Central Plains Eye MDs - a VM6 Customer Profile

Small business uses VM6 for disaster recovery
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor

I had an opportunity to communicate with a VM6 customer, John Pedersen, Practice Manager at Central Plains Eye MDs. I find that hearing from people using a company's technology really interesting and I thought you would too.

Please introduce yourself and your company

The goal of Central Plains Eye MDs is to bring the best sub-specialty ophthalmic care available to our region. Although the company is just under three years old, our medical staff has provided more than 18 years of experience providing exemplary local service to patients of all ages and to referring doctors. We emphasize the full spectrum of diabetic eye pathology, retinal detachment repair, age-related macular disease, management of macular hole and pucker, retinal vascular problems and ocular trauma management.

What are you doing that needed VM6 Software’s technology?

The founding doctor wanted his new business to be a best-in-class, agile small business. The business needed to virtualize its desktops and incorporate high availability and disaster recovery, but minimize the total cost of ownership at startup. I had followed the evolution of Citrix, VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V, but I didn’t have a lot of time to research and implement the technology. We needed a partner that would deliver superior technology options and support us along the learning curve.

We started calling around and talking to the consulting companies, but as soon as they heard we were an SMB with only 10 employees, they weren’t interested in working with us.  Most said that no one provides a cost-effective technology for the small business, but I knew enough about the advantages of virtualization in the enterprise environment to persist.

The rapidly evolving regulations requiring moving to electronic health records really required us to persist. At first, I tried desktop virtualization with terminal services and did nothing on the back end.  Although successful from a cost of ownership standpoint, it didn’t address the server capacity issue that was being rapidly depleted. We expanded from 12 original thin clients to 25 clients with an exponential increase in high-resolution images, and I was running out of server capacity, so I started messing with Hyper-V, but that didn’t answer our high availability need.  The doctors cannot have anything going down at any time.  When you talk about high availability, you generally only see that in enterprise class systems, but we needed it here.

What products did you look at before making a selection?

We focused most on finding the right partner, and most of them opted out of working with us because we are a small business.

Why did you select this product?

I saw a tweet regarding a webinar from VM6 Software. I attended, and realized VM6 Software was offering exactly what we had been seeking. VM6 Software demonstrated how, with their solution, an SMB could capitalize on high-availability virtualization technology. They take the pain out of implementing the high-availability environment, and make it affordable for the small business. In my former career in enterprise IT, I used to spend a lot of time with DR plans, and now I have a tool that is within reach of our new small business.  An SMB can employ VM6 Software’s VMex as a side-by-side high-availability system or have it more enhanced as a witness server.

What tangible benefit has your organization received through the use of this product?

VM6 Software opened up doors with Windows 7, so we can virtualize ophthalmology and surgical videos for physician review. I also virtualized accounting and payroll, and we’re working on migrating our imaging work to the virtual platform, as well. When we finish that, doctors will be able to view  side-by-side comparisons of images at their original highest resolution for more efficient diagnosis and consultation.  We’ll be migrating human resources, as well. Essentially, we’re moving over all the business functions where we can capitalize on better performance.

What advice would you offer others facing similar issues?

The road we have gone down is reachable for other small businesses. We have virtualized our desktops and servers, and the advantages to our business are compelling. Microsoft almost always promotes the enterprise, but using Hyper-V through VM6 Software delivers the simplification small businesses need.  Virtualization gives us a road for disaster recovery and will allow us to replicate a server offsite in case of a major event like a tornado or fire.  SMBs need DR capability and high availability at a manageable total cost of ownership, and that’s exactly what VM6 Software helped us achieve.

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