NHS Direct buys first 3PAR HP 9000
SysMicro deliver the first ever HP 3PAR system in the UK to NHS Direct
NHS Direct looks after the phone based NHS service dealing with health advice and basic diagnosis. Set up 13 years ago, the service has always used HP servers and storage and has fully utilised the remote management features of the HP hardware.
Call centre staff use sophisticated software to Triage patients and identify how best they may be treated. Following initial questioning, a combination of the software, staff experience and clinical expertise, ensures that the patient is given the best advice possible. Severe symptoms may require an ambulance and NHS Direct staff can transfer the call straight through to the local Emergency response centre.
The data centres for NHS Direct are outsourced to a specialist company providing clinical software and hosting for not only the NHS but other online and phone based Triage systems operating abroad. This company had been using HP EVA 5000 and 8000 technology for the last 8 years and an upgrade was due. After scrutinising the market, they decided to look closely at the 3PAR disk array, which HP had acquired only weeks before.
The F400 array gives NHS Direct a number of key advantages over other arrays:
• The best thin provisioning in the industry:- this saves significant space for operational use, cutting costs in the short and long term
• A scalable platform to support more drives than they will need for the next five years
• Scalable performance. The F400 allows the controllers to be increased from two to four, giving better performance and higher resilience. This is a key factor in a 24/7 service like NHS Direct
• Automatic tiered storage. Data lands on high performance disks, but is automatically moved in accordance with user definable policy to lower tiers of storage. Thus stale data will end up on the lowest cost storage and data used every day will stay on the performance disks. This significantly lowers cost as the bulk of the expansion will be to the lower disk tiers and not the expensive primary disk storage
This new platform will enable several existing arrays to be consolidated onto a single array, thus saving operational costs. The NHS has been asked to save £20bn over the next three years and this is an example of a significant saving that NHS Direct can make towards this goal.
This storage array was the first one to be ordered by a partner since 3PAR was taken over by HP, placing SysMicro at the forefront of next generation storage products.