Aug 29 2023

HPE Alletra Storage Offers Security and Availability in Healthcare

Healthcare delivery increasingly relies on 24/7/365 access to many forms of critical patient information, making a fail-safe data storage array essential.

The use of electronic health records, the growing importance of data analytics and the need to meet regulatory requirements all influence the data storage needs of healthcare organizations.

In addition to the sheer volume of data that needs to be stored, healthcare organizations also require high availability and robust security standards that guarantee protection of highly sensitive protected health information and, ultimately, improved delivery of care.

HPE’s Alletra storage systems, in particular the Alletra 6000 and Alletra 9000 — both engineered with cloud-native design, tested and validated by Epic, and certified for MEDITECH use — help ensure 24/7/365 access to patient data and efficient clinical workflows.

Rick Banzi, solution business manager for the Americas at HPE, explains that an increasing number of analytics tools are being developed to ingest and process large data sets.

“That means we need more robust systems as far as scale and performance goes, and that’s really changing the landscape because there is a need for bigger, faster systems to run that data and store the data,” he says.

DISCOVER: How HPE makes healthcare IT more efficient, productive and secure.

Storage Solutions to Meet the Fast Growth of Healthcare Data

Alletra systems address the latency needs and availability demands of large-scale EHR management systems, offer a high level of resiliency against time-correlated errors and run with multiple compression algorithms that compress data depending on resource use.

Ceasar Espino, healthcare solution architect at HPE, notes that there are regulatory practices around how long the data needs to be kept.

“Organizations generally just don’t delete their data; they keep it around forever because of those regulations,” he says.

He notes that the data volumes healthcare organizations require are also growing as the sheer size of image files get bigger. Performance needs require availability at all times.

READ MORE: How application optimization can improve healthcare.

“We are seeing exponential growth in data nowadays as well,” he says. “That relates to the amount of data that’s getting ingested into both the EHR and the picture archiving and communication system. It’s growing in all areas.”

Banzi says that one of the hallmarks of the Alletra system is its artificial intelligence technology.

“The Alletra is self-optimizing and self-healing, with an AI layer that allows our healthcare customers to focus on their daily tasks rather than the array itself,” he says. “It’s easily optimized as they add capacity, add more applications or have additional performance needs. It is very easy to scale for capacity and for performance.”

If a healthcare organization must increase Alletra performance, it can scale up the controller so that there are more than two controllers on the solution.

“Four-node controllers in the Alletra 9000 are a great way to maximize performance for some of those Epic environments or for organizations that need an application performance boost there,” Banzi says.

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How to Guarantee Data Availability with Multiple Failover Options

Espino notes that guaranteed availability also is a critical component to data storage for healthcare customers.

“This is where we focus a lot of our healthcare certifications, and we offer 100 percent availability guarantees,” he says. “The Alletra is designed with multiple failover components so that if anything fails, you are still running. That allows us to offer the availability guarantee.”

Healthcare organizations require guaranteed access to data across satellite locations, which are sharing data among their care facilities, business units and independent groups.

“Health organizations have patients in beds at night where caregivers must take readings and enter that data into the system, so the data really can’t go down,” Espino says. “Having that upgradeability, flexibility and performance guaranteed is critical.”

He says that the company undertakes a rigorous testing process to certify the Alletra 6000, 9000 and StoreOnce arrays for MEDITECH EHR management systems.

EXPLORE: Learn how AI is making healthcare smarter.

“We run tests that are specifically tailored for the application, and we push the arrays as far and as fast as we can to test the peak of what the system can do,” Espino says. “It gives our partners confidence that we can do the job, but it also gives us a good idea of what those customers should be seeing.”

Banzi says that healthcare organizations must always have access to all their data. This fact has driven HPE to standardize and offer one control pane for their customers.

“We also are making this very easy for the customers to roll out within their environments, and they can even dial down to role-based access controls among their employees or their different locations,” he says.

From his perspective, giving the customers control of what they need — including the ability to lock down security with multifactor options and virtual options — helps gives healthcare IT leaders peace of mind.

“They have everything at their fingertips to handle those healthcare storage needs,” he says.

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