Hospitals tap new flash storage to facilitate move to virtual desktops

For hospitals investigating the advantages of Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI), the enhanced capabilities of flash storage can prove very useful.

Jeff Rowe | Jul 10, 2018 10:36 am

There’s an obvious connection between health IT managers’ ongoing search for better data storage and the rapidly growing stockpiles of health data, but experts are quick to point out that better storage is also critical to enabling the efficient use of new health IT.

For example, tech consultant Reda Chouffani recently noted, “With the amount of interactions (clinicians) have with different applications and the endless need for information -- which, in some cases, can be critical for the patient's well-being -- access to technology with high performance is a must.”

That imperative, Chouffani added, is driving demand for among other things, better performing data centers and virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI).

“Since VDI relies heavily on the server, networking and storage back-end infrastructure,” Chouffani explained, “IT recognizes its data center infrastructure must be resilient and deliver the highest performance to support VDI and meet the demands of end users.”

Much of that performance comes down to new and better storage.  Said Chouffani, “Modern technology trends, such as flash-based storage and converged infrastructures, provide VDI with the appropriate storage speeds and server performance it is hungry for. Implementing converged or hyper-converged infrastructures alongside flash-based storage appliances has been shown to increase the speed of the healthcare data centers, improve uptime and reduce the environment's complexity. But the benefits don't stop there; today's latest flash-based storage and converged infrastructures generally take up less space in data centers and consume less power, making them an attractive solution for those looking to upgrade legacy hardware.”

According to Chouffani, one of the main reasons implementing VDI requires high-performing storage involves the fact that “healthcare workers are highly mobile, and access to their desktop may come from many different devices. Once connected to their desktop, the use of applications and data can drive a significant amount of IOPS when considering the number of users on the environment at any time, which includes an increased amount of data writes since the entire desktop is virtual and not writing locally.”

It’s these needs, he said, which drive demand for high-performing storage units, much of which increasingly involves the use of flash-based storage.

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