Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust have implemented a new hardware virtualisation layer to help make integration of its different IT systems faster and more resilient.

The trust have updated the perofrmance of their eGate integration engine software with a new HP ProLiant server, equipped with a hardware virtualisation system called QuickTransit, from developers Transitive.

The trust’s old eGate boxes were running very slowly so it decided to give them a new lease of life. 

Gary McAllister, integration technical lead at the trust, explained: "Being a windows site we decided to go with HP machines as a virtual host and use VMware to host 64-bit linux boxes. We then applied the QuickTransit product to these virtual machines to add another (hardware) virtualization layer for the Solaris product.

"We now have an environment which is running on Intel VT technology with the backup and restore benefits of VMware."  

Clive Stringer, systems delivery manager for IT at the trust, told E-Health Insider: “We needed a new system to work alongside our eGate integration engine to handle interfaces between our iSoft patient manager (iPM) and clinical manger (iCM), and all other departmental systems. QuickTransit offers us the opportunity to run this essential clinical coding across up-to-date servers providing a much faster and resilient service for staff.”

McAllister told EHI: “eGate is the core of systems integration at King’s College Hospital. Running on 166MHz SPARC-based hardware with increasing user demands, eGate was struggling with 100% CPU load.”

The QuickTransit hardware virtualisation technology allows software compiled for one processor to run on a system with a different processor without any source code or binary changes.

The system translates processor instructions and operating system calls as an application is running and has three key components; a dynamic binary translator, an operating system call mapper, and an integration “fuse”.

McAllister said: “QuickTransit makes migrating software easy. The Linux virtualisation layer acts as a binary translator for the SPARC based message broker. Using QuickTransit means at a minimal cost we have gained a few more years from our SPARC based integration solution.” 

Ian Robinson, vice president of marketing for Transitive, said: “In healthcare, as in many other industries, popular applications often outlive the hardware they were originally installed on by many years, so the option of using QuickTransit for fast and easy application migration to new hardware platforms is very appealing.

“The King’s College Hospital Trust integration engine is a great example of an important application that has been liberated from legacy hardware and rejuvenated through deployment via QuickTransit on a modern industry-standard platform.”

Scott Farrand, vice president of industry standard server software at HP added: “King’s College Hospital provides a great example of how companies can easily migrate from legacy hardware with these tools and realize the many benefits derived from industry standard servers, without incurring the costs or disruption of software porting projects.”



Editors