Emory Healthcare's information technology department has achieved a distinction worthy of the history books -- digitally speaking.
An innovative project connecting hundreds of computer servers and thousands of desktops into one large "virtual" pool of memory has been ushered into the Global Archives of the Computerworld Honors Collection. The Emory case study will be archived in 36 countries as an historical example of the leading edge of computer technology in 2004.
Computerworld is a weekly magazine described as the voice of IT management for Fortune 1000 companies. Emory Healthcare's project was nominated for recognition in the magazine's 15-year-old annual honors program by Michael C. Ruettgers, executive chairman of EMC Corp.
Dedra Cantrell, RN, chief information officer of Emory Healthcare, accepted a Medal of Achievement on behalf of Emory in a gala celebration at San Francisco City Hall earlier this month. "It was a dramatic and exciting evening," she said. "I was happy to be there and proud to know that all of my hard-working colleagues at Emory were getting the recognition they deserve for being so creative and inventive."
The honor-roll case studies recognize by Computerworld are archived in various sites including universities, museums and libraries around the world, where they can be accessed by scholars and practitioners who are looking for novel solutions to common problems. The case studies will also be made available online at http://cwheroes.org.
The publication's program recognizes IT leaders in the categories of business and related services, education and academia, environment, energy and agriculture, finance, insurance and real estate, government and nonprofit organizations, manufacturing, media, arts and entertainment, medicine, science, and transportation. Emory was honored in the medicine category.
Bob Carrigan, president and publisher of Computerworld, termed the annual honorees "true revolutionaries in their fields."
The Emory IT project is intended to reduce the cost of computer server and storage requirements, while also reducing the number of IT personnel required to support the systems. By tying together file servers, and up to 10,000 desktop computers, the IT department's "virtualization project" will create "higher availability, increased flexibility, and greater mobility to support more effective delivery of healthcare services," the case statement explains.
Using an innovative BladeFrame computer from Egenera and ControlCenter software from the EMC Corp., "storage can be provisioned through a graphical user interface with no need to be present at the physical hardware. As a result, a single individual can provision storage to support virtual servers and applications anywhere in the university system in a matter of hours, rather than weeks. Therefore, budget dollars otherwise spent on infrastructure management can now be invested in applications and other services to support healthcare."