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Growth in teleradiology studies spurs SAN upgrade

John Moore | Oct. 29, 2013
As a virtual radiology firm saw its workload nearly triple, storage performance suffered. That, in turn, impacted the underlying database, to the point that maintenance jobs overlapped. Rather than rewrite the database, Virtual Radiologic opted to upgrade it SAN -- and saw latency drop dramatically.

Virtualization, combined with a move to Cisco blade servers in 2010, has helped vRad reduce its data center footprint by half. Prior to the Cisco and Nimble gear, the company's data center was filled with rack-mounted servers, Williamson recalls. Now, vRad has stacks of decommissioned servers waiting to be sold or disposed.

The data center floor space reduction translates into an annual savings of $300,000 for vRad. That calculation takes into account factors including power and cooling in addition to real estate.

The company also saves on hardware acquisition. Williamson says vRad spins up a dozen or so virtual machines each month. If the company were to acquire physical servers at the same rate, it would end up spending $50,000 a month, he adds.

Williamson also notes that vRad was able to deploy more SANs due to Nimble's price point. The organization has deployed four SANs - two in production, one in development and one in its disaster recovery environment - for the same price as one Compellent SAN.

For companies such as vRad, storage plays a behind-the-scenes role as it helps deliver an organization's services. But it's a technology that emerges front and center when overtaxed.

"It's one of those things that isn't very visible unless there's a problem," says Dan Leary, vice president of worldwide marketing at Nimble.


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