Neil Medical Group
“We have benefitted from realizing data protection beyond anything we ever had before with ease of setup. No specialized technical training was required. We have achieved true business continuity with little effort. I cannot be more pleased with our SimpliVity decision.”
– Chad Benfield, Director of IT, Neil Medical Group
Neil Medical Group, a long-term-care pharmacy services provider and medical supply distributor, replaced its aging multivendor IT environment with SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure. The SimpliVity solution helps the Group simplify IT operations, reduce TCO and ensure high performance and availability for its core business systems including its mission-critical pharmacy management applications.
Business Challenge: Infrastructure Modernization and Simplification
Neil Medical Group’s multivendor IT environment had reached the end of its useful life. The Group’s legacy infrastructure—a mix of IBM® AIX® servers, DellTM rack servers and Dell EqualLogicTM storage systems—was performance-constrained and running out of capacity. And the company’s data protection methodologies, which relied heavily on tape backups, did not provide efficient disaster recovery or full business continuity for critical applications. Chad Benfield, Director of IT for Neil Medical Group sought to improve the performance, reliability and economics of the Group’s IT infrastructure.
After investigating a number of options including solutions from Dell
and Cisco, Benfield selected SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure for the Group’s next-generation IT implementation. “SimpliVity offered everything we need—compute, storage, disaster recovery, business continuity—in a single appliance that is extremely easy to manage,” says Benfield. “The other options required separate data protection and WAN optimization products and would have ended up costing twice as much as SimpliVity.”
SimpliVity provides a scalable, modular, 2U building block of x86 resources that offers all the functionality of traditional IT infrastructure—including server, storage and data protection functions—in a single device, with a unified administrative interface. The product performs inline data deduplication, compression and optimization on all data at inception across all phases of the data lifecycle, enabling dramatic storage capacity savings and ultra-efficient data protection even over bandwidth-constrained WAN links.
The Group deployed redundant SimpliVity OmniCube configurations in its Kinston and Mooresville, North Carolina data centers to ensure continuous availability in the event of hardware failures or application mishaps. Data is replicated across sites every 15 minutes for disaster recovery and business continuity.
SimpliVity’s built-in data protection features help safeguard the company’s business-critical applications. The product’s unique data efficiencies have slashed data backup and recovery times for all applications from hours or days to just seconds, while significantly reducing storage costs. In the Mooresville data center 1.64 PB of logical data consume only 19 TB of physical storage. OmniCube also helps the Group simplify ongoing system administration. IT generalists perform routine operations like cloning or restoring VMs in seconds with just two or three mouse clicks from VMware vCenter.
“We update our core pharmacy applications every month across three different pharmacies,” says Benfield. “It used to take hours to update each pharmacy with our old tapebased system. With SimpliVity we can back up and restore applications in seconds. We can spin up VMs, test out new releases, and put them into production quickly and easily. We always stand up a replicated copy of a live server at an alternate data center to apply the upgrades and test prior to releasing for production. This has always worked seamlessly with SimpliVity.”