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Enterprise Cloud for Healthcare: It is all about the Applications

by Community Manager ‎02-22-2017 07:14 AM - edited ‎02-22-2017 07:30 AM (833 Views)



This post was authored by Preethy Padmanabhan Solutions Marketing and Dan Cowan Global Healthcare Director, Nutanix 


When I speak with a business partner or a job candidate and they say “in healthcare, it is all about the apps”, they immediately have my attention.  This is a sign that they "get it”, and understand the importance of applications in healthcare and the user’s, usually a clinician, interaction with the application.  


Across industries, it’s somewhat unusual for the actual application to come up in a discussion about infrastructure.  But, in the healthcare provider market, the applications used to run the business and deliver patient care are critical, and they need to be top-of-mind at all times.  If the infrastructure provider doesn’t understand the requirements of the applications and invest time in ensuring that the platform can effectively support the applications, the company will struggle mightily in this market.


In healthcare, the applications are so critical that the app vendors often dictate the infrastructure options of the customer, and this can ripple into other parts of the data center.  Sometimes this is good in that it provides standardization on high-performance systems, but historically it has also forced many customers to run aging architectures and slowed the pace of adoption of modern, more efficient data center products.  This is why some see healthcare as being 10-15 years behind other industries when it comes to technology adoption.


In recent years, provider organizations have invested very large amounts of capital and resources in applications such as EHR’s, PACS, and VNA solutions. These applications are strategic to the business and represent some of their top expenditures. In other industries, we see complex applications like SAP, Salesforce, or custom apps built on Oracle or SQL Server, but in no other industry do we see unique, specialized apps like the ones used by healthcare providers.  And these applications shouldn’t be categorized by the overused “business critical”.  They are truly “life critical”. I hope you recognize the difference!




And because of the importance of these apps, where should they live?  Healthcare customers tell us that they want an application platform that they can control, one that is secure (think HIPAA/HITRUST), is cost effective, scalable, and reliable.  All of those requirements point to a new-age infrastructure platform, owned and managed by the hospital or health system.  


This could reside in their own data center or in a co-location facility.  But it’s certainly not a public cloud service.  Not today, at least.  Providers have been moving some apps (corporate website, etc) to the public cloud, and most of that makes sense.  But for critical apps that are truly predictable workloads and need tight controls, a customer-owned Enterprise Cloud solution is the answer.  And it can be deployed in far less physical space, using much less power and cooling, than the infrastructure of even 3 years ago.  


But the key benefit that makes Enterprise Clouds a better alternative than public cloud is that it is easy to deploy and manage with your existing team.


Benefits to Healthcare IT from Enterprise Clouds

  • Web-scale architecture based on hyperconvergence with data locality and intelligent data tiering for high performance
  • Self-healing and non-disruptive upgrades to minimize downtime
  • Adding resources to enable linear pay-as-you-grow scaling without downtime
  • Secure development lifecycle and self-validation/healing to meet stringent requirements
  • Integrate data protection and disaster recovery to help meet availability service levels

If a technology vendor isn’t building specialization around healthcare, they are missing the mark and likely won’t be competitive in this vertical.  It should be a well vetted decision to invest in healthcare, because it’s not easy.  An individual or a business can’t pick up Healthcare IT overnight, or even in months.  


It take years of experience to understand the application functionality, benefits, pitfalls, the industry players, and the impact to clinician workflow and productivity.  And all of those are important to understand, on top of just being able to speak the lingo of healthcare.


In what other industry vertical do we truly have the opportunity to impact the quality of someone's life and health?  It may seem like a stretch to say that a product like Nutanix can have that impact, but if we can improve the availability and performance of healthcare applications, that truly affects people's lives.  And if we don’t do our job well, don’t understand healthcare, or don’t take it seriously, our technology can have a very negative affect on the delivery of care and on people’s wellbeing.  This is why we have a focused healthcare team Nutanix, and why it’s so important to us.


