Healthcare System Finds a Pulse with Production Ready Cloud

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Industry: Healthcare

Solution: Cloud

The Client 

This nationally recognized healthcare system is dedicated to making a difference in the lives of people with cancer, diabetes, and other serious illnesses. Their goal is to transform scientific research into new drugs and treatments that will improve as many lives as possible, as soon as possible. In 2019, they treated more than 90,000 patients, completed more than 12,000 robotic surgeries, and performed 15,000 bone marrow transplants. In addition, the provider published 990 scientific papers and was granted 450 patents. Their community includes research associates, scientists, doctors, nurses, allied health professionals, graduate students, fundraising specialists, marketing professionals, volunteers and an extensive support staff—all united by the desire to find cures, save lives, and transform the future of health.

Challenge

Reduce Data Center Footprint & Migrate At-Risk Workloads

The client had close to 500 out-of-support Windows 2008 R2 servers on VMware, putting them at serious risk for a security incident. Fortunately, this healthcare provider already had an overall goal to significantly reduce their data center footprint by moving workloads to the cloud and had an existing Microsoft Azure environment deployed. However, they lacked proper governance and best practice compliance, giving them little confidence that their Azure environment was optimally designed to handle additional workloads. The hospital needed a fast and solid plan to harden their current Azure deployment and then migrate the Windows 2008 R2 servers into Azure to extend their support and reduce security exposures. They also wanted to leverage the VMware platform skillsets they had internally for ongoing support and management of the environment.

Solution

Evaluate, Strategize, Pilot, and Execute

For nearly two decades, Logicalis—a recognized industry leader in aligning
technology to business need—has worked to understand the challenges
faced by healthcare organizations and define solutions that enhance their
financial results and patient outcomes. This healthcare client had three key
objectives:

  • Ensure continued support of their mission-critical clinical workloads
  • Make sure that their Azure environment was stable and reliable enough
    to add Windows 2008 R2 workloads without risk
  • Continue to build out a cloud platform that they can scale with as they
    move forward

Logicalis’ key objectives were to give the client the assurance needed to safely migrate their apps to the cloud, while lowering their security exposure and reducing their data center footprint. Logicalis recommended migrating those Windows 2008 R2 servers to Azure to take advantage of three additional years of Critical and Important security updates at no additional cost.

Using their Cloud Readiness Assessment, Logicalis developed a remediation approach using the Microsoft-audited Logicalis Production Ready Cloud (PRC) solution to create an Azure landing zone, a secure environment for hosting workloads while hardening the cloud environment itself. The approach leverages a defined set of cloud services and best practices to add foundational capabilities that would set this healthcare provider up for success, while providing a stable and scalable place for their workloads to run.

With nearly 500 workloads to migrate, Logicalis—in conjunction with their client—decided to move 248 lower-risk, non-clinical apps first. As part of the Azure landing zone in PRC, Logicalis used networking services to keep the apps connected while adding and removing workloads without disruption. In the process, Logicalis identified a number of lightly utilized or inactive applications, bringing even greater awareness of the environment to the client. They then established identity management rules so that only trusted users could access the data.

With a successful “pilot” of the low-risk, non-clinical workloads, Logicalis will begin moving the client’s more mission-critical clinical workloads. They will start by establishing governance with integrated and enforceable compliance policies to ensure that the client will meet healthcare industry regulations. Then they’ll add security controls to protect the client’s data, both at rest and in flight.

Finally, Logicalis leveraged the Azure VMware Solution (AVS), a VMwareverified Microsoft service, to seamlessly move their VMware-based workloads from their datacenter into Azure and integrate them with their VMware environment. Not only does AVS reduce the time needed to migrate the Windows 2008 R2 servers into PRC, but it also enables the client’s IT team to continue to support those workloads using their existing VMware skills.

In summary, Logicalis engaged the client with their Production Ready Cloud approach and reviewed their environment to establish good foundations and guardrails. They then designed, deployed, and migrated the customer from unsupported servers to the Logicalis Production Ready Cloud to provide extended security support.

“Logicalis is putting out a security fire and then enabling our customer to figure it out once it gets into Azure,” said Logicalis VP of Healthcare & GovEd Sales Michael Riley. “PRC is now a central part of their data center strategy.”

Adds Account Executive Steve McMullen: “AVS is the right solution because they don’t have to do any re-platforming or app rationalization. It removes the risk yet keeps things operationally the same for them. PRC provides a landing zone that enables us to help them optimize going forward, starting with evaluating whether those workloads need to remain and, if so, whether it’s more effective to platform those into native Azure and
leverage Azure capabilities. ”But it takes a village. Logicalis’ long partnership with Microsoft—and their status as a Microsoft Gold Partner and Azure Expert Managed Services Provider—paid off for the customer. Microsoft was not only involved from the start; they saw that the Logicalis PRC approach was a faster path to the cloud than what any other partner was using. In addition to their specialized migration skills, Logicalis assisted the customer in getting Azure Migration Program (AMP) resources, including technical skill-building to ensure they successfully adopt Azure, free tools to help them execute future migrations and benefits to reduce their migration costs.

And the Logicalis and Microsoft teams brought in their global heavy hitters—Microsoft Black Belts for AVS and Logicalis’ Global Center of Excellence for PRC—to give the client complete confidence that their unsupported servers would be quickly and safely migrated to the cloud. The VMware team also played a part by helping the customer drive consumption up into Azure to simplify management and the cost structure for the client.

The Results

The project is still underway, but Logicalis has already created a new Azure landing zone with PRC, deployed the AVS environment into PRCP, and migrated 248 Windows 2008 R2 workloads into PRC. The client’s Azure footprint is now part of a centralized management structure within Production Ready Cloud, enabling this healthcare system to:

  • Extend Microsoft support for their critical clinical workloads for an additional three years.
  • Solidify the reliability of their cloud platform, giving them the confidence to migrate future workloads.
  • Manage their environment with the same VMware tools they already know.
  • Have the time needed to modernize their applications with Azure native services.
  • Get a fuller understanding of their app portfolio by identifying clinical, non-clinical and inactive workloads.
  • Address ongoing security concerns leveraging AVS as they continue to migrate workloads into Azure.
  • Flexibly add additional VMs as they begin to optimize their portfolio.
  • Apply governance and management to simplify their management tasks.

The healthcare provider now has a secure and reliable cloud environment and looks forward to transforming research into new drugs and treatments that will improve peoples’ lives.