storage solutions from Tintri, Nimble, Pure, EMC, HP and NetApp. “The reason we selected the Tintri solution was due to its tight integration with VMware,” noted Ives. “We quickly realized the benefits of having a specialized appliance for virtualized environments, so we made the decision to run a 30-day POC on-site. We also liked the concept of a single-sized appliance, as opposed to purchasing one of the competitors’ solutions, figuring out how much storage we would need to add and how to configure it. With Tintri, all of those decisions are already made for us. Whenever we need more capacity, it's easy to add additional Tintri units in an incremental fashion. Tintri’s simplified model range also ensures quotations can be turned around very quickly and the procurement timescale is significantly reduced.” 

Moving to Tintri

The Trust purchased two Tintri T850 systems with the replication option and three years of support. “The Tintri systems were simple to install and instantly productive—benefits were realized within minutes,” Ives reported. “Once we had all of the hardware on site, everything was connected and configured within an hour. Only two of my support staff had in-depth knowledge of the old environment since it was so complex. I just did a quick training session this morning, and now all five of us are very comfortable with the intuitive Tintri interface.” 

Easier Backups and Faster Recovery

The two Tintri systems have been placed at opposite ends of the hospital site in two datacenters. All data is replicated hourly between the two systems for disaster recovery. “With Tintri, backing up is similar to our previous solution, but recovery is a lot faster and easier,” said Ives. “It's a much better solution from our point of view. On our previous platform, it would've taken hours to recover lost data—but only if the right people were available to perform the procedures. Not only are there more people that are able to do restores on the Tintri systems, we estimate that it would only take minutes to recover our entire environment, rather than hours. In addition, the typical time to recover a single VM is now under a minute, as opposed to 15 minutes previously.”  

Closing Thoughts

The Tintri deployment has performed exceedingly well for the Southampton Trust. “Application performance has improved significantly since moving to the Tintri systems. “Some tasks that used to take five minutes now take just 30 seconds,” added Ives. 

“We are now expanding our document management environment, and a lot of that will be supported by the additional capacity and performance we obtained with the two Tintri systems,” concluded Ives. “Tintri is also enabling us to expand our electronic patient records system and implement several other new services and applications. Moving to Tintri was an easy decision to make.” 


Highlights

Industry

Healthcare

Geography

Southampton, Hampshire, UK

Virtualization environment

VMware vSphere

Traditional storage: IBM

VM profile

MS SQL databases, Windows virtual servers, Web servers

Key challenges

Needed more capacity for existing workloads and new projects. Wanted to enhance the performance of virtualized applications and simplify infrastructure management.

Tintri solution

Two Tintri VMstore T850 systems

Primary use case

All virtualized workloads have been migrated to the two Tintri systems

Business benefits

Simplified storage management using Tintri's intuitive interface

Improved performance. Some tasks that previously took 5 minutes now take 30 seconds

Reduced single VM recovery time from 15 minutes to less than a minute

Cut entire system recovery time from hours to minutes

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