Story image

DHBs across the country move to IBM Cloud

17 Feb 2015

District Health Boards (DHBs) across the country are set to introduce new IT infrastructure which will increase security, reliability, and service levels, and reduce the risk of critical outages.

IBM's cloud-based IT infrastructure services will be the foundation for the National Infrastructure Platform (NIP). IBM and Crown company Health Benefits Limited (HBL) today announced an agreement, with individual DHBs now signing contracts to use the platform.

NIP is the IT infrastructure that hosts the applications and systems DHBs use every day in the delivery of health care. 

The programme will transition DHBs from their current 40 data centres of varying size, age, quality and adherence to standards, to two IBM-managed world class data centres with higher security classifications - one in Auckland, the other in Christchurch.

Graeme Osborne, director of the National Health IT Board, says it has responded to a number of IT outages at DHBs in the last two years which had an immediate impact on the smooth delivery of health services.

"The improved resilience and strengthened disaster recovery capabilities of NIP will reduce the risk of IT outages affecting the efficient operation of health services,” he says. “The IT Board also notes the importance of the scalability of the platform.”

Carole Heatly, Southern DHB CEO, says, "Southern DHB is very supportive of the NIP programme. Patient care is paramount and the clinical benefits of a more stable and secure IT platform cannot be understated."

The IBM solution will aggregate each DHB onto a single Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), which is fully aligned to the Government ICT Strategy and Action Plan to 2017. 

IaaS enables DHBs to purchase their IT infrastructure on demand, allowing them to only pay for what they need, when they need it, without the burden of maintaining and owning their own infrastructure.

HBL says it selected IBM because of its deep expertise in the healthcare sector, as well as its credentials when it comes to building and managing world-class enterprise grade cloud infrastructure solutions.

Rob Lee, IBM New Zealand's managing director, says, "Public sector agencies are adopting IBM's Government IaaS offering to create cost savings and provide new, enhanced services to their communities, suppliers and staff.  

“This is a significant agreement for health and offers DHBs much greater flexibility in how they purchase and manage IT infrastructure services.”

He says, "We have assembled a best-of-breed team of global and local partners to deliver on this project, including Computer Concepts Ltd, Racemi and FX Networks."

Along with the significant reduction in day-to-day operational risk, NIP will provide financial benefits of $23.9 million (total cost of ownership over 10-years) across all DHBs.

A total of 15 of the country's 20 DHBs have conditionally approved the Business Case and HBL is making good progress with the other five. The first four DHBs (Northland, Auckland, Counties Manukau and Waitemata) have signed contracts to use the platform.

The transition to NIP will start from mid-2015 and is expected to take three years.

IBM is a member of the Government ICT Common Capability IaaS panel managed by the Department of Internal Affairs, the Government's ICT Functional Lead. 

IBM's Cloud Managed Infrastructure Services for New Zealand Government solution is designed for public sector clients, utilising IBM New Zealand's onshore data centres. 

Government agencies can create cost savings and provide new, enhanced services to the public, suppliers and staff.

Orange Belgium opens 1,000 sqm Antwerp data centre
It consists of more than 500 high-density 52 unit racks, installed on the equivalent of 12 tennis courts.
Time to build tech on the automobile, not the horse and cart
Nutanix’s Jeff Smith believes one of the core problems of businesses struggling to digitally ‘transform’ lies in the infrastructure they use, the data centre.
Cloud providers increasingly jumping into gaming market
Aa number of major cloud service providers are uniquely placed to capitalise on the lucrative cloud gaming market.
Intel building US’s first exascale supercomputer
Intel and the Department of Energy are building potentially the world’s first exascale supercomputer, capable of a quintillion calculations per second.
NVIDIA announces enterprise servers optimised for data science
“The rapid adoption of T4 on the world’s most popular business servers signals the start of a new era in enterprise computing."
Unencrypted Gearbest database leaves over 1.5mil shoppers’ records exposed
Depending on the countries and information requirements, the data could give hackers access to online government portals, banking apps, and health insurance records.
Storage is all the rage, and SmartNICs are the key
Mellanox’s Kevin Deierling shares the results from a new survey that identifies the key role of the network in boosting data centre performance.
Opinion: Moving applications between cloud and data centre
OpsRamp's Bhanu Singh discusses the process of moving legacy systems and applications to the cloud, as well as pitfalls to avoid.