The FINANCIAL — Dell on October 1 announced that The Watershed Addiction Treatment Programs, which operate inpatient and outpatient treatment centers in Florida and Texas, have doubled the access speed to its applications and data by replacing its enterprise storage infrastructure with a new Dell Storage hybrid flash array.
The Watershed also has deployed virtualization using Microsoft Hyper-V for their private cloud environment, which is based on Dell servers, storage and networking technologies. As a result of the new IT, The Watershed employees have faster access to patient information and can spend more time on patient care, according to Dell.
For nearly two decades, The Watershed has helped more than 35,000 people with addiction recovery. Each day, more than 600 employees—including nurses, physicians, psychiatrists, paramedics and behavioral health professionals—use devices to view updated patient health information and share it with other professionals across the organization’s nine locations. However, as the organization grew, giving those employees fast access to the patient database became a major challenge due to a slow, aging IT environment that sometimes experienced system outages.
To address the challenge, The Watershed wanted to deploy a full end-to-end solution from a single vendor that could quickly support the entirety of its needs with a high performing and cost-efficient solution.
“What we do here all comes down to treating addiction and saving lives,” said Christopher Crosby, chief executive officer at The Watershed Treatment Programs. “All of our efforts are focused on that, and if technology gets in the way, we can’t accomplish our mission. We’re able to remove technology as a barrier by using an end-to-end Dell solution. Technology is now a facilitator that enables us to increase the number of patients we can support and, more importantly, the quality of care we can give.”
The organization deployed a hybrid flash storage solution, based on Dell Storage SC8000 controllers and SC220 enclosures, which feature Dell Data Progression intelligent data placement technology that optimizes storage costs by automating where data is stored between different types of high performing flash drives and lower cost hard disk drives. This allows The Watershed to have critical databases and Citrix environments run primarily on faster performing flash storage while “colder” and archival data moves to lower cost drives. The Watershed also deployed Dell Networking N3048 and N4032 switches for performance and low latency.
The Watershed deployed a private cloud based on eight clustered Dell PowerEdge R920 rack servers each with 1TB of RAM as well as Dell’s OpenManage systems management portfolio. With a server built for performance, greater automation and easier management, The Watershed can better support the organization’s growth plans. Before implementing their private cloud solution, The Watershed IT administrators had no method to support expansion to additional locations. The organization now knows it can grow quickly.
“Using our new private cloud infrastructure, The Watershed has been able to dramatically improve network performance. As a result, employees have faster access to critical applications,” said Trevor McCain, Citrix administrator, The Watershed Treatment Programs. “With the Dell private cloud, we can stream applications twice as fast as our previous solution, which enables our end users a more seamless experience in their interaction with the technology. For example, our employees can log on and get access to the network in six seconds because of the new Dell technologies we have in place, including servers, networking and storage.”
The Watershed also deployed Dell Wyse thin clients to deliver virtualized desktops for secure delivery of apps and data to the endpoint. The Wyse endpoints connect back to the organization’s Citrix and Microsoft Hyper-V environments, which are supported by the Dell PowerEdge R920s and Dell Compellent Storage arrays. The organization also uses Dell Storage Live Volume, a business continuity feature, to deliver 100 percent system uptime for its patient database and other end-user applications.
“From end user devices to the data center to the treatment center, Dell’s differentiated cloud solutions are providing end-to-end support to Watershed employees, enabling them to treat patients faster with improved access to information,” said Jim Ganthier, vice president and general manager of Engineered Solutions and Cloud at Dell. “Dell’s suite of cloud solutions, software and services provide secure and rapid access to patient information and critical applications thus delivering improvements in both the quality of patient care and increasing the number of patients Watershed can serve.”
The Watershed partnered with Dell Implementation Services to deploy the new private cloud solution’s back-end technologies, and the organization also worked with Dell Financial Services (DFS) to finance the entire end-to-end solution, from servers to storage to networking, over a period of five years. By working with DFS to finance the private cloud, The Watershed was able to manage its cash flow by spreading the payments over time.