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PoINT software helps St Augustinus Hospital reduces data storage

: 13 March, 2012  (Application Story)
The St Augustinus Hospital (St Augustinus-Klinik) near Dusseldorf has implemented a Tiered Storage Architecture using PoINT Storage Manager Software.
The company is now able to use primary storage more efficiently by migrating inactive data to an Archive Tier. All data are permanently accessible using the NetApp ONTAP operating system. Now the St Augustinus Hospital saves costs and time, especially by the reduced backup data volume of primary storage.

The St Augustinus Hospital is one of the most successful operators of healthcare and social facilities in the German region Niederrhein. Within their IT they are focusing on the NetApp FAS Storage solution with corresponding MetroCluster configuration. Constantly rising data volumes resulted in the requirement to transparently transfer inactive data (50 TB) from the high cost, high-performance redundant MetroCluster system to less expensive storage on a SATA RAID based NetApp FAS system.

In order to provide additional security the archived data will automatically be replicated to their existing Quantum i500 LTO Tape library. The library had previously been used only for backup purposes and had adequate capacity to additionally be utilised for the archiving.

The Manager of the division System integration, Christoph Sulik, was assigned to implement a solution which meets these requirements by realising a Tiered Storage Architecture. "We have evaluated the products from different manufacturers and decided on the Software solution from PoINT Software and Systems, because it offers a comprehensive approach which fulfills all requirements and is recommended by NetApp." said Sulik.

A key factor in the decision to select PoINT Storage Manager was the integrated support of the Quantum i500 LTO Tape Library. An additional advantage of the Solution from PoINT Software and Systems is the unique 'Pass Through' functionality of this Software, which is not available in any of the competitive products considered. In daily work (e.g. diagnostic findings) the application usually requires only certain data from a file (e.g. just the therapy and examination data), which is a small component of the complete file. To meet the requirements of the hospital, when the requested file has been migrated to the Archive Tier the file have not to be restored to the Primary Storage again. The 'Pass Through' architecture of PoINT Storage Manager meets this requirement by sending the requested blocks directly to the application and does not restore them on the Primary Storage. Thus the Primary Storage is not unnecessarily loaded and the applications work much more efficiently, as no time is wasted for the file copying.

The system stability had been secured by the Clustering function of PoINT Storage Manager which was installed using a Windows Server Cluster. The installation and the beginning of the test phase were realized in less than one day. Additional minor custom-specific requirements which arose in the test phase were implemented promptly by PoINT. "Not only the product features of PoINT, but also the excellent support and the willingness to provide project-specific extensions for our requirements have confirmed our choice." summarised Sulik.

The St Augustinus Hospital is able to reduce its storage cost by implementing the Tiered Storage Architecture of PoINT Storage Manager. Now the NetApp MetroCluster systems can be used more efficiently, and by integrating the existing tape library, additionally the compliance can be fulfilled.
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