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care of our data archiving due to requirements regarding data retention periods, but currently we do everything in- house, ourselves,” said Jetse Pettinga. “The debate about the cloud and outsourcing often comes down to the Patriot Act making it virtually impossible to outsource data management. Moreover, we just like to keep things in our own hands. I strongly believe in doing things in-house. It is the best way to retain expert knowledge.”

Rijnstate Hospital: private cloud Rijnstate Hospital in Arnhem in the Netherlands, does not use an external data centre. Instead it makes use of location independent Managed Cloud Services (MCS) for data back-up purposes. The hospital wanted a flexible and scalable

‘The majority of healthcare institutions have their own data storage solution, whereby the data is distributed over at least two data centres, mostly in-house.’

the current context of rekindled discussions about the subject of privacy, the National Security Agency (NSA) in the US and its whistle-blower Edward Snowden who is seeking to expose important issues, for example.

Healthcare is, foremost, an industry in

which safety, security and protection of personal data is crucial and has high priority. In addition, the USA Patriot Act means that outsourcing – especially to a foreign party – is simply impossible. From a hospital perspective, the future is

preferably not in the cloud. However, a slight trend can be seen regarding outsourcing of data storage in the form of managed services or pay per use. Also, some hospitals have considered storing their archival data with external parties in the near future. This is mainly due to legislation requiring hospitals to store data for a very long period of time (sometimes up to a hundred years).

St. Antonius Hospital: external data centre Commenting on this, Jetse Pettinga, head of IT management at the St. Antonius Hospital in Nieuwegein, in Holland, said: “We do everything ourselves but we have made arrangements with BT’s data centre here in

Nieuwegein. They provide the energy and cooling facilities. It is very well organised.” BT’s data centre has been expanded and is

equipped with the latest energy management and cooling technologies as well as with durable emergency power systems, making it a highly energy-efficient data centre. St. Antonius hospital uses these facilities. A self-healing optical fibre ring, with

powerful switches, ensures a high level of availability across the entire campus network. The fibre ring was extended to the new BT data centre allowing the hospital to be guaranteed trouble-free high availability for all IT needs. Data management and data access, however, do remain in hands of the hospital. “In the future, we may ask BT to also take

‘A self-healing optical fibre ring, with powerful switches, ensures a high level of availability across the entire campus network.’

back up solution with the ability to rapidly respond to the changing demands of healthcare. The MCS, specially developed for hospitals by Proact, is a ‘private cloud’ solution. Rijnstate Hospital uses this solution on a pay-per-use basis. Even though this solution is partly in the

cloud, the hospital manages its own data in- house. “The technology used within the private cloud is, in fact, no different from non-cloud solutions. The difference is in the way things are arranged – the environment,” explained Christian van Nieuwenhoven, advisor technical projects & ICT at Rijnstate (source: Proact).

Flevo hospital: hybrid outsourcing “It is generally agreed that the core business of hospitals is providing care. However, the other half of daily business comprises of information processing. Our data storage environment currently covers 48 terabytes. This number will double in four years time due to an organic growth of 20% per year. Data, data storage and the availability of data are vital for us,” said Lax Pater ICT manager at Flevo hospital in Almere in the Netherlands (source: i3 group). The hospital opted for a hybrid

outsourcing concept. Last year, the entire internal data storage environment was migrated to a new concept, whereby a portion remains in-house and another part is being outsourced. A part of data management has also been outsourced. The hospital works together with supplier HP and business partner i3 group and pays a price per gigabyte per month in exchange for a robust storage environment.


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