Novant Health Uses Long-Term Archive Solution to Securely Store 910 Million Files with Combined Storage of 776 Terabytes

Novant Health Uses Long-Term Archive Solution to Securely Store 910 Million Files with Combined Storage of 776 Terabytes

  • Oracle Customer:  Novant Health
    Location:  Winston-Salem, NC, United States
    Industry:  Healthcare
    Employees:  25,000

Novant Health is a not-for-profit integrated system of 13 hospitals and a medical group consisting of 1,124 physicians in 355 clinic locations as well as numerous outpatient surgery centers, medical plazas, rehabilitation programs, diagnostic imaging centers, and community health outreach programs. Novant’s 25,000 employees and physician partners care for patients and communities in North Carolina, Virginia, South Carolina, and Georgia.

As a healthcare provider, Novant Health maintains a high volume of data and images that it needs to securely store. The organization has used Oracle’s StorageTek tape storage solutions since 2001. In 2007, Novant replaced its Siemens Picture Archiving Communication (PACS) system with a McKesson PACS system, and realized it was also time to upgrade its storage architecture to manage more than 80 terabytes of data and store a duplicate. Novant wanted to continue to use a tape architecture to contain costs, and Oracle’s Sun and StorageTek solution presented a viable, high performance, and affordable option.

Novant Health implemented two Sun Storage Archive Manager environments in separate datacenters, 26 miles apart. The organization first converted its PACS system to the new architecture and then started to evaluate other applications to put on the system, including two cardiology imaging applications. Sun Storage Archive Manager—in conjunction with StorageTek T10000 tape drives, StorageTek SL8500 modular library system, and two SPARC T3-4 servers—running Oracle Solaris provided the flexibility to store applications that Novant needed to access frequently. Today, the solution stores 910 million files with combined storage of 776 terabytes (TB).




A word from Novant Health

  • "Oracle’s Sun Storage Archive Manager—in conjunction with its StorageTek T10000 tape drives and SL8500 modular library system—has enabled us to develop a cutting-edge, high performance long-term archiving solution that easily and affordably handles our high data volumes while providing the flexibility our users need when accessing critical healthcare files.” – Robert Dick, Datacenter and Archiving Resources Lead, IT Technical Services, Novant Health

  • Store and duplicate more than 80 TB of medical data—including radiology images like mammography screens, chest x-rays, ultrasounds, and MRIs—at an affordable long-term cost
  • Meet the archive needs multiple applications to standardize technology and realize cost efficiencies
  • Provide the flexibility required to access application data quickly, when required
  • Eliminate the need for clustered servers to simplify management and accelerate file system back-ups, while providing complete disaster recovery replication of the archive across two datacenters 


  • Implemented Oracle’s Sun Storage Archive Manager at two datacenters to reduce the cost of managing and storing a high volume of radiology and cardiology data and images that grew from 80 TB to 776 TB  over the past five years
  • Migrated 65 applications—including radiology and cardiology imaging applications, desktop shares, streaming video/audio, and insurance documentation—to the Sun Storage Archive Manager solution for greater system-wide efficiency and cost savings, as many applications were able to stop using expensive disk storage
  • Realized significant cost efficiencies with two-to-one lossless compression capabilities offered by Sun Storage Archive Manager and Oracle’s StorageTek tape storage solutions
  • Enabled Novant to tailor any performance requirement needed to satisfy an application’s needs—for example offering disk access performance for data between six months and three years old, or automatically making multiple tape copies to reduce risk
  • Deployed one Oracle SPARC T3-4 server at each datacenter location to eliminate the need for clusters and simplify technology management
  • Used Oracle disk storage to reduce the time needed for file system backups from 18 hours to one hour and 20 minutes
  • Used one quarter of the power requirement that an equivalent amount of disk would require, with Oracle’s tape storage solutions

Why Oracle

“The price per gigabyte for Oracle’s Sun Storage Archive Manager with tape is so affordable that it is really a no-brainer. We enabled a lot of our internal customers to migrate from spinning expensive disk storage to tape at no additional cost. It was a cost-driven decision, but once we had it in house, we realized its true power. It’s a great long-term archive solution,” said Robert Dick, datacenter and archiving resources lead, IT Technical Services, Novant Health.

Implementation Process

Novant Health first implemented Oracle’s StorageTek solutions in 2001, and then deployed Sun Storage Archive Manager and Oracle disk arrays in 2007. The organization upgraded its hardware, transitioning to a single SPARC T3-4 server at each datacenter. It also migrated its StorageTek T10000A tape drives to StorageTek T10000B systems to double its capacity. Novant worked with Oracle Advanced Customer Support Services on the upgrades.