An ounce of prevention is worth—a lot, when it comes to managing costs and improving patient health. When you go to the Web site of Health Alliance Plan—a healthcare provider based in Detroit, Michigan—you’ll find information on a whole range of preventive programs, from weight management and flu shots to well-baby visits and mammograms.
To meet the needs of its subscribers, Health Alliance Plan needs a healthy data center, too. Daniel Trim is the IT doctor on duty. As the company’s director of databases and UNIX systems, he spends his days (and more than the occasional night) worrying about storage management, data protection, compliance—in other words, the full gamut of IT concerns.
Compounding the challenge is the sheer volume of information. The company runs 18 production databases that deal with case management, claims processing, and other functions covered by HIPAA and other regulations. It amounts to more than 56 terabytes of data, and it’s growing by 12 percent a year.
Fortunately, Symantec is on call. For years, Symantec solutions have been the bedrock of Health Alliance Plan’s storage management strategy. The company has standardized on Veritas CommandCentral Storage and Veritas Storage Foundation to support five different platforms—Solaris, IBM AIX, Linux, Windows, and Novell.
“Veritas CommandCentral Storage gives us a total view of our storage environment—at the click of a button,” Trim explains. “It also offers the most intuitive user interface of any of the products we’ve evaluated, and integrates well with our diverse environment.”
Managing storage manually can eat up time—lots of it. Veritas Storage Foundation has been just what the doctor ordered. It’s helped Health Alliance Plan cut administration costs by 90 percent, and shift staff time to more strategic uses.
“Our staff has a variety of backgrounds, from mainframes to UNIX systems,” says Trim. “Veritas Storage Foundation manages disk space in a very intuitive way, so they all can understand it.”
There’s more: Storage utilization rates at Health Alliance Plan are 79 percent—well above the 45 percent industry average—and the company has lowered storage TCO by 17 percent.
On another front, Veritas NetBackup is the data protection solution for Health Alliance Plan’s more than 150 servers. The scalability of NetBackup has helped the company keep up with the skyrocketing volume of backup data. It also aids regulatory compliance by safely storing ten years of historical data required by HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and other regulations.
Trim assesses the outcome of Health Alliance Plan’s engagement with Symantec: “Now, my staff is 95 percent proactive rather than reactive. Symantec products have made a major contribution by helping us stay on top of developing problems in our storage infrastructure.”