ACC: McKesson updates CVIS with server virtualization, disaster recovery capabilities

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McKesson's Horizon Cardiology cardiovascular information system (CVIS) now offers hosted storage solutions for data protection, archive and disaster recovery, in addition to virtualized server solutions. The company announced these new options for Horizon version 12.1, a single-database CVIS, during ACC.10 in Atlanta.

Server virtualization, made available in partnership with VMware, simplifies IT deployment and maintenance and improves system availability, Robert Baumgartner, director of product marketing for medical imaging, told Cardiovascular Business News.

"We are now supporting VMware for our server environment. The only thing that remains not supported by VMware is the workstation. We're looking to go down that path, but there are many more technology issues we need to address in that direction," he said. The VMware platform allows users to create a virtual machine, which means they can run different applications that may have conflicted in the past on a virtual set of hardware, Baumgartner said.

"Essentially, you're assigning a set of resources to a particular application to run. That application may use 20 percent more of the resource at a particular time of day. So, instead of building an infrastructure of servers and dedicated hardware, you now have this farm you're using. As you run the application in the morning, for example, you may use 20 percent of the total resources of the total platform. In the evening, that application may not be as active, so we can turn off all but maybe 5 percent of the total resources and assign those resources to another application that will run simultaneously, that needs that horsepower at night, perhaps an analytics tool," he said.

For institutions, VMware decreases power and cooling because "rather than having a large cluster of machines running at 10 percent utilization, for example, on any given moment, you are running a much smaller cluster of machines at 80 percent utilization," Baumgartner said, adding that all the applications can be managed from a central location.

The VMware platform also provides facilities the ability to do recovery and disaster, recovery and business continuity processes in a similar fashion.

The company also highlighted that its patient record archiving and disaster recovery services are now powered by Iron Mountain's Digital Record Center for Medical Images, a cloud storage service for backing up and archiving digital medical information.