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ExtraHop’s EH2000v virtual appliance selected by Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust to gain more visibility into clinical and administrative applications

Published on 14 January, 2014
PHT is typical of many NHS trusts that rely on a suite of critical applications for their day-to-day operations
PHT uses ExtraHop technology to assist several independent software vendors to optimize application performance

ExtraHop, the global leader in real-time wire data analytics for IT operational intelligence, announced recently that Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT) selected the ExtraHop EH2000v virtual appliance to gain unprecedented visibility into clinical and administrative applications, including its core Citrix-based virtualisation platforms.

PHT is one of the largest acute hospital trusts in the UK and provides a full range of services to more than 650,000 people across Portsmouth, South East Hampshire and West Sussex. Currently PHT has more than 6,000 IT users and approximately 3,600 PCs and laptops accessing over a 100 clinical and administration applications, plus in-house developed databases.

PHT is typical of many NHS trusts that rely on a suite of critical applications for their day-to-day operations. Poor application performance or outages can have a massive negative impact on the delivery of services and ultimately patient care.  

“We have an incredibly diverse and complex IT environment, and our staff depends on a plethora of applications for everything from accessing patient information in real time to managing patient discharges,” says Philip Kenney, Head of IT Operations at PHT. “Application latency or failure can dramatically impact the effectiveness of our clinicians and staff, as well as patient care. With such a high-pressure and demanding environment, IT must be an enabler, not a source of delays and frustration.”

With ExtraHop, PHT now
has more visibility into its
critical application delivery

Phil Kenney sought the advice of Nxtera, a well-respected Operational Support Systems (OSS) advisor that had previously delivered a successful project for PHT. As Shaun Henderson, senior OSS consultant for Nxtera explains, “One of the issues with any monitoring system that needs a probe to reside on servers is that these can themselves generate performance issues. ExtraHop provided a strong alternative because its unique use of wire data provides non-disruptive insight into a wider range of applications and in particular its deep integration into the Citrix platforms that PHT relies upon.”

Both Nxtera and PHT felt ExtraHop could provide the required level of visibility across its IT infrastructure, while offering ease of deployment, simplicity of use, and cost-efficiency. "The operational intelligence we've been able to extract using ExtraHop's wire data analytics has been a game changer for PHT. With ExtraHop's passive, correlated visibility across all tiers of our network infrastructure, as well as our Citrix environments, we now have the ability to see real performance for every user across every application in real time," explains Kenney.

Kenney went on to explain that the visibility from ExtraHop enhances PHT’s own IT resources and capabilities, empowering the IT department to proactively seek out and remediate small problems hidden within the infrastructure before they escalate into performance impacting issues. PHT is now using the ExtraHop technology to assist several independent software vendors to optimise application performance.

“When we initially engaged with Nxtera and PHT, they had a huge area of opaqueness in their application delivery chain and simply could not find a technology that offered the level of visibility they required,” explains Owen Cole, VP of EMEA at ExtraHop. 

“Their highly complex environment, which included virtual machines that can migrate from one location to another based on workloads, available resources and many other factors, was a challenge for log and agent-based APM, as well as legacy NPM technologies. With ExtraHop, PHT now has more visibility into its critical application delivery processes,” Cole concludes.

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