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Canterbury District Health Board joins exodus to the cloud

Canterbury District Health Board joins exodus to the cloud

DHB seeks transformation as part of transition to cloud-based infrastructure

Canterbury DHB is pursuing cloud transformation

Canterbury DHB is pursuing cloud transformation

Canterbury District Health Board has gone to market to shift most of its major computing workloads to public cloud.

In the process, the South Island's largest DHB expects to transform and modernise its IT operation and become significantly more agile and able to deliver health innovation, tender documents state.

"Our transformation target is to operate all or most of applications and services across public cloud with some applications and services remaining in NZ private cloud and on-premise," the tender document read.

The DHB is joining many other large Kiwi organisations in attempting to embrace cloud - Auckland Council is planning a similar shift from infrastructure-as-a-service to hybrid cloud while the Ministry of Transport is planning a shift to publlc cloud.

Furthermore, Hamilton City Council made its move to public cloud in 2016 while Customs plans to move its core CusMod system to platform-as-a-service, provided by Datacom.

Meanwhile in the private sector, Zespri embraced Azure public cloud infrastructure for its SAP platforms in 2014, with Contact Energy aiming for 100 per cent public cloud by 2019.

The DHB runs most of its applications and services on on-premise hardware and New Zealand private cloud - it also has 1400 CPU cores and 6.5TB of RAM across 500 virtual machines in Kiwi public cloud.

"Our on-premise physical hardware is approaching end of life and we are actively migrating applications and services to private cloud," the document stated.

"This hardware provides approximately 1660 CPU cores and 11TB of RAM across 110 physical machines with 470TB of storage."

An initial transition of five applications and services is targeted, including two comparatively simple single server applications, Wabalogic and Epiphany, with limited integration with other parts of the clinical health environment.

Orion Health's Rhapsody Integration Engine, which underpins almost all clinical data exchange between systems, is also a target along with Health Connect South, also based on the Orion Health platform.

Health Connect South consists of multiple integrated databases, application servers, web front-end servers and load balancers, providing clinicians across the South Island with access to electronic medical and health records.

Virtual Desktop Infrastructure will also be targeted.

Canterbury DHB specifies that any solution must be "highly reliable" with "significant consideration" given to security, availability and disaster recovery.

"We want a proposal for a one year transformation project that will move the bulk of our applications from their current environments to hybrid cloud," the document stated.

"This proposal must include the development of strategy, actionable roadmaps and, most importantly, the planning and implementation of these roadmaps including the provision of technology tooling, knowledge transfer, and process changes."

Proposals need to include training and process changes required so that the DHB can continue the transition and operations after the initial phase ends.

"At the successful completion of this transformation where the bulk applications have been moved, our IT staff and partners will continue to move any remaining applications," the DHB said.

In addition, the DHB does not want "theoretical proposals" delivering only roadmaps and strategy nor technical proposal without implementation plans.

"We’re looking for a provider who has done this before and has delivered the benefits promised," the document stated. "Ideally we don’t want organisations that need to use sub-contractors to achieve the majority of the results we need."

The organisation runs around 200 core applications, of which 16 are mission critical and 18 are critical.

Six high-level objectives are to be delivered as part of the shift: reduced costs, security, availability and disaster recovery, operational efficiency, quality improvement, and a full transition from a "reactive to proactive management model".

Canterbury DHB is the largest employer in the South Island, employing over 9,500 people.


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