O.L.V. Van Lourdes Hospital has thought a lot about possible solutions. But everyone on the IT team was convinced from the very start that it should be a hyper-converged infrastructure rather than a classic SAN solution. The IT team had defined a number of criteria that the new solution had to meet.
One of them was the maintenance capabilities of the solution and its ease of use: maintenance, updates and installation. “In the IT department, we don’t feel comfortable if we can’t patch things up. A patch usually comes out because the vendor has a fix. This is the hospital’s most important and central system and you shouldn’t be working on it? That’s unnatural. Certainly in our sector,” says Bart Vanden Driessche, IT director of O.L.V. Van Lourdes Hospital Waregem.
The second requirement was that the solution had to offer full tolerance disaster recovery. “Our procedures foresee that every department must be able to operate without IT for a certain period of time. But of course any downtime of the systems must be as short as possible.
The third requirement for the new solution was a much better performance”. Eventually VMware vSAN (version 6.7) was chosen. The IT-park now runs on vSan and vSphere on 10 nodes. All old storage was removed and all data was fully migrated to the vSAN solution. At the same time a number of hardware servers were also virtualized.
The selection was done in consultation with partner ePact. Together with VMware they made the calculations (how many write commands per second) and checked if everything is correct and works with the hardware. “vSAN has certain hardware requirements. The ePact consultancy was important in this respect: they are involved on a daily basis and have the expertise we rely on”.