Nutanix at HIMSS 2017

Nutanix will be exhibiting at HIMSS 2017, Orlando from February 19-23, 2017 at booth #2887, where experts will be on hand for technical conversations on datacenter trends in healthcare and digital transformation. Nutanix customer, St. Joseph Health will be speaking on topic “Transform Health IT with Enterprise Cloud Technologies” at HIMSS session 178 on Wed, Feb 22, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm in Room 311A. Nutanix will also be hosting a Lunch n Learn session on the topic of ‘Enhancing Care Delivery with VDI on Enterprise Cloud’ on Wednesday, Feb 22, 1:00pm – 2:00 pm in Room 203C. For more information check out the Nutanix at HIMSS blog post here.


To learn more about our healthcare customers, partnerships, and resources, please contact us at healthcare@nutanix.com, engage with us on Twitter or send us a note below.


Disclaimer: This blog contains links to external websites that are not part of Nutanix.com. Nutanix does not control these sites and disclaims all responsibility for the content or accuracy of any external site. Our decision to link to an external site should not be considered an endorsement of any content on such site.



Horizon 7 Reference Architecture with Windows 10

by Community Manager on ‎10-17-2016 10:42 AM (644 Views)

VMware Horizon 7 on Nutanix, practical sizing and design guidance for VMware Horizon desktop virtualization. This validated reference architecture highlights the advantages of using the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform to seamlessly scale and deliver consistent robust performance for VMware Horizon 7.


Horizon 7 allows you to provision virtual or hosted desktops and applications through one VDI platform, while Nutanix eliminates bottlenecks and provides business continuity by providing robust disaster recovery options for businesses of any size.


Running VMware Horizon 7 on Nutanix offers benefits that include:


  • Scale linearly from 100s to 1,000s of users without changing your design.
  • Eliminate VDI complexity and risk with turnkey infrastructure.
  • Fast cloning with View Composer Array Integration (VCAI).
  • Several deployment options for App Volumes and user profiles.
  • Integrated disaster recovery for linked-clone desktops and AppStacks with little additional overhead.


Download this free guide for detailed performance results as well as general sizing and design recommendations.


Continue the conversation in the community forums! 


Go one step further with Acropolis File Services for your VDI deployments

by Community Manager ‎10-10-2016 06:00 AM - edited ‎10-10-2016 10:14 AM (2,023 Views)

This post was authored by Shubhika Taneja, Product Marketing Manager, at Nutanix.


Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform has a really long and bright track record of success with end user computing (EUC) including VDI and application virtualization deployments, with hundreds of thousands of hosted, virtual and shared desktops running on Nutanix since 2011. Predictable and linear scale, simple out-of-the-box deployment, no storage bottlenecks resulting in consistent user experience, and validated designs for Citrix and VMware are just some of the reasons that make Nutanix a top choice for application and desktop virtualization  across the industry.


Now, there is more good news for customers who are running VDI on Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform. Any EUC deployment has a few key use cases for which they have to resort to a standalone NAS: user profiles and home directories as well as departmental shares. Acropolis File Services (AFS) can bridge the gap by eliminating the requirement of a standalone file server or NAS for these use cases.


AFS is a software-defined scale-out file storage and serving solution with unified management for VM and file services. It is a core component of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform, and can be enabled on any Nutanix cluster in just a few clicks out of Nutanix Prism.




Consolidating VM and File Storage on the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform



What does this mean for EUC deployments?


  1. Since home directories, user profiles, and departmental shares for the VDI users can now be hosted on the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform without the need of an external file server, this gives end to end control to the VDI administrators eliminating the standalone NAS silos.
  2. Everything can be managed from Prism, the Nutanix management solution, giving a single management plane and eliminating complexities to manage an external NAS that requires dedicated knowledge.
  3. If you have spare cluster capacity on an existing Nutanix cluster, you can get better cluster utilization, by deploying AFS on the same cluster thereby reducing costs. Alternately AFS can also be deployed on a standalone Nutanix cluster.
  4. AFS inherits the rich enterprise storage features from the underlying Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Platform such as intelligent tiering, deduplication, erasure coding and compression.
  5. AFS is feature rich with built in high availability, disaster recovery, user and share quotas and self service restores.


AFS provides a natural progression for the Nutanix VDI and application virtualization customers to start hosting their user profiles, home directories, and departmental shares on Nutanix instead of additional file servers or NAS appliances, thus consolidating one more infrastructure layer.


Read more details about AFS on the datasheet here.




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