News Release

Cisco Data Center Architecture Enables Healthcare Organizations To Improve IT Support for Patient Care

Healthcare Organizations Select Cisco Unified Computing System, Nexus, and MDS Storage Solutions for High Reliability and Availability
Jan 27, 2011

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Jan. 27, 2011 – Moses Cone Health System, a nonprofit health system with five hospitals and a range of outpatient services and teaching facilities, based in Greensboro, North Carolina.; and Virtua, a nonprofit healthcare provider with four hospitals and multiple outpatient facilities, headquartered in Marlton, New Jersey, have selected the Cisco® Data Center Business Advantage architecture to help improve  patient care and health system efficiency while reducing costs.

Moses Cone Health System selected the Cisco Unified Computing SystemTM as its next-generation computing platform to support computerized physician-order entry and to help the organization transition to electronic medical records (EMRs), top priorities for improving patient care.

Deploying the Cisco Unified Computing System helped Moses Cone Health System expand EMRs quickly, while minimizing the network infrastructure build-out and reducing the time needed to configure servers. The high availability and flexibility of the Cisco Unified Computing System has been a key success factor, as it powers the program used to update real-time electronic medical records and support critical clinical applications such as radiology and lab systems.

Virtua deployed a Cisco Medical Grade Network to address the strain being placed on its network and data centers by new applications, medical images and a new regional health information exchange. To solve the challenges and increase performance, Virtua outsourced data center services to a remote facility while using an existing data center for disaster recovery. To connect the hospital core network and its data centers, Virtua deployed an advanced Cisco data center Ethernet-based network, including Cisco Nexus® data center switches, Cisco MDS storage solutions, and high-speed Cisco optical solutions.

The virtualization capabilities, high reliability and 10 Gigabit Ethernet performance of Cisco's Data Center Business Advantage solutions were important differentiators. Virtua's new data center features an all-Nexus portfolio, including the Nexus 7000, 5000, and 2000 data center switches, which provides the capacity needed to support extensive electronic picture archiving and communications systems.  Going forward, Virtua will be moving to a Unified Fabric with Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE), linking storage capabilities directly to the data center infrastructure, to achieve cabling and power savings. The Cisco optical networking solution links Virtua hospital sites together so that virtual machines can now be transferred virtually between sites, avoiding the expense and downtime of physically moving servers.   

To learn more about the solutions deployed by Moses Cone Health System and Virtua, please join the Cisco live Internet TV show today, Jan. 27, at 11:00 a.m. PST at   Registration is not required, and the program is also available for replay at the same link.


  • From its beginnings in 1953, Moses Cone Health System is now composed of five hospitals, two medical centers, a regional cancer center, and a range of outpatient clinics and centers.
  • Cisco Advanced Services provided planning and design services to identify and address business and technical considerations before implementation. Varrow, a value-added reseller was also a key partner in supporting the new technology deployment.
  • Moses Cone Health System first deployed the Cisco Unified Computing System to support its clinical data warehouse application, but soon expanded the architecture and now plans to standardize on the Cisco platform. 
  • The Surgical Operating Room System database is deployed on one Cisco UCS blade, and IT managers can move workloads between blades for greater uptime.
  • Cisco Unified Computing System enables Moses Cone Health System to achieve cost-effective scalability, saving the organization $90,000 in switching infrastructure and $17,000 savings in cabling infrastructure.


  • Virtua is a comprehensive healthcare system serving South Jersey that provides care through four hospitals with 1,073 beds, two health and wellness centers, two rehab centers, two medically-based fitness centers, 16 mobile intensive care units and a variety of outpatient health services.
  • Cisco Data Center Technology enables Virtua to achieve lower connectivity costs. The 10-Gigabit Ethernet links between data centers provide $240,000 per year in operational savings compared with alternative connectivity solutions. Virtua is also saving $100,000 as a result of moving to a new data center and expects to save 1,000 worker-hours for provisioning storage.
  • The in-service software-upgrade feature of the Cisco Nexus 7000 allows Virtua to make updates without any interruption, an important feature for the mission-critical healthcare network.  In the future, Virtua plans to implement Fibre Channel over Ethernet to reduce cabling and save power.


  • "We started with a small deployment of the Cisco Unified Computing System to support our clinical data warehouse application, but the advantages were so compelling that we've expanded the architecture extensively and will standardize on the Cisco platform going forward. We have tremendous flexibility in our architecture now, enabling us to move workloads and add capacity quickly as needed, with much faster provisioning for new business applications."
  • - Michael Heil, manager of technology infrastructure, Moses Cone Health System

  • "Virtualization and high availability were key requirements for us, as our existing data centers were becoming strained and we needed to move virtual servers to a new, remote data center. With Cisco Data Center Business Advantage, we were able to move virtual machines between data centers quickly and efficiently, greatly reducing expenses and downtime. We estimate that moving 160 servers virtually instead of physically will save us nearly $100,000."
  • - Chas Thawley, assistant vice president of technology, Virtua


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