Public Sector Roundup: NHS Trust gets techie

Welsh NHS trust boosts infrastructure

In a bid to address its information management and technology infrastructure needs, Hywel Dda NHS Trust has teamed up with Esteem Systems.

The Trust is responsible for delivering healthcare to over 372,000 people in mid and West Wales and the Carmarthenshire Division.

Since working with Esteem Systems the Carmarthenshire Division of the Trust, with over 1,800 desktops and 200 laptops spread across 10 locations, has achieved cost and power consumption savings, calculated at around 40,000 a year.

The introduction of virtualisation technology has also seen a reduction in Hywel Dda's carbon footprint, with the consolidation of 35 physical servers down to five, using VMware technology.

Esteem Systems has also created an agile Information Management and Technology (IM&T) infrastructure, which is suitable for supporting growth and future changes.

"Our in-house IM&T department is benefiting greatly from seamless, rapid deployment and upgrading of servers, which can now be done centrally and with zero downtime," said information management and technology services manager at the Carmarthenshire Division of Hywel Dda NHS Trust Paul Solloway.

The primary site at West Wales General Hospital now operates a NetApp SAN (storage area network) with 4.8 terabytes of usable data. This is mirrored to a NetApp SAN at the Trust's secondary data centre Prince Phillip General Hospital in Llanelli. The function of the SAN is to hold the data for the virtualised servers and file data.

"The solution Esteem has created gives us a base for all our data storage requirements and is now replicated at our Llanelli site. It is a totally scalable system which can be added to at little capital cost in the future," said Solloway.

University of Leeds implements email archiving

Symantec has teamed up with the University of Leeds to provide it with an email archiving software solution.

The university opted for a new system following concerns that the recovery of data from its Microsoft Exchange 2003 infrastructure would take an unprecedented amount if a disaster were to occur.

There were also concerns over the excessive mail storage requirements and data management overheads of staff and students that extensively use .PST files.

According to IT manager at the University of Leeds Nigel Bruce, there was a need to allow end users to delete an item from the archive by themselves.

Following the deal with Symantec, the company's archiving and data protection system, known as the Symantec Enterprise Vault, will now support 7,000 clients across five Exchange 2003 Dell servers.

In the event of a disaster, mailbox archiving will move old items from the Exchange environment to Enterprise Vault after a pre-determined period. This will therefore enable the Exchange information store to be reduced in size, which will result in quicker backup and restore times.

In regards to .PST files, the new system will migrate data into the user's archive, which will go towards eradicating .PST files completely.

"Symantec Enterprise Vault was the right choice for an academic establishment struggling to keep control of its Exchange archive. It fulfils the requirements of the Education Market with a cost-effective archiving solution, while also meeting the University's technical and business requirements," said Bruce.

Dorset County Council pens three-year deal with Steria

Steria has been enlisted to provide business analysis and consultancy to Dorset County Council in order to improve Dorset Direct', its customer contact centre.

The deal with Steria will result in more enquiries being resolved on first point of contact, so that council staff can focus on core activities. The Council also believes that net efficiency will experience a gain of more than 1.7 million per annum.

The Council's original contact centre, which was implemented by Steria last year, will be extended to bring business processes from all Council directorates into a single contact centre.

Head of communications and customer care at Dorset County Council Sue Hyde said: "This contact centre is an important part of our Council's business transformation programme which will renovate front-line services and deliver efficiencies throughout the entire organisation."

Department for Transport offers Sapphire security contract

Security consultancy firm Sapphire has been awarded a network security contract by the Department for Transport (DfT).

The deal will ensure that the DfT's financial management database is adequately protected.

Sapphire has verified that the COINS solution from systems provider, Information Edge, is fully secure and meets the government's secure intranet accreditation standards.

Sapphire was commissioned to carry out this brief by the DfT's IT solutions partner Computacenter. It had been given 10 days to carry out the project but completed it within six which has led to further partnerships between the two groups, according to system accounted for the DfT Weng Lam.

"Sapphire's experience and expertise in this area enabled it to complete the project well ahead of schedule. Since then we have commissioned it to carry out five days penetration testing in another DfT division," said Lam.