AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende Gains Virtually Limitless Storage Scalability with Next-Generation Environment for Archived Medical Data

AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende Gains Virtually Limitless Storage Scalability with Next-Generation Environment for Archived Medical Data

AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende is the third-largest hospital in Belgium, with more than 1,230 beds and 3,800 staff members.

Since 2003, the hospital used Sun Storage Archive Manager-QFS to archive digital data from patient records that range from X-rays to office files, including medical archives for its picture archiving and communication systems. In 2013, it decided to redesign its archiving environment to improve data availability and retrieval for end users through clustering and the use of a disaster recovery site.

The hospital created a new architecture based on Oracle’s storage solutions, including StorageTek Storage Archive Manager 5.3 on two SPARC T4-1 servers with Solaris 11 and Oracle Solaris Cluster Enterprise Edition, with Sun ZFS Storage Appliance 7420C; two StorageTek SL3000 modular libraries; StorageTek T10000D tape drives; and StorageTek T10000D tape cartridges. AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende also re-used the existing T-Series server to create a new environment for the disaster recovery site by upgrading to Solaris 11 and StorageTek Storage Archive Manager 5.3.

The new storage environment, which supports the archiving of a variety of hospital data, including medical data, images, and files from MRI’s and the picture archiving and communication systems, has provided AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende with several important advantages. “First, we migrated 70 TB of archive data with only one hour of downtime,” said Peter Cosman, information and communications technology project leader at AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende. “Times required to access the new environment are very low, and the data, currently on expensive network-attached storage, can be migrated to the archive without impacting access times for end-users. A nice feature is a special icon in Windows Explorer, which shows end users when a file is archived, alerting them that it may take a bit longer to retrieve.”

With the new environment, retrieval time for archived files has reduced dramatically, from two minutes to 30 seconds, thanks to the use of Oracle’s StorageTek T10000D tape cartridges instead of Linear Tape-Open3. This has enabled AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende to offload data from its primary storage to the archive, which is very cost-effective. With less data on primary storage, the hospital can slow down the need for future investments. Also, the new environment enables AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende to back up and restore 70 TB of data in just 10 to 15 minutes, a task which would have taken 113 hours on the previous system.

A word from AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende

  • "Using Oracle hardware and software to redesign our archiving environment has given us virtually limitless scalability. We reduced costs and gained a strong foundation for the future." – Peter Cosman, Information and Communications Technology Project Leader, AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende



Why Oracle

By selecting Sun SAM-QFS and new Sun hardware, AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende not only profits from much faster archiving and access times as well as scalability, it also protects its investments in existing Oracle expertise. “Sun SAM-QFS acts as a normal file system, being accessible through network-attached storage and common internet file systems. It is also accessible by all applications without modifications, unlike, for example common internet file systems,” says Peter Cosman. “In addition, it is easy to manage. We can also run multiple Sun SAM-QFS file systems on the same server. Furthermore, scalability—an important issue in healthcare—is ensured because we can easily add archive capacity, create new archive copies, and migrate between new media and new technologies as needed.”


Oracle partner Cegeka was chosen for its in-depth knowledge of AZ Sint-Jan Brugge-Oostende’s IT infrastructure, and for its ability to deliver a range of services, including consultations, on-site assistance, and installation and architectural services. For this specific project Cegeka delivered architectural and installation services. It assisted with the migration and provided project management for the deployment.