Nutanix at HIMSS: St. Joseph Health and Nutanix Enterprise Cloud

Author: February 16, 2017

Meet with Sanjay Maru, Director of Enterprise Architecture from St. Joseph Health, at upcoming HIMSS 2017 conference Session 178.

HIMSS’17 is just around the corner, from Feb 19-23 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Over 45,000 attendees across healthcare executives, professionals, clinicians, and vendors are expected to come together to discuss upcoming trends and innovative technologies for healthcare IT. Join us at Nutanix booth #2887 to hear from healthcare industry experts and stay back for our fun party or lunch and learn session. Scroll to the bottom of the blog for more info on HIMSS events and parties.

An interview with Sanjay Maru, Director of Enterprise Architecture, St. Joseph’s Health

Nutanix is excited to present a HIMSS speaking session featuring Sanjay Maru from St. Joseph’s health on the topic Transform Health IT with Enterprise Cloud Technologies. St. Joseph Health (SJH) is an integrated healthcare delivery system providing a broad range of medical services in Northern and Southern California, West Texas, and Eastern New Mexico. Sanjay Maru is the director of Enterprise Architecture at St. Joseph Health. He is responsible for the management and capacity planning of the enterprise technology portfolio providing mission-critical and highly available solutions in support of 20,000+ clinicians and healthcare providers. We recently checked in with Sanjay to see how his Nutanix deployment was going. Here are some of the highlights of our conversation:

Q. What are some of the key challenges you were facing prior to Nutanix?

We had already invested a lot of money in our private cloud. Our organization is growing very rapidly, and we were having difficulty scaling out that existing infrastructure incrementally. Plus, we knew we wouldn’t be able to invest as much money for our regional cloud as we did for our core infrastructure and private cloud. So our challenge was how to expand our footprint in our software-based data center, and include regional clouds within that budget. We started looking for infrastructure options, and hyperconverged met our needs very well. It allowed us to scale out, have a regional presence in our three different data centers, and allow us to incrementally expand our software-based data center management to the regional cloud level as well.

Q. Tell us about your Nutanix solution. Which systems did you buy?

We did POC’s with several different hyperconverged vendors, and Nutanix was the clear winner. St Josephs purchased Nutanix’s top-of-the-line Dell XC system 15 months ago. We created a very big regional presence with N+1 redundancy, because of our high availability needs for critical applications. The systems worked so well that we just purchased more systems for DR and redundancy.

Q. What improvements and business benefits has your organization realized?

Our regional cloud was built using a lot of disparate infrastructure. We had racks and racks of traditional servers and storage systems that we wanted to migrate and reduce the footprint. All total, we had 262 servers of legacy hardware across 6 racks, with additional growth capacity up to 30 servers.

By moving to Nutanix, we reduced those six racks of legacy hardware into less than one rack worth of space. That obviously saved us a lot in the costs of space, heating, cooling, and electricity, but it also gave us a lot more flexibility for growing our footprint. It also gave us the redundancy and high-availability infrastructure that we wanted to provide to all of our application users.

The second benefit was the seamless automated management. With our previous infrastructure, we needed a team of 12 IT specialists to manage all of the different storage, compute, and networking resources. With Nutanix, we’re managing everything with a team of just two people. This allowed us to focus on higher values projects and allocate resources to build technology efficiency, increase clinician productivity and overall improve delivery of patient care. The simplification of management, as well as upkeep of workloads, availability and monitoring, has been a great benefit of the Nutanix platform.

The third benefit was Nutanix’s easy scalability. As we grow or have further compute and storage needs, I won’t need to make major investments to incrementally grow my footprint. That’s where the hyperconverged infrastructure has helped me a great deal.

Q. What are the next steps for Nutanix in your group? Also, do you see cloud playing a role in your environment?

We are continuing to grow, and we plan to utilize the Nutanix capabilities to add capacity as needed. The next step involves looking at disaster recovery and remote redundancy for our workloads and high-availability. We are also looking at Nutanix as a potential platform to host our VDI.

Our cloud strategy is very comprehensive. We laid out our plans for a private cloud, regional cloud, and public cloud strategy from the beginning. The first phase was standing up our private cloud, and then we looked at options and offerings for our regional cloud. This is where we deployed our infrastructure. Obviously we are going to use Nutanix to scale our private cloud as well.

The third phase of our cloud strategy is to extend the same capabilities into our public cloud offerings, whether it be Azure, AWS, or other cloud service provider offerings. We are in the process of plugging that into our single pane of management, using VMware’s toolset. We are also building a technology business management (TBM) solution on Nutanix, so our end users can see what it costs to run their workloads in our private cloud, regional cloud, or public cloud, and then make the appropriate decision that fits their business needs.

Q. Tell us about your session at HIMSS conference this year?

I’m excited to deliver a session titled “Transform Health It with Enterprise Cloud Technologies.” The three main points I plan to convey to the healthcare industry include describing the benefits of the Nutanix Enterprise Cloud, and how it applies to various different healthcare offerings—whether it be hospitals, or clinics or other healthcare areas.

The second point I want to cover is the return on investment from adopting hyperconverged capabilities, by optimizing the capital investment, as well as reducing process and resource investments. My message here is that you don’t necessarily reduce the amount of personnel resources, but you gain the ability to do more creative and customer-focused things by optimizing your IT administrators’ time.

In the third part of my talk, I will be sharing some of the best practices from our Nutanix implementation on Dell XC. The joint solution from Nutanix and Dell has delivered immense benefits for our health system in the past year. I am sure that many of the benefits we have obtained will apply to rest of the healthcare industry as well. When we originally put together our hyperconverged and cloud strategy, we invited several vendors to come and look at our plan and poke holes into it, just to make sure that we weren’t blind to some of the findings, and identify any gaps in our strategy. We want the wider healthcare industry to benefit from our experience with Nutanix as well.

Meet Sanjay Maru in-person at his presentation for HIMSS 2017 Session 178 Transform Health IT with Enterprise Cloud Technologies on Wed, Feb 22, 2017 from 11:30 am – 12:30 pm EST. Also, stop by the Nutanix booth 2887 at HIMSS to discuss how our industry leading hyperconvergence and enterprise cloud solution can allow you to put your focus on healthcare applications.

Meet with an expert @ Nutanix booth #2887

Meet 1:1 with one of our Nutanix experts at the solutions expo and enjoy the Nutanix 360 Experience—a quick trip through the new era of IT.

Party with Nutanix, Lenovo and Intel

Date: Feb 21, 7:00pm – 10:00pm
Title: Big Hair, Pegged Jeans, Zebra Print…Tubular Dude.
Location: House of Blues
Invite: HIMSS ’80’s Party

Customer Speaking Session: Transform Health IT with Enterprise Cloud Technologies

Date: Wednesday, Feb 22, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Location: Room 311A
Speaker(s): Sanjay Maru, Director of Enterprise Architecture, St. Joseph’s health system + Preethy Padman, Sr. Mgr. Solutions Marketing, Nutanix
Registration: Register Here

Lunch n Learn – Enhancing Care Delivery with VDI on Enterprise Cloud
Date: Wednesday, Feb 22, 1:00pm – 2:00 pm
Location: Room 203C
Speaker(s): Dan Cowan + John Reeves, HIT Solutions Architect, Lenovo + Adam Sherwood, Enterprise Infrastructure Architect, Covenant Health
Registration: Register Here

Read customer success stories from world class healthcare organizations such as Cardinal Innovations, St.Luke’s Health System and more at

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