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IBM Introduces Breakthrough Grid Medical Computing Solution


At the American Telemedicine Association show today, IBM (NYSE: IBM) announced its new Grid Medical Archive Solution (GMAS), a cross-IBM offering comprised of storage, software, servers and services. The GMAS solution provides hospitals, clinics, research institutions and pharmaceutical companies with a multi-tier, multi-application and multi-site enterprise storage archive for delivering medical images, patient records and other critical healthcare reference information on demand.

The need to retain massive volumes of business-critical fixed-content data for long periods of time is presenting new data and storage management challenges for health care organizations. Users continue to demand fast performance as well as higher and broader availability of patient records and medical images. Massive data volumes combined with long retention periods require storage administrators to deliver a cost-effective storage strategy that meets the users’ needs, protects valuable data, scales on demand, simplifies data migration and automates recovery for both planned and unplanned downtime.

“With mounting advances in medicine coupled with a longer-living population, healthcare organizations are increasingly embracing new technology that puts the patient in the center of the delivery model and drives innovation to increase the quality of patient care,” said Hernan Vega, Vice President, Healthcare and Life Sciences, IBM Systems and Technology Group. “IBM GMAS is a great example of how advanced storage technologies, virtualization and grid computing can improve the way hospitals access, store and manage their critical patient data over time.”

Leveraging the newly announced IBM Grid Access Manager Software, IBM GMAS uses advanced virtualization, automation and grid technologies to provide healthcare and research organizations with fast and secure access to archived medical information while delivering real-time failover and self-healing capabilities as well as information lifecycle management and advanced data protection functions. GMAS achieves this by presenting itself to enterprise applications as a single storage system that can aggregate underlying storage silos into a single enterprise storage pool -- even if these silos are spread across multiple facilities and consist of multi-vendor storage media. This highly automated system allows IT administrators to focus on storage planning and infrastructure improvements and eliminates many manual administration tasks, thereby enabling higher IT service levels and improving clinical outcomes. Orlando Regional Healthcare is one of the very first adopters of IBM’s GMAS solution.

“Clients are facing unprecedented storage growth and need tight integration across their entire infrastructure to leverage information,” said Paul Fried, vice president, Storage and Data Services, IBM Global Technology Services. “IBM has information lifecycle management solutions tailored for specific industries -- like healthcare with GMAS -- where we team across IBM, along with key business partners, to help our clients develop the most cost-effective storage management strategy to meet their unique business requirements.”

Among the clinical and IT benefits offered by IBM GMAS are:

Improved clinical application reliability and uptime with real-time failover
Proactive data protection for life
Petabyte scalability and improved enterprise storage utilization
Multi-site, multi-application and multi-tier operation
Ability to leverage existing investments, including non-IBM hardware
Decreased Total Cost of Ownership
Elimination of hardware vendor lock-in
IBM GMAS is a packaged solution based on IBM’s System Storage EXP3000, System Storage Grid Access Manager, System x 3650 servers and IBM Global Technology Storage Services. GMAS is designed to provide flexible and scalable virtualized storage solutions for single-site healthcare organizations, multi-site integrated delivery networks and regional healthcare organizations. GMAS will be delivered to market in packaged and pre-priced bundles, which will enable IBM to cost-effectively serve a broad range of client markets.
Leading Hospital System Implements IBM GMAS

Orlando Regional Healthcare installed IBM GMAS to address the exponential growth of fixed content data that the healthcare system has been experiencing across its eight hospitals and two data centers. Orlando Regional became interested in IBM GMAS due to its data protection features, continuous operation, virtualization and automated administration capabilities. The 1,780 bed hospital network -- and Orlando’s only Level One Trauma Center -- was already familiar with IBM’s storage virtualization strategy via their extensive use of IBM System Storage™ SAN Volume Controller (SVC).

A key goal of Orlando Regional is to continuously deliver the highest degree of care possible to its patients by investing in new solutions and technology to continue efforts to improve clinical outcomes and overall patient care across the Central Florida community. Central to this is goal is reliable and speedy access to secure, archived patient records and images that can be spread throughout Orlando Regional’s eight hospitals and a cancer center. “We needed a flexible, scalable storage solution that would give us improved enterprise-wide access to patient records, would protect our data for years and would reduce administrative overhead and operating costs,” said Alex Veletsos, Chief Technology Officer, Orlando Regional Healthcare. “IBM GMAS will give us the data security, availability, scalability and access we require, and enable us to improve our service to our clinicians and doctors.”

Orlando’s GMAS solution, which has a capacity of 50 Terabytes, was installed in fewer than five weeks and currently stores images from Orlando Regional’s radiology PACS, HIM medical records, and Cardiology PACS applications. “We have been pleased with IBM’s implementation of this solution and with their continued commitment to provide us access to the newest technologies available. We continue to add applications to the Grid,” said Veletsos.

The IBM GMAS will be generally available on June 1, 2007. For more information about IBM and IBM storage, visit


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