Virtustream launches Healthcare Cloud

With its capabilities around highly regulated workloads and Dell's reach in the healthcare sector, Virtustream is well poised to offer a healthcare-specific cloud.

Virtustream announced Monday that it's launching Healthcare Cloud, a service built on the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud that's designed to meet the security, regulatory, and IT needs of healthcare providers.

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It provides an environment compliant with federal HIPAA and HITECH regulations with availability service level agreements of up to 99.999 percent. It can be deployed in a public, private, or hybrid cloud environment, with a set of on and off-premise managed services.

Virtustream is in a strong position to offer the Healthcare Cloud, thanks to its capabilities around highly regulated workloads and the expertise its parent company, Dell Technologies, has in the healthcare sector. The cloud company was acquired by EMC in 2015 for $1.2 billion, and in 2016, Dell acquired EMC for $67 billion.

About two-thirds of US hospitals are Dell EMC customers, and 49 percent of storage infrastructure in US hospitals runs on Dell EMC. Worldwide, more than 6,000 hospitals work with Dell EMC. Additionally, seven out of 10 pharmaceutical companies are Dell EMC customers.

"That gives us a target market to go after that's pretty significant," Virtustream vice president Michael Hoch said to ZDNet. "Having a healthcare cloud option for them that they can use holistically... is a very attractive option."

It becomes even more attractive now that VMware and Virtustream are jointly announcing a new VMware VRA connector, allowing VMware private cloud customers to extend their mission-critical applications and workloads to the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud.

A number of healthcare providers are looking for that kind of hybrid deployment, and "not many competitors on the market today offer a fully compliant cloud, top to bottom," Hoch said.

The Healthcare Cloud is designed to support a range of electronic medical record (EMR) systems, as well as the hundreds of other healthcare and non-healthcare applications supported in the Virtustream Enterprise Cloud. It's also designed for healthcare companies interested in adding new healthcare applications, such as patient engagement systems or analytical precision medicine platforms.

With a consumption-based pricing model, the Healthcare Cloud should also appeal to healthcare organizations with strict financial constraints, Hoch said.

"A cloud offering that allows them to modernize their infrastructure, without huge capex outlays...that allows them to expand their systems without sacrificing investments in patient care -- that's a real value for the healthcare environment," he said.

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