Case study: Hospital combats hours of IT downtime


Zerto ensures continuous care at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital

The organisation

Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust provides healthcare in hospital and to the community of 258,000 people across Southport, Formby and West Lancashire.

The trust delivers acute inpatient and outpatient hospital care and employs approximately 3,000 staff between Southport and Formby District General Hospital and Ormskirk and District General Hospital. This includes accident and emergency services, intensive care and a range of medical and surgical specialities for adults and children.

Services for women and children, including maternity, are provided at Ormskirk Hospital.

The problem

Southport and Ormskirk knew they needed a new business continuity/disaster recovery (BC/DR) strategy when the air conditioning solution faltered and resulted in their legacy storage array failing due to increased temperatures.

The age of the storage array prohibited Southport and Ormskirk from physically restoring the array in a timely manner. /

With no other option, the IT team had to start restoring from tape back-ups.

It took the team 90 hours to completely restore their systems, but not without significant impact.

The outage affected over 1,000 users. Major clinical systems were down, and, as a result, processes were slowed due to using paper.

The outage prompted Southport and Ormskirk to re-evaluate its DR strategy.

Being a lean organisation, with limited resources, Southport and Ormskirk understands that technology is a key enabler in delivering new models of care. These technologies must remain up and running as close to 24/7 as possible.

The solution and outcomes

Southport and Ormskirk built a business case with a very-specific set of criteria that the new DR plan would have to meet.

Simplicity was a major driver, after having experienced the complexity of executing a DR plan with tapes. The trust also didn’t want agents or SAN replication.

Beginning with an extremely-quick and simple installation, Zerto enabled Southport and Ormskirk to begin replicating VMs in less than an hour.

Plus, satisfying auditors has never been easier. The trust can now provide detailed reports for even-complex servers.

Reporting previously took hours and was comprised of screenshots, which proved the data was backed up, but did not prove recovery.

“Without a doubt, we’re able to prove to auditors the ability to failover with Zerto,” said Matt Connor, head of IT at Southport and Ormskirk.

“The test is so fast, we can perform it in front of the auditors. This is both impressive to us and them.”.

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Southport and Ormskirk worked with trusted Zerto partner, Novosco, to deploy Zerto Virtual Replication.