Leading Research Hospital Leverages Wire Data Analytics to Dramatically Reduce Citrix Login Times and Easily Pinpoint Problems with Third-Party and SaaS Applications
SEATTLE, WA – May 7, 2014 – ExtraHop, the global leader in real-time wire data analytics for IT operational intelligence, today announced that Seattle Children's is using ExtraHop to streamline the delivery of more than 100 business-critical applications to 8,500 caregivers and faculty across 25 facilities. Seattle Children's, which includes Seattle Children's Hospital, Research Institute, and Foundation, selected ExtraHop because it was the only platform that delivered real-time, contextual insight into all of the wire data traversing their network. This visibility has empowered IT staff to rapidly identify the root cause of performance problems and remedy them before hospital operations are affected.
For large medical research institutions like Seattle Children's, the availability and performance of healthcare applications plays a critical role not only in patient care, but also in research initiatives. The complexity of managing these applications and information can be daunting for any organization, particularly for one as large and distributed as Seattle Children's.
"Prior to implementing ExtraHop, the IT infrastructure team spent more than 20 percent of its time trying to diagnose nonobvious problems impacting end users of its applications, including Cerner for electronic medical records (EMR), Epic for scheduling, and Lawson for ERP and finance," says Wes Wright, CIO, Seattle Children's. "As complexity continued to increase, it was imperative that we find a meaningful source of visibility into our environment."
"With our lack of visibility, we always found ourselves trying to prove that a problem wasn't coming from a particular technology silo," says Tim Holt, Senior Director of Enterprise Architecture at Seattle Children's. "It was very much the guilty-until-proven-innocent approach to IT troubleshooting."
One of Seattle Children's most critical IT efforts is virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI), by which it delivers nearly 3,000 Windows 7 desktops through a Citrix environment. Before deploying ExtraHop, IT teams at Seattle Children's had spent weeks trying unsuccessfully to isolate the cause of extremely slow Citrix VDI logins every morning around 8:30 a.m.
Says Holt: "Clinicians and nurses log into and out of their virtual Windows 7 desktops as they move around the hospital. A single nurse might move between 48 different devices during one 12-hour shift. Thirty-second login times might not seem like much, but multiply that over 30 or 40 incidences and you have a lot of waste. For doctors doing morning rounds, the slowdown was having a dramatic impact on both productivity and patient care."
After deploying ExtraHop, Seattle Children's was able to pinpoint the source of the VDI slowdown within minutes. The cause: severe contention at the storage tier was occurring each morning when a doctor logged in and unintentionally pulled down 2GB of photos stored in his My Pictures folder, causing login times to go from a few seconds to as long as 15 minutes. By understanding the root cause of this latency and providing insight into associated factors, ExtraHop helped Seattle Children's reduce connect and disconnect times to mere seconds.
In addition to reducing VDI login times, Seattle Children's has successfully used ExtraHop's wire data analytics to troubleshoot performance issues on SaaS and third-party hosted applications.
"Before implementing ExtraHop, we didn't have enough visibility into these applications to determine root causes or to counter claims from vendors and service providers," says Bruce Fulton, Senior Systems Infrastructure Team Engineer at Seattle Children's. "Now, for example, the Lawson team can look at the metrics for all communications between our site and the external Lawson site, broken down by server processing time and round-trip time, to see where there might be an issue."
"While Seattle Children's is a world leader when it comes to patient care and cutting edge research, in the past they faced IT problems all too common in the healthcare industry, from challenges with EMR systems to VDI deployments," says Jesse Rothstein, CEO, ExtraHop. "With visibility from ExtraHop, Seattle Children's IT department has become as proactive and innovative as the practitioners and researchers it supports. When it comes to patient care, knowledge is power. The same is true when treating the IT environment."
For more information about how Seattle Children's is using ExtraHop, check out the case study. To learn more about ExtraHop for healthcare, read the new white paper: Five Ways Wire Data Enables Real-Time Healthcare Systems.