Health IT experts on the benefits of colocation

Chris Miller

Health IT experts agree: The benefits of colocation are too good to pass up. Whether you’re in the process of transitioning your healthcare organization fully to the cloud or you’re just looking to lower costs while still having access to the best technology, colocation is a great option.

During a webinar series about colocation in healthcare, c-level healthcare professionals shared their thoughts on, and experiences with, colocation.

“I don’t want to own a data center by 2021,” Daniel Morreale, vice president and CIO at Hunterdon Healthcare System in New Jersey, said during the webinar. “I very much want to be out of the data center business.”

Morreale said his goal, and Hunterdon Healthcare’s goal, is to ultimately move completely to the cloud. However, instead of going all in, he said they decided to use a colocation model to ease into the cloud. Since moving to a colocation model, Morreale said one of the most significant benefits they have experienced is the ability to share power, cooling and redundancy; the three most expensive aspects of a data center.

Morreale added that other benefits include minimizing capital expenditures — since colocation means your healthcare organization doesn’t have to build a new data center – as well as the comfort of knowing your healthcare organizations servers and network are being housed in a secure facility where it is monitored 24/7. Morreale believes that a colocation vendor would be able to provide better security and use better security technologies than he could in his own healthcare organization’s environment. Furthermore, with 24/7 monitoring to ensure everything is, and remains, up and running means a better user experience can be provided.

Arthur Ream, senior director of IT Applications and CISO at Cambridge Health Alliance in Cambridge, Mass., also made the point during the webinar that colocation allows your healthcare organization to increase your computing power because of the cost savings.

When a healthcare organization has their own data center in one location and then has their disaster recovery facility in another location, if one facility loses connectivity then it is very difficult to maintain the failure points.

Ream explained that colocation allows your healthcare organization to move over to virtual machines that will make it so that if something fails, there is less downtime whereas if a rack or switch fails in your own data center, there will be down time because redundancy is very expensive to maintain.

With the benefits of colocation, Ream said, healthcare organizations can rest assured their electronic health records as well as their other applications won’t have any downtime because redundancy is ensured.

To learn more, sign up for the webinar.

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