Mercy Health saves costs with networking upgrade

The not-for-profit rolls out software-based wide area network optimisation

Queensland health provider, Mercy Health and aged care central Queensland Ltd, has saved costs and improved data replication since the deployment of a software-based wide area network (WAN) optimisation solution.

According to IT operations manager, Mohamed Elalfy, a hardware based WAN product would have cost three times more over a four-year time frame.

Based at Rockhampton, the organisation delivers services to rural and central Queensland.

It had invested in a NetApp storage infrastructure to overcome compliance issues but could not achieve backup and replication targets.

With 10 terabytes (TB) of data in its main data centre, and another 10 TB spread between four other sites, Elalfy said that it was faced with replicating data to its Brisbane storage facility at speeds it could not afford.

“The maximum available link from Rockhampton is around 50 megabits per second [Mbps] which would have cost us up to $60,000 a year,” he said in a statement.

Elalfy had to achieve replication to Brisbane on a 12 Mbps link out of Rockhampton, 6 Mbps from Mackay and Bundaberg and 2 Mbps from Gladstone. To overcome this issue, he deployed Silver Peak VX software.

“This software offered us the optimisation we required, with the substantial benefits of it being a virtual appliance,” he said.

Since deploying VX, Elalfy has reported a recovery point objective (RPO) of one hour.

“We are achieving between 80 and 85 per cent reduction between our local area network [LAN] and WAN pipes. In terms of throughput, the 12 Mbps link from Rockhampton is now easily performing like a 100 Mbps link.”

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