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Veeras Infotek deploys Virtualization at Sankara Nethralaya

By Shreehari Paliath on Dec 06, 2010
Executive Summary

For Veeras Infotek the knowledge and prowess gained through manifold projects over two decades gave them an upper hand in bagging a project with Sankara Nethralaya, one of the top eye hospitals in the country. An untimely call in the evening from Nethralaya set the ball rolling for Veeras. A POC (proof of concept center) had to be mended. An eye hospital like Sankara Nethralaya that runs nearly 70%  of its operations on charity without doubt would be inundated with patients cutting across the social spectrum. The challenges of chronicling this enormous data can not be assessed as insurmountable, but it is nevertheless critical for the credible functioning of the establishment.

There is no substitute for experience. For Veeras Infotek the knowledge and prowess gained through manifold projects over two decades gave them an upper hand in bagging a project with Sankara Nethralaya, one of the top eye hospitals in the country. An untimely call in the evening from Nethralaya set the ball rolling for Veeras. A POC (proof of concept center) had to be mended. The POC that was set up by a SI was throwing up certain concerns which had to be resolved and that too immediately. The wisdom of implementing and executing solutions for innumerable clients over the years assured that Veeras was upto the task of promptly resolving the issue.

Veeras’ motto: Only the best will do, hammers in the point of their selection by Sankara Nethralaya. An eye hospital like Sankara Nethralaya that runs nearly 70% of its operations on charity without doubt would be inundated with patients cutting across the social spectrum. The challenges of chronicling this enormous data can not be assessed as insurmountable, but it is nevertheless critical for the credible functioning of the establishment.

Virtual Vision

How did Sankara Nethralaya usher in an improved and dynamic IT infrastructure through virtualization with the able assistance of Veeras Infotek? The eye hospital with its constant and growing influx of patients required a much more consolidated and robust back-up to support it’s ever growing data requirement. To assist and accommodate this need Nethralaya approached one of its existing partners to set up a POC establishing the credentials of the prescribed implementation and thereby attempting an enhancement in the available infrastructure.

The idea was to have a roadmap for the transition into virtualization. But due to unforeseeable reasons certain discrepancies rendered the POC ineffective. It had to be tweaked further to subsist the dynamic needs of the eye hospital. Veeras Infotek adorned its superhero cape, manifesting the role through three engineers. The company chipped in with its vast experience in the virtualization domain to pick up from where the other SI had left. The miniaturised version of storage consolidation and unified storage that was set up gave the hospital a clear idea on how best to improve the performance of its systems. This POC was rectified over night.

Technologies focus on compressing data into the smallest available space, in accordance with Moore’s Law, with minimal use of hardware and paraphernalia, drawing parallels to the realty space in suburban Mumbai where the minute space occupies and carries tremendous value for resourceful individuals. So how does a cramming of nearly billion people translate into efficient and responsive data storage for the medical fraternity that is the most common outreach for any community?

“Sankara Nethralaya was handling close to 1800 patients daily. That is a vast amount of data on patient history and important information on individuals had to be delivered effectively and the IT infrastructure needed to handle it well. The focus of the hospital had to be on the patients who come in and not the IT issues. So it was up to us to provide a hassle free environment,” says TN Srinivasan, Business Head-ESG, Veeras Infotek.

The problem of plenty, especially with servers is the constant strain on security and servicing. It also has an affinity towards leaking money for the organisation. Sankara Nethralaya had close to 25 servers for the management of the data. This is data encapsulates and records close 15000 surgeries a year. The only possible way of salvation from any untoward IT related incidents was virtualization.

“The challenge was the data was dispersed in multiple servers and storage systems. The infrastructure was not able to effectively handle the huge data generation requirement. This was creating a bottle-neck. The other issue was that some of the infrastructure was old and hence was not at par where performance mattered. The legacy systems needed to be fine tuned to improve the overall capability of the systems. So the difficulty in transferring from a physical scale to a virtual scale was obviously evident,” adds Srinivasan.

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