GUI interface, problem identification, and remote systems management have all put smiles on the faces of the hospital's IT staff.
Alvarado Hospital of San Diego has chosen the CCSS suite of systems management solutions comprising QSystem Monitor (QSM), QMessage Monitor (QMM) and QRemote Control (QRC), to proactively manage its IBM M25-9406 POWER server. The IBM server forms part of Alvarado Hospital’s busy IT environment, which includes approximately 60 servers running various operating systems (Linux, UNIX, VMS, Windows Server 2003 and 2008). The company runs its core business applications, such as patient financials, materials management and clinical suite all on the IBM server. A team of five manages the IT infrastructure, and the Power Systems computer serves the needs of 1,200 end users in the hospital.
Prior to installing CCSS solutions, the Alvarado Hospital team struggled with a manual approach to monitoring the IBM system. One of the main disadvantages of this method was the team's inability to immediately pinpoint errors impacting system performance. This put the team under pressure to find the root cause of performance problems and to resolve them before they affected availability. Without a solution, the team was forced to generate reports in an attempt to identify issues. With CCSS solutions now in place, the team benefits from real-time, 24/7 error identification and, as a result, has turned their reactive environment into a proactive one.
Glenn Anderson, network manager for Alvarado Hospital, says the increased system visibility created by the CCSS solutions is tremendously helpful. “We now have a completely customized GUI screen in the middle of our department to ensure that all performance levels are running smoothly,” says Anderson. “It’s beneficial because it’s not just a standard view dictated to us by the solution provider; we are able to customize a view that fits our exact needs. That’s an excellent feature and shows CCSS really understands that every environment is different.”
QSM and QMM immediately notify the Alvarado team if something goes wrong on the system. According to Anderson, the value of this functionality was immediately apparent. Following their installation, CCSS products uncovered four drives in a degraded status. “That was incredibly significant,” Anderson remembers. “In examining the issue, we found that the system had been running like that for more than 30 days. Without the CCSS solutions, we would not have known about these drives until resulting problems occurred.”
In a hospital environment, someone is always dependent on all functions within the system. So the biggest systems management challenge for Alvarado is ensuring the highest levels of availability. QSM tackles this issue by keeping a watchful eye over the system elements that could pose a threat, be it an object, (e.g. a journal status that becomes inactive) a communication element, (e.g. a TCP port that is no longer in a listening state) or a job element (e.g. an inactive subsystem or job queue). This covers both availability of the system itself and the user experience of availability. Anderson says, “QSM, QMM and QRC help us to achieve a high level of uptime status by alerting us in advance of any problems. This gives us the necessary time to respond before the issue impacts our end users.”
The CCSS solutions are used in combination to resolve issues in real-time during normal working hours. Outside these times, the team relies on QRC as an easy and effective means of remote systems management. The team has found it especially useful to manage subsystems and application posting errors, hardware errors and any critical system messages. “Thanks to QRC, we can enjoy our weekends without worrying about the system,” Anderson adds. “We have the same ability to manage the system, regardless of our location.”
For more information on CCSS and its products visit http://www.ccssltd.com/products/.
CCSS develops, supports and markets IBM i (on Power Systems and System i servers) performance monitoring and reporting, message management and remote management solutions. An Advanced IBM Business Partner, CCSS develops powerful solutions to support some of the world’s most demanding IBM i environments across many industries including insurance, banking, pharmaceutical and manufacturing. Existing customers that rely on CCSS’s feature-rich solutions include leading organizations. CCSS has its headquarters in Gillingham, Kent, UK with key regional headquarters in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA and Bonn, Germany together with a global agent network spanning Austria, Portugal, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Sweden.
About Alvarado Hospital
Alvarado Hospital is a 306-bed acute care hospital that also operates the Advanced Spine Institute and the San Diego Rehabilitation Institute. Alvarado has more than 450 physicians, 1,000 employees and 400 volunteers who provide quality care to San Diego County and beyond. Alvarado Hospital's programs include cardiac services, emergency medicine, head and neck, ENT, neuroscience, orthopedics, oncology, rehabilitation, general surgical services, sexual medicine, spine, skull base surgery, sleep center, vascular services and surgical weight reduction. For more information, go to www.alvaradohospital.com or call 1-800-ALVARADO.