Healthcare IT Blog

Irrational Exuberance

Published on 08/27/2013 by Clay Sides
Category: Virtualization, Systems Monitoring and Management

Having sat through the first few of many sessions at VMWorld 2013 in San Francisco, I am both energized and concerned.

This year, there is an intense focus on networking and management. VMware has officially rolled vSphere 5.5 with network virtualization using a new product called NSX™ as well as a renewed push on Ops Management. While both products are poised to be of significant benefit to MEDITECH shops, neither should be approached lightly.

While NSX is a newly introduced technology, its implementation in a MEDITECH environment is as yet untested. My greatest concern is around the implementation and use of the Ops Management options available from VMware.

VMware is currently extolling the virtues of the Ops Management options (vSOM, vCOps & vCloud Suite) and how it can free up resources from “over provisioned” servers and provide forecasting. While this, on the surface, seems a boon for MEDITECH shops (and it is!), we need to apply our understanding of how MEDITECH works before implementing any of the Ops products recommendations. Many of the MEDITECH servers have cyclical workloads. Understanding how these workload cycles are triggered and why, is part knowing your work flows and part experience with MEDITECH.

Park Place has been working with the Ops offerings from VMware for some time to fully understand how they make recommendations and to determine which are acceptable and which are not. We have been working with vSOM, vCOps and now the vCloud Suite internally on all versions of MEDITECH’s HCIS to gain a solid understanding of any “false positive” reporting on MEDITECH servers. We all know that removing resources from what MEDITECH expects can have undesirable results, but there may be times it is acceptable.  As our own Cloud offerings enter their 2nd year, we continue to evaluate and refine management practices of MEDITECH environments. Only by setting up and managing many, many MEDITECH environments do you get this level of experience.

By themselves, vSOM, vCOps and the vCloud Suite provide never before seen insight into your MEDITECH world. Couple these magnificent management offerings from VMware with the experience gained from sheer volume and you have a truly cost saving tool.

I liken these tools to highly radioactive material. In the right situation it can provide virtually unlimited positive energy to propel you forward. In the wrong situation, it’s a bomb.

Clay Sides is a Senior Technical Consultant with Park Place International who specializes in helping customers hone in on their true objectives to ensure the biggest return on their investment. Clay gets satisfaction from working with customers to discuss their needs and provide consulting services that best address those needs. Identifying performance bottlenecks, assisting with building and implementing strategic plans for growth and sustainability, as well as recoverability, are all his specialties. Clay has been working in Information Systems since 1989, having spent time with United Technologies, Texas Instruments, Acer America, Palm Computing, Gateway and most recently, 5 years with JJWild/Perot/Dell. When asked, Clay says his favorite part of his current endeavor, is seeing the moment of realization in a customers’ eyes when he’s able to communicate a complicated plan, or concept, in terms they understand; “It’s a rush when you actually see you’ve been able to help someone understand something. Their stress seems to almost float away at the moment of realization.”