Pharmacies are critical in today’s healthcare. In the United States, 96.5% of people live within 10 miles of a pharmacy. For millions of Americans, their pharmacist is the healthcare professional they see most often. With greater accessibility to pharmacists comes the need for adoption of digital tools at a faster rate. For these businesses that deliver life-saving medicines, digital transformation isn’t just about efficiencies and cost savings, it’s about real-time, uninterrupted access to patient data.
In this brief blog, we will discuss why Cirrus Data was selected by one of the largest pharmacies in the United States and Europe to migrate data from an old storage solution onto new technology. This retail pharmacy giant started with a small storefront in the early 1900s and has grown steadily. Today the company has over a hundred million members with more than a billion prescriptions filled annually. It prides its position within communities as a neighborhood health destination and a modern pharmacy. Its focus is on harnessing innovation to help consumers live joyful lives with better health, which makes accurate, available data essential.
Pharmacies are required in the U.S. to retain a patient’s records for a minimum of ten years. When a prescription is filled, the pharmacy checks the patient’s record to ensure there aren’t any drug interactions, known allergies, or other critical information that the pharmacist needs to know. For a pharmacy with thousands of stores spread across multiple time zones, there are very few windows where the system can be offline. Not being able to access a patient’s record, or having missing or incomplete data can have catastrophic effects.
For this leader to take advantage of the latest data storage innovations, it needed a strategy to migrate its critical data without disruption to business operations. The database couldn’t be inaccessible for any extended period of time. And, it was essential that the none of the data be damaged or corrupted during the process.
As the corporation planned to upgrade its storage architecture, its IT team began to explore the options available. They first considered a native tool that was bundled in the new VMware environment but quickly discovered that with vMotion they were not able to change storage vendors and the migration would require a significant amount of time to complete.
The team decided to complete their storage upgrade with HPE, VMware and Cirrus Data because of performance, speed, security, and security. Bringing the 150 terabytes of structured data that was spread across 300 virtual machines (VMs) onto the new HPE storage architecture occurred in record time with no business impact and near zero downtime.
Cirrus Data integrates with all the leading storage and public cloud providers. With its patented software, Cirrus Data can migrate block data from any on-premises, hybrid cloud, private cloud, or leading public cloud to any other block storage environment.
Additionally, Cirrus Data Cloud can seamlessly automate the creation of VM instances on the destination infrastructure. This capability migrates the entire application host (physical or virtual) with the OS disk in addition to the data disks.
For this migration, the Cirrus Data patented Intelligent QoS feature (iQoS) was highly valued. The software allows the migration of data while the database is in operation by recognizing when data is active and follows a predefined protocol of migrating pacing. For this migration, the Cirrus Data software automatically reduced the pace of migration when the database was more active and accelerated when traffic slowed. The throttling of the migration was automated to maximize bandwidth availability, dramatically reducing the time required for the migration.
The pharmacy was able to complete the migration onto the new storage architecture in record time, without any impact to its operations. With the database on the new HPE storage platform the pharmacy was no longer concerned with security risk from an end-of-life storage product.
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