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An Insider's View of HPE SimpliVity: Fresenius Medical Care

JanetRunberg

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HPE SimpliVity Insiders View.jpgKeith Cadieux, Manager of Enterprise Systems at Fresenius Medical Care, provided an HPE SimpliVity Insider’s view of their hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) deployment.

As a premier health care company, Fresenius Medical Care provides services to more than 325,000 people with chronic kidney conditions in 3,800 dialysis clinics worldwide. Five years ago, aging IT equipment was causing significant downtime in their US-based clinics, threatening to disrupt patient care. Servers urgently needed to be replaced at more than a dozen geographically dispersed locations – a daunting prospect for Cadieux and his small team.

Cadieux shared his story.

Why hyperconverged?

When I learned about hyperconvergence, I recognized our chance to upgrade more than just servers. We had components and technologies from lots of different vendors at our clinics. HCI would let us modernize and consolidate our whole IT infrastructure, including the remote sites.

We evaluated HCI systems from other vendors, but [HPE] SimpliVity was the only one that checked all the boxes. The solution even offered data protection. We could do it all with one simple architecture:

  • Modernize our servers, storage, and data services
  • Get zero or near-zero downtime at our remote offices
  • Get built-in data protection – two node clusters gave us ‘DR in a box’ at every site
  • Manage our entire infrastructure through a single interface

Any surprises?

The biggest surprise was how resilient the new [HPE] SimpliVity system proved to be. We replicated remote site data back to our corporate data centers, and weathered storms and power outages for years without worrying.Fresenius-hurricane-SimpliVity.jpgThen in 2017, we watched as Cat 3 hurricanes headed toward Puerto Rico and Florida. If our systems went down and we couldn’t access patient records, we wouldn’t be able to treat people who depended on dialysis centers in those locations. Knowing that patients couldn’t wait weeks for treatment, we decided to power down the remote office machines, bringing them online in our corporate data center. When the storms hit, we lost power for a week in Florida and for months in Puerto Rico, but we didn’t lose any customer data. In a matter of days, we flew in medical supplies, powered-up emergency generators at several clinics, and since then have continued to provide life-saving health care services to our patients.

Insider tip

If I had to do it over again, I would have:

  1. Bought way more storage up front. The way our business is going, data at remote locations is growing fast.
  2. Gotten more help with site coordination ahead of time, maybe working with HPE support and service teams. With a big upgrade like this across 13 different sites, there were plenty of logistical issues.

Five years later…

I’m really happy with our investment in HPE SimpliVity. These systems are easy to administer. And it’s good to know how much we helped our patients. It meant a lot that we could provide service, even after a hurricane.

 

To learn more about HPE SimpliVity, download the Gorilla Guide to Hyperconverged Infrastructure for Data Protection. To hear more from HPE hyperconverged customers, check out the HPE SimpliVity Upshot stories.

Janet


Janet Runberg
Hewlett Packard Enterprise

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HPE SimpliVity Insiders is a user community for current hyperconverged technology customers. Users share tips, and are eligible for HPE rewards and exclusive access to the extended HPE SimpliVity team. If you’d like to be invited to join the community, contact jennifer.insiders@hpe.com

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About the Author

JanetRunberg

I’ve been with HP/HPE for 12 years covering data storage, software-defined storage, and now hyperconvergence and software-defined infrastructure as part of the HPE SimpliVity team.