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HP Sort-Of Touts Cloud Computing for Health Care

Switching Fabric Key to Virtualizing Data Center Resources

Noting that the healthcare industry is one of the most risk-averse areas in the known universe when it comes to IT, HP is nevertheless promoting its FlexFabric switching architecture to the industry, as a way to reduce costs through server consolidation.

The ever-cautious nature of healthcare management is a product of a focus on minimizing mistakes (to avoid lawsuits and regulatory fines) and frankly, built-in profit margins. But as, finally, finally, after more than two decades of effort ever more data and images are being stored online, the amount of data is getting too big to handle with multiple, proprietary datacenter infrastructures.

Add increasing use of wireless to the mix, something that requires separate deployment within the typically siloed healthcare IT infrastructure, and the need to consolidate appears to be outweighing the need to be ultra-conservative.

HP has outlined its pitch in a white paper with the comical title, "Building a Cure for the Next-Generation Data Center." One would hope that healthcare organizations can design and deploy their new facilities disease-free, so that they don't require a cure, but, oh well...

HP's pitch is here is a virtualization pitch. Even though it does drop the words "cloud computing" into the white paper (once), we can imagine it will be some time before healthcare organizations remove their on-site datacenters. However, even virtualizing some resources, and removing the numerous layers of onion skin that typify the state-of-the-art in healtchare IT management would be a step forward to somewhere in the 20th century.

HP advocates open, standards-based solutions in this sphere--in direct contradiction of a recent study commisioned by the company that showed partners using end-to-end HP technology prosper more than those that don't--but when you're selling switches, you have to be practical. The company cites an example of a 40% savings through datacenter consolidation with FiberFabric, and vows that its goal here is to "easily consolidate and scale data centers without jeopardizing patient care or data security."

"Healtchare organizations are in the midst of an exciting era," the company says. By using some of its technology, its customers "can create a virtual switching fabric that delivers geographic independence, distributed high availability, and resiliency."

 

More Stories By Roger Strukhoff

Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.

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