MBB Radiology Images a Brighter Future
Cost of storage and servers for virtualized environment was too high. Performance of key radiology applications was starting to degrade.
- Increased key application performance by 50%
- Eliminated all downtime for PACS, RIS, and financial applications
- Achieved 4:1 reduction in datacenter footprint and power consumption
- Reduced storage management from 1 day per week to zero
- Obtained Nutanix at 1/3 the price of refreshing existing storage and servers
- MBB Obtains >50% Improvement in Application Performance, 4:1 Reduction in Datacenter Footprint, and Eliminates Downtime for All Radiology Applications
Mori Bean & Brooks (MBB) Radiology provides 24/7 coverage for 17 medical facilities across Florida and Georgia, including nine hospitals. MBB Radiology’s 50 physicians work tirelessly with the goal of providing the most accurate assessments in the shortest possible time, reading more than 1 million radiology studies every year.
MBB Radiology relies on three data centers — two in Jacksonville for production data, and one in Lakeland, Florida for backup and disaster recovery. MBB virtualized its IT environment three years ago using VMware vSphere 5.5. They are also using Citrix XenDesktop 6.5 to provide virtual desktops for 40 local and remote radiology staff. Key applications include a very data-intensive Picture Archiving and Communications (Merge PACSTM) system and a large Radiology Information System (Merge RISTM) from Merge Healthcare, enterprise accounting (financial) software, three SQL servers, and several small office productivity applications.
MBB Radiology was preparing for a technology refresh in the spring of 2013. “We have to keep our IT environment up-to-date because we are dealing with patient care,” noted Jason M. Carter, chief information officer and vice president of operations at MBB Radiology. “When it came time for our regularly scheduled technology refresh, we looked at the cost of upgrading our existing IT infrastructure. Since we would have to buy entirely new servers and then add storage on top of it, that option was very pricey. In addition to the high cost barriers, several of our key applications were starting to exhibit serious performance and reliability issues. We decided it was time to look at other server and storage options for our radiology services.”
“Nutanix is an IT manager’s dream come true. Our virtualized environment is much more reliable and stable, we now have plenty of storage space, and application performance has increased as well.”
– Jason M. Carter, Chief Information Officer and Vice President of Operations, MBB Radiology
The Nutanix Solution
“A colleague of mine introduced me to Nutanix last year,” Carter recalled. “Nutanix has a converged infrastructure solution that consolidates compute and the storage tier into a single, integrated appliance. The converged approach to storage and servers reduces costs and complexity, and enables easy scalability.” MBB bought its first Nutanix Virtual Computing Platform appliance in June of 2013. “We started by moving just a few of our VMs over to the Nutanix NX-3050 to see how they ran,” Carter reported. “We tested and monitored the Nutanixappliance for over six months and were amazed at its high performance and easy manageability.”
MBB brought three additional Nutanix appliances in April of 2014, and quickly moved the remaining VMs over to the new environment. “We now have 10 Nutanix NX-3050 nodes for our clinical and business apps, with tens of TBs of patient data,” said Carter. “We still use our old legacy SAN boxes for backups, since we don’t need as much performance for that environment. But when those units reach end-of-life, we will put our backups on Nutanix as well.”
IT and Business Benefits
“Nutanix is an IT manager’s dream come true,” Carter reported. “Our virtualized environment is much more reliable and stable, we now have plenty of storage space, and application performance has increased as well.”
- Faster Deployment and Non-Disruptive Upgrades. “The Nutanix deployment was very fast and easy,” Carter reported. “Scaling and software updates are also non-disruptive. We performed one software update cluster-wide during production hours with absolutely no downtime.”
- 4:1 Reduction in Datacenter Footprint and Power. “We went from five full racks with our physical servers, to two full racks at our data center when we virtualized our environment last year,” said Carter. “With Nutanix’ compact form factor, we have now reduced the two virtualized racks to a single rack. That’s a 4:1 reduction in datacenter footprint and power from our virtualized environment.”
- >50% Improvement in Application Performance. “After moving the VMs overto Nutanix, the contention issues we were having with our servers immediately went away,” said Carter. “All of applications are now running at least 50% faster.”
- Eliminated Downtime. “Before Nutanix, our PACs system went down twice each week on average,” Carter said. “Since we moved to Nutanix, our PACs application hasn’t gone down a single time.”
- Simpler Management. “Our legacy arrays required constant management,” Carter reported. “We were spending five hours each week just managing storage. With Nutanix, we don’t have to manage storage anymore – it just runs.”
- 3x Cost Savings. “Nutanix was a very cost-effective decision for us,” according to Carter. “If we had upgraded our legacy three-tier storage and server solution, it would have cost three times more than purchasing the four Nutanix appliances.”