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Intel® Solutions Reference Architecture

Hosting Clinical Applications & Data Using Healthcare Cloud-in-a-Rack

Abstract

Traditionally, a typical healthcare organization runs over a hundred applications on the same number of physical servers connected to a legacy storage infrastructure. However, recent initiatives of healthcare reform have forced worldwide healthcare providers to reevaluate their operational efficiency and cost structures in order to stay competitive or merely survive. Most hospitals are exploring alternative solutions to consolidate their IT infrastructure using the cloud. According to a 2014 study published by HIMSS Analytics, 83% of healthcare organizations are using cloud-based solutions today, and 67% are running Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-based applications. In fact, a Market & Markets analysis estimates that the global cloud computing market in the health care sector will grow to $5.4 billion by 2017.

Although the cloud offers many decisive advantages over long-established on-premise IT practices, migrating applications and data into the cloud poses challenges for even the largest healthcare organizations. Given resource constraints, many healthcare organizations begin migration to the cloud in four workloads:

  • Hosted clinical applications and data
  • Hosted Health information exchange
  • Backup and disaster recovery
  • Hosted HR applications and data

To meet the demanding system management and budget requirements of the hospitals, a viable Private cloud computing solution should begin the transformation to a software-defined infrastructure by:

  • Using scale out architectures with standard, off-the-shelf hardware
  • Effectively leverage open source cloud computing platforms
  • Offer seamless data and application migration services to bridge with legacy IT systems
  • Provide an enterprise-grade private cloud environment for mission critical workloads

This reference architecture prescribes an OCP (Open Compute Project) compliant rack system that runs all necessary hardware and software for a healthcare organization to quickly deploy the latest software-defined technologies and build a scalable yet cost-efficient private cloud infrastructure.

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Document: Intel® Solutions Reference Architecture: Hosting Clinical Applications & Data Using Healthcare Cloud-in-a-Rack