The Stiftung Juliusspital Würzburg foundation has one of the richest traditions of any welfare facility in Germany. Its hospital, which is classified as a level-3 facility, and its elderly-care home have been serving the ill and elderly since 1576. Stiftung Juliusspital has 342 beds and some 150 care places as well as 22 assisted-living units, making it the only provider of its kind in Würzburg. The foundation’s hospital serves as a teaching hospital for the University of Würzburg. Underpinning the foundation’s business are assets and property donated by Prince-Bishop Julius Echter von Mespelbrunn as well as property in the Spessart woods and Germany’s second-largest vineyard.
The diverse SAN solutions used for the different applications at Stiftung Juliusspital had to be consolidated into an efficient, expandable system to support the hospital’s round-the-clock operations. The top priorities would be to ensure high data availability and reliability, and flexible scalability. In addition, system administration could not be too resource-intensive and hospital operations could not be affected. Data on virtualised systems had to be accessible fast, even over Wi-Fi, as some 15% of the roughly 370 Windows PCs used by the hospital are mobile—taken by doctors from room to room, for instance.
The NetApp infrastructure has reduced our workload, giving us more scope for new IT projects and thereby fostering greater operational efficiency within the foundation. Our investment will have paid for itself within just a few years.
Joachim Fuchs, Head of IT, Stiftung Juliusspital Würzburg
Stiftung Juliusspital’s IT team was already familiar with NetApp architecture from the NetApp storage it was using for its PACS system. The NetApp mid-range system installed by Bechtle ensures that all systems now feature the same high availability that is already standard for servers, network and storage. The products and features deployed, such as MetroCluster software, site failover, deduplication and SnapDrive as well as FlexVol, SnapRestore and Snapshot guarantee synchronous data replication and continual access to highly secure data. In the event of a failover, VMware vMotion migrates the virtual machines with zero downtime. Network paths and 4 GB FC switches are redundant. Ever cognisant of cost, Bechtle designed the infrastructure to include four switches for the SAN’s back-end and front-end to save the foundation unnecessary costs for leased fibre optic lines. The storage systems are housed in different fire areas to further enhance failure safety through physical separation.
Users can now handle medical documentation more efficiently, thanks primarily to centralised data storage and uninterrupted access to data and applications—which itself was made possible by fully virtualising servers and clients. This gives staff more time to devote to other tasks. The NetApp Unified Storage system, systematically virtualised using VMware technology, considerably reduces the workload of Stiftung Juliusspital’s IT department, while also delivering more consistent storage, backup and disaster recovery. Previously, the hospital’s data would often contain up to 50 duplicates per file. NetApp’s integrated deduplication eliminates them, thereby improving storage efficiency.