Case Study

Storage Upgrade for Be Well Primary Health Care Center, Brooklyn, NY

Overview

After their previous service provider was unable to source the components required to upgrade their end-of-life storage devices, Be Well approached Techary to provide a solution.

Be Well Primary Health Care Center is an Article 28 Diagnostic and Treatment Center located in Brooklyn, New York and has been serving the community since 2004. The center is a one-stop-shop health care facility serving patients of all ages. In addition to providing evidence-based comprehensive primary care services with a strong focus on preventative care, patients have access to an extraordinary range of specialty services including dentistry, ophthalmology, optometry, and physical therapy.
Client bewellmeedical.com
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Requirements

Our solution

Be Well needed to replace multiple storage devices that were end-of-life, as well as HDD based units that ran the data storage for their entire network. These devices were experiencing latency issues as well as poor performance from the virtual machines and hosts connected back to the infrastructure.

Be Well required Techary to review and design a new solution that would deliver improvements and provide scalable storage for the organization as they continue to expand.
Techary performed a full review of the current infrastructure before building a proposal for the project. The first step was to identify and design the best solution to connect the VM host infrastructure to the storage. We opted to use 10Gbp/s iScsi LUN connections, using direct attach cables, from the primary storage appliance through to the physical hosts, as well as redundant 10Gbp/s connections for the network breakout. This design enabled us to ensure maximum speed throughout, with minimal latency.

As part of the project scope, our team identified the Network Interface Cards required for the existing hosts. We presented the client with multiple options for the storage units, with the client opting for a Synology solution. We then leveraged our existing relationships with Synology and the associated distributors to gain a commercial incentive for Be Well, resulting in a 40% + list saving on the equipment. Overall, the design was seamless, with all components working exactly as specified and upon the first point of installation.
Be Well had previously experienced slow lead times due to supplies being in complete restraint. They needed a provider to help them navigate this issue, especially due to global chip shortages, as well as the issue of co-ordinating all the components required for the project.
Working on this solution during late 2021, the market, especially for SSDs (Solid-state drives), was extremely fluid, with supplies constantly in constraint. Given that Be Well had been let down by their previous provider, primarily due to the supply constraints, it was essential for us to find a solution.

Leveraging our relationships with various distributors, we were able to secure the stock required for all components of the project, as well as co-ordinate lead-times from all sources.

We centralized the procurement process by having all items delivered to our New York Lifecycle facility for pre-configuration and staging. Ultimately, this saved the client from having multiple components arrive before the project began, or being billed for items ad-hoc. It also removed any risk of components being misplaced in the build up to the project. All lead times were fulfilled within the project timeframe.
Be Well needed assitance with the installation and co-oridnation of components on-site, physical installation that couldn't be undertaken by in-house resources, and help with the decomissioning of redundant equipment.
Ulizing Techary's Lifecycle facility was key to success, as it meant that the devices could be pre-configured with all components fitted and ready for installation on the customer premises. This allowed us to deliver the units just two working days before the on-site installation, omitting the need for the customer to store items for the project and reducing the time needed for engineers to configure components on-site.

Our project plan involved engineers attending site after business hours to perform the physical installation work. Given the current cabinets were low on available space, we fitted components to the physical server hosts and installed new storage arrays in place of the current devices. The team then reconnected the old storage units back to the network to allow for the data migration process, but also to allow for swift decomission of the equipment once the migration had completed, without the need to amend any of the existing infrastructure in the cabinets. All physical work was completed out of hours to allow for downtime, with engineers then able to work remotely to complete the data migration from the old devices to the new arrays.
Be Well needed to migrate their business critical infrastructure without impacting BAU operations. The storage arrays stored critical data for the entire organization, and given the sensitivity of data within the healthcare sector, Be Well needed to ensure that the migration would not interrupt operations (literally). They needed to keep critical applications and virtual machines running, whilst understanding that the volume of data may not allow for a complete cutover migration, due to the limitations of the exsiting storage devices.
Benefitting from the staging work undertaken at the Lifecycle facility, Techary worked with the customer to plan the data migration process. Phase 1 of this task entailed connecting the new devices into the network. With the old devices still running the current datastores, the first task was to finalize the configuration and connect the new storage infrastructure into the virtual environment.

As mentioned, Techary designed this solution with 10Gbp/s iScsi LUN connectivity directly to the host infrastructure. Once the device configuration was completed and the LUN connections set to the virtual environment, Techary began working on the actual data migration. Given the fluidity of the operations provided by the center, there were certain applications that needed to be available through the migration.

We carefully selected Virtual Machines and moved their datastore to the newly created SSD virtual storage. VMs were selected based on their disk size and priority. Techary engineers allocated specific bandwidth and core capability of the relevant hosts to priority virtual machines, to ensure they would be available for production environments when required. 75% of the workloads were transitioned during this phase, with subsequent out-of-hours phases planned to migrate all workloads. All workloads were migrated within two weeks of installation of the units.

Results:

“This has been fantastic. I couldn’t have gotten it done this fast alone. Thank you!”

IT Director – Be Well Primary Health Care Center

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