To assist the healthcare industry in its mission to provide for better outcomes, healthcare solutions must address, at a minimum, these requirements:
Transforming HIT efficiency is critical for innovation in healthcare. HIT creates a foundation that enables healthcare organizations to rapidly, cost-effectively, and securely deploy new capabilities and expand capacity. HIT efficiency is critical as data volumes grow, new regulatory requirements emerge, and new user expectations concerning health data access become evident.
VxRail life cycle management delivers differentiated value by providing a prevalidated set of software and firmware that ensures compatibility and compliance of the entire configuration on the HCI stack while maintaining the performance and availability required of the virtualized workloads running on the clusters. HIT requires the latest software upgrades and updates to ensure that the infrastructure is secure and optimized for performance while providing users with the latest features and functionality to serve business needs better.
VxRail platform provides many configuration options. For example, a VxRail system running PACS might also serve as VDI to caregivers, with both solutions using graphics processing units (GPUs)—one card to render high-resolution PACS and the other to provide virtualized desktops at multiple healthcare stations. You can also run solutions that are not specific to healthcare, such as Microsoft Exchange, SQL, and analytical and real-time data ingesting. With VxRail systems, scaling up or out becomes easier than with traditional server storage architecture, which maximizes the use of particular solutions.
Data-driven industries such as healthcare use data not only to operate but also to predict outcomes and provide analytics. HIT organizations must invest in secure solutions that have high performance, high availability, and scalability, as well as disaster recovery and prevention.
With the life cycle management and scalability of multiple nodes that are discoverable by VxRail HCI System Software, users can schedule updates and automatic prestaging of nodes during an upgrade while still reducing the time to upgrade large clusters by up to 20 percent. (The time to perform an upgrade and the estimated time reductions are averages based on empirical observations during an in-house VxRail 4.7 upgrade process.)
For security or sizing, you can separate some workloads from others. You must ensure that the solution is built correctly for the applications and the intended outcome. A single vCenter instance can be used to administer multiple clusters, including vSAN Ready Node and three-tier clusters.
For more information about VxRail systems and HIT transformation, see Healthcare > IT Transformation on DellTechnologies.com.
Dell Technologies platforms, including VxRail systems, enable researchers and healthcare systems to ingest and analyze data in real time. This capability provides meaningful and actionable insights, retains data for a more in-depth analysis, and improves data sharing with collaborators, patients, payers, and partner healthcare organizations to improve outcomes.
Driving innovation and delivering on the latest technologies are only part of what the VxRail team does. At Dell Technologies, we continuously look for ways to enhance the value of the VxRail platform for customers. Performance and scalability are key factors in sizing the initial solution because the expected demands on the environment can change dramatically over the lifetime of the solution. With the flexibility of VxRail systems to scale up and out, an environment’s performance can match the needs of the growing solution and expand to include additional solutions and applications as needed.
VxRail systems include technologies such as Intel Optane cache drives, which deliver linear throughput performance during cache destaging, a 39 percent throughput advantage compared to NAND-based SSDs (see Dell EMC VxRail with Intel Xeon Scalable Processors and Intel Optane SSDs). In our in-house study, VxRail systems with Optane cache drives serviced 61 percent more transactions per minute and new orders per minute (see Dell EMC VxRail with Intel Xeon Scalable Processors and Intel Optane SSDs). These performance gains can be seen with almost all HIT applications that take advantage of transactional performance.
Optane persistent memory (PMem) is a type of nonvolatile DRAM (NVDIMM) that has the speed of DRAM but retains contents through power cycles. Subsequently, resuming functionality is significantly faster because the content of RAM does not have to be reloaded. In addition to being nonvolatile, the DRAM is byte-addressable, meaning it can be used as storage. This type of RAM helps in-memory databases. For out-of-memory databases, it can be used for storing journaling and logs.
While GPUs are used in healthcare for virtual desktops, they also provide a benefit to several other HIT applications. These applications center around medical imaging processing such as computed tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET), and ultrasounds. AI applications that perform genomic sequencing can also use GPUs.
For more information about VxRail systems and precision medicine transformation, see Precision Medicine Transformation on DellTechnologies.com.
HIT must move at a rapid pace to keep up with industry requirements to modernize while reducing cost, and to increase the security and availability of the infrastructure. HIT must meet compliance needs while remaining efficient. VxRail HCI delivers for HIT because it is built on security, performance, scalability, and reliability—from the core to the edge and in the cloud.
With a wide range of options and configurations, the VxRail system provides HIT teams with a platform that enables healthcare professionals to be more productive, more satisfied, and better able to care for their patients. HIT departments gain more control with simplified management and comprehensive security. The VxRail platform can also help to connect disparate solutions, including VDI, medical imaging, clinical care, office, Internet of things (IoT), virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR), and telehealth.
Caregivers require real-time clinical decision support and operational insight. At the same time, patients who benefit by being better connected to information about their conditions and current status can take more control of their health, as seen particularly in telehealth solutions. Solutions that provide clinicians, staff and patients with secure and up-to-date data empower them all to make better-informed decisions and can help reduce the incidence of hospital admissions and improve overall patient outcomes.
A VxRail system for healthcare provides a flexible, dynamic IT environment with innovative solutions that can streamline processes and strategies. The VxRail platform can help to improve outcomes by ingesting data from connected devices and sensors in real time, analyzing data to provide meaningful insights, retaining data for deeper analysis, and furthering data sharing with collaborators, patients, payers, and partner healthcare organizations.
For more information about VxRail systems and connected healthcare, see Connected Health in Action: Six Clinical Use Cases within a Connected Healthcare Organization and Connected Health Transformation on DellTechnologies.com.
Dell Technologies provides tools, processes, and security solutions to help counteract cybercriminals and mitigate risk while maintaining productivity for healthcare organizations.
Physical hardware security is a core part of VxRail design—from the supply chain and the components used to build the platform to the features and software with which it is designed, to the life cycle management that updates the VxRail HCI System Software.
VxRail platform is a resilient and secure HCI that directly addresses the challenges of security and compliance in modern-day environments. Co-engineered with VMware, the VxRail system is built, configured, and maintained using the Dell Technologies secure development life cycle.
The secure development life cycle outlines the set of activities that are required throughout the product life cycle to build security resiliency and consistent security capabilities into the products. This secure development life cycle is designed to promptly respond to externally reported security vulnerabilities. Aligned with industry best practices, the secure development life cycle is based on a set of controls that are implemented by the product R&D organizations.
Figure 1. Secure Development Life Cycle
The secure development life cycle follows a rigorous approach to secure product development, including executive-level risk management before products are shipped to market. Because of the continuously validated state of life cycle management, updates can be applied across VxRail systems to maintain required security.
The VxRail platform has security integrated at every level of the technology stack, starting with each processor and PowerEdge server through VxRail HCI System Software, including the integrated VMware software. This integration includes securing the core, the edge, and the cloud to ensure availability, integrity, and confidence for every workload, both traditional and cloud-native.
As a part of the Dell Secure Development Lifecycle, each of the components is integrated with corporate security processes, unique security features, and supply chain control, so that customers can be confident that the VxRail system can fit into their secure IT infrastructure design:
All this is jointly engineered with Dell Technologies and VMware and delivered by and supported exclusively by Dell Technologies as a single product—VxRail. The VxRail platform is validated and certified with industry standards, including the Common Criteria EAL2+ certification and the USGv6 certification for making it IPv6 Ready.
For more information about VxRail security, see the Dell EMC VxRail Appliances: Comprehensive Security by Design White Paper and Healthcare > Security Transformation on DellTechnologies.com.