iSYSTEMS Delivers Critical Skills

Challenges

  • Legacy compute, storage and networking systems that were unable to run new line of business applications or support required system upgrades and refreshes
  • Headcount restrictions and a focus on the day to day management of key systems meant the in-house IT team was unable to progress projects at the pace required
  • Specific skill sets required were hard to source

Solution

  • iSYSTEMS Professional Services to implement All Flash Storage, Blade Server Systems, VMware vSphere and vCenter, and Cisco networking infrastructure

Results

  • Access to varied and specific skill sets as and when required
  • Agility and flexibility needed to address unforeseen issues
“We have used iSYSTEMS on a number of key infrastructure projects and we continue to use them as they have shown they can deliver. Having a supplier we can rely on is important to us as we have neither the time nor the capacity to micro-manage third party providers. We have learned to trust iSYSTEMS and that has allowed us just to focus on what we need to do.” Geoff Cross, CIO, Ramsay Health Care UK.


The Situation

Ramsay Health Care UK (Ramsay) is one of the largest providers of independent hospital services in England with a network of 36 hospitals and treatment centres across England. These facilities provide a comprehensive range of clinical specialties to private and insured patients and, increasingly, to patients referred by the NHS.

In order to support the needs of its 2500 concurrent users, the demands of its existing services, the level of growth it was experiencing, and the requirements of a new electronic patient record system, Ramsay needed to modernise its IT infrastructure. However, with a relatively small IT department, it was not in position rapidly to progress the required projects.

“The quality of infrastructure we have in place in our data centres directly influences our operations”, said Geoff Cross, Ramsay’s CIO, “as, self-evidently, ready access to patient data is essential.  We have been actively involved in updating our systems; however, the hands-on work in our data centres, which is ongoing, has mainly been done by iSYSTEMS”.

The Solution

Following their usual procurement procedure, Ramsay put various project requirements out to tender and, after the necessary due diligence, selected iSYSTEMS. Ramsay was not just attracted by iSYSTEMS’ competitive pricing and guarantees. The company had previously worked with iSYSTEMS founders, Mick Cooper and Rob Robinson, and knew they could count on their expertise and reliability.

“As we had worked with iSYSTEMS before”, said Cross, “it wasn’t a difficult decision. They were competitively priced and we were confident that they would deliver based on our previous experience of working with them.”

Once selected, iSYSTEMS became responsible for the design and implementation of the infrastructure required for Ramsay’s new electronic patient record, including the provisioning of virtual machines and physical servers, equipment moves, rack diagrams and connectivity. iSYSTEMS also provided resources with the necessary skills to provide technical cover at key stages of the project and during other data centre events such as annual power checks.

“The staff sent by iSYSTEMS were proven individuals who had already experienced the environment at Ramsay and knew the systems as well as my own team,” said Simon Dent, Ramsay’s IT Operations Manager.

iSYSTEMS Provided the following resources:

Solutions Architect 

Overall owner of the infrastructure solutions designs which includes new data centre space, rack layouts, power consumption and copper and fibre structured cabling.

Technical management of the complete move of the DR equipment to a larger suite which included compiling the plan for the complete shutdown, move and start-up of the systems, testing and signoff.

Design of all flash storage platform for Production and DR and data migration strategy.

Cisco Network Architect and Implementation Consultancts

Reviewed existing Cisco network and designed additional components. Also enhanced the resiliency of the DR site and removed single points of failure. Provisioned and tested all new networking components. Designed the DMZ environment to facilitate the N3 requirements of the overall solution.

Network Core Upgrade design to replace ageing hardware. Implementation and configuration of new Cisco hardware. End point migration planning. Replacement of Out of Bound Cisco hardware. Design and provision of cross site EVPL links. Connectivity of 3rd party managed Juniper switches to the core network.

SAN Architect and Implementation Consultants

SAN storage maintenance and data migration, snapshot and replication configuration. Maintenance of SQL SAN agents and backup integration. This includes firmware upgrades across multiple storage vendors and firmware upgrades to Brocade Fabrics. Decommissioning of old SAN storage.

Design and deployment of Tier2 storage for backup to disk targets for CommVault.

Design and deployment of new Flash storage and associated management servers. Design of data protection elements of replication, snapshots and SQL backup tool.

Design of Dark Fibre cross site fibre connectivity. Merger of Brocade fabrics across sites and testing of links.

HP Blade/Rackmount Server and HP Virtual Connect Architect and Implementation Consultants

Designed a new blade chassis with HP Virtual Connect networking. Also designed Rackmount servers that run the core SQL database system. Provisioned, configured and tested all HP hardware.

Deployment of HPE OneView and migration of six chassis into OneView. HPE OneView upgrades.

Design and deployment of four HPE C7000 chassis to replace old hardware. Migration of all workloads from old to new hardware. The continued updating of Chassis, Virtual Connect, Blade and Server firmware.

Deployed all servers, run all test plans, system load testing and monitoring against all infrastructure components to ensure resilience and scalability.

VMware Architect

Designed new vSphere 6 environment hosted on HP Blade servers to include disaster recovery using vSphere Site Recovery Manager. Built, configured and tested new vSphere environment.

Upgrade of all vSphere elements and consolidation of vCenter servers. Subsequent upgrades for vCenter, ESXi hosts, VCOPS and VMtools and VMhardware. Design and deployment of McAfee MOVE to the vSphere environment.

Microsoft SQL Architect 

Designed and implemented the Production and DR SQL infrastructure to host core database cluster and other SQL Always-On instances.

Citrix Architect

Designed a new XenApp environment to present three of the applications across the WAN and provide printing services. Complex permissions requirements interpreted and deployed.

Barracuda Architect

Design and deployment of Barracuda load balancers across both sites

Backup Architect and Implementation Consultant

Design and deployment of additional backup servers within the CommVault environment to meet new backup requirements. Deployment of additional media servers.

Project Manager

Provided project management to the infrastructure stream.

The Results

The resources were managed by iSYSTEMS to ensure all design workshops, high level and detailed documentation were produced and key milestones were met. The Solution Architect and Project Manager attended weekly BAU meetings to ensure proactive planning and management. When unexpected challenges occurred within the project, iSYSTEMS simply pulled in further resources to maintain the regular IT administration and keep the project on track.

“What iSYSTEMS has given us is availability of staff with the required technical know-how. The project has been more complex and challenging than anticipated, iSYSTEMS has helped us keep to our project timelines,” Geoff Cross, CIO.
“The simple fact is, that without iSYSTEMS, we would never have had the staff required to deliver this project.” Simon Dent - Operations Manager

iSYSTEMS was able to assist Ramsay as it has a wealth of experience in delivering complex infrastructure solutions and is able to guide customers through best practice and compliance issues. By independently evaluating the infrastructure needs of customers, iSYSTEMS can identify the areas or projects that will deliver maximum benefit. From in-depth assessment, design, and deployment services, to complete asset procurement, integration and managed services. Using a consultative and vendor agnostic approach iSYSTEMS aligns technology, insight, and resources across a range of commercial and enterprise business applications, helping clients evolve to a service-enabled data centre model, providing on-demand elastic services and agility, enabling IT to focus on innovation.

Everywhere we look we see the promise of technology

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