Mater Health's converged infrastructure to underpin VDI upgrade

Mater Health Services has been able to reduce configuration time from two days to two hours with the implementation on its Nutanix converged infrastructure.

Mater Health Services is in the midst of implementing a Nutanix converged infrastructure, which will underpin the current upgrade of its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) with Citrix.

According to Mater Health Services CIO Steve Parish, the ending of the lease of the organisation's existing infrastructure sparked the need for an upgrade. Traditionally, the organisation relied on Dell servers and IBM storage.

"We decided to look at the market to see what new technology was available. We had the infrastructure in place with a traditional server, storage separated infrastructure for about five years and it was time to upgrade," he said.

"As oppose to going with what we had, we thought we'd look at what was available, and we ended up with a converged infrastructure. We trialled the Nutanix box, and it gave us a number of benefits."

Parish outlined the organisation has since seen an improvement in speed and performance, in particular, the speed of configuration.

"Traditionally within the server storage environment, it would take anywhere up to two days to provision new storage and services, but with Nutanix it took two hours, so it was quite a significant move for us," he said.

While the organisation will continue to utilise its Dell servers and IBM storage, the organisation will rely on Nutanix to support its virtualised environment.

The implementation is due to be fully rolled out by the end of the calendar year. The only remaining part to moving the hospital to a converged infrastructure is adding a new node, Parish said.

The completion of the project will complement the the organisation's upgrade of the hospital's entire virtual desktop infrastructure, aimed to improve the manageability of the environment's desktop applications.

As part of its VDI project, Mater is expanding its desktop endpoints from 2,000 to 5,000 as a way to improve resources for patient care, where 80 percent of its devices will be virtualised on the Nutanix environment.

"The drive was to provide more value and portability to our staff by giving them the ability to have the same desktop at work as they do at home," Parish said.

Parish added this will potentially see users utilising not only a PC, but more tablets, whether it's an iPad, Windows, or Android-based.

"It won't matter because people will use the Citrix receiver for it, and then of course that links through the Nutanix back end."