Novell in Northern Ireland health services deal

18 Feb 2004

Novell’s Irish operation has secured a major productivity and cost-saving infrastructure deal with Craigavon & Banbridge Health and Social Services (HSS) Trust that will see Novell’s technology deployed to enable five IT managers to manage some 750 networked PCs spread out over 30 sites.

The contract will be delivered through Dublin-based Synopsis Consulting and allows the Trust to centralise and remotely manage its network infrastructure over 30 sites from one central location.

Novell’s Nterprise and Nsure solutions were implemented with no down time and included a range of products from NetWare, GroupWise, ZENworks for Desktops to BorderManager and eDirectory.

The implementation will provide the Trust with a virus resistant messaging and collaboration solution in GroupWise. The GroupWise resilience to e-mail propagated viruses provides the Trust with increased productivity and resilience by cutting down the number of employee initiated viruses. The implementation of NetWare gives the trust the full benefits of file and print services, including remote file and print access.

As part of the network overhaul the Trust purchased an appropriately sized cluster and fibre SAN (storage area network) platform. Synopsis Consulting tested and installed the hardware on-site using Novell Cluster Services, as part of the Novell Nterprise solution. Within days the Trust was able to retire a number of existing servers and deliver the advantages of file and print services and enhanced email and collaboration services.

ZENworks for Desktops allows the Trust’s five IT staff to administer users at any of the 30 geographically dispersed locations, from one centrally located office at Lurgan Health Centre. This has the effect of reducing the number of site visits required by network administrators, resulting in faster response times to reported problems and a quicker return to productivity for users. It also provides the Trust with a platform to manage patch maintenance for viruses and updates, enforce policies and remotely manage the entire desktop deployment across the WAN without having to leave the IT Department.

“Nearly all of the most damaging viruses and most hacking attempts rely on security holes that already have available patches – ZENworks for Desktops provides a means to distribute these patches from a central point of administration and therefore manage this threat,” says Stephen Hylands, head of IT at Craigavon & Banbridge HSS Trust.

As part of the rollout, the Trust also implemented Novell’s security software, BorderManager, to provide managed secure access to the internet, faster proxy caching for increased performance and a secure platform for its recently launched staff intranet. BorderManager integrated with eDirectory provides the network administrators easier management of users access to Internet and network based information.

Stephen Hylands, head of IT at Craigavon & Banbridge Community HSS Trust said: “I needed to make a number of decisions in order to consolidate all of the file servers being managed, provide a greater degree of resilience/redundancy, increase the user base and resolve network users’ rapidly expanding storage needs.

“In addition to this we also needed to provide wider and more secure internet access for Health and Social Services staff and comply with obligations set by the Department of Health, Social Services & Public Safety’s Directorate of Information Systems (DIS) in relation to the constant rollout of security patches/management and anti-virus upgrades. These were delivered through Novell’s solutions,” he added.

Commenting on the deal, Kevin McAteer, Business Development Manager, Novell Ireland said: “This project demonstrates the productivity gains that can be achieved through a proper network management system. Through the Novell solutions the Trust can save directly on lost time with IT staff able to administer individual computers centrally and also allows the IT staff the full flexibility of ensuring that all IT policies are full implemented.”

According to Paul Fleming, Synopsis Consulting: “We managed to implement these technologies seamlessly with the Trust’s infrastructure in a matter of weeks with no network downtime. We have tested the cluster environment and fail-over rigorously since installation with zero downtown. The Trust will have one of the most technologically advanced and cost effective IT infrastructures of any Health & Personal Social Services Trusts in Northern Ireland.”

By John Kennedy