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Hyper-Converged Infrastructure Expanding in Health IT

Healthcare organizations are looking into hyper-converged infrastructure as they continue to digitally transform their IT infrastructures.

hyper-converged infrastructure

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Pivot 3 and Arrow Electronics announced their collaboration to make hyper-converged infrastructure (HCI) more available to US healthcare customers.

HCI is growing quickly across all major verticals as a way for organizations to deploy more robust infrastructure solutions such as virtualization and big data analytics. Arrow Electronics will be distributing Pivot 3’s latest HCI solutions.

Hyper-convergence virtualizes elements of datacenter infrastructure, from storage and networking to process and memory. The entire infrastructure is managed from a single place, which gives IT administrators more visibility and control over the entire environment.

Hyper-convergence can be run in a cloud or on-premises environment and lets IT administrators control all virtual deployments from one place. This allows for less user error and faster technology speeds.

The collaboration with Arrow Electronics further expands Pivot 3’s Global Channel Partner Program, which makes it easier for organizations to afford HCI solutions.  

The global hyper-converged integrated system market is expected to grow at a 37 percent CAGR through 2025, according to a recent Transparency Market Research report.

The report stated that the healthcare sector is expected to see the biggest rise in hyper-converged integrated systems because of the growing adoption of digital information storage solutions. The report also credited the increased use of smart phone-based technology to patient interaction.

“The rising complexity of data being generated due to the use of diverse electronic instruments such as gaming devices and smartphones has led to growing demand for data center consolidation services,” report authors stated.

HCI allows organizations to take advantage of more robust IT infrastructure tools without spending too much money deploying and maintaining them.

The most common HCI use is virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI). Using HCI for VDI allows clinicians to securely log in to their desktop environments in a faction of the time.

“A lot of organizations are demanding quick turnkey solutions that are easy to deploy, easy to maintain, easy to configure and they don’t have to take a lot of time integrating all the components in the data center before they can deploy them,” Pivot3 Chief Marketing Officer Bruce Mline told HITInfrastructure.com.

“There’s a challenge with physicians at the point of care, whether it’s in an admitting room or even just a consult room, logging into all the applications they need to get all the patient information and to capture their patient data as they’re doing their diagnosis,” Mline continued. “We found that physicians were spending something 10 minutes per engagement logging into all the applications, because every time they went into a new room, they had to log in again as their persona on all those applications.”

There are other use cases for HCI that are also being explored in health IT infrastructure, VMware VP of Products, Storage and Availability Lee Caswell told HITInfrastructure.com.

“Organizations are using HCI for testing and development,” said Caswell. “HCI is good for organizations that need a flexible environment to deploy and redeploy quickly during development.”

“This is the first year that the majority of our workloads are databases,” he continued. “That's because once you get a very consistent performance, you can simplify and bring down the cost. For a lot of hospitals, costs are a big driver right now. The second is just how many IT people do they have for storage? It turns out it's a smaller number who know storage than who know virtualization, so far.”

Healthcare organizations looking to implement virtualization tools or solutions that take more computing power such as big data analytics, need to consider how their infrastructure can handle expanded workload. Consolidating health IT systems can help organizations achieve these goals without exhausting their budgets.

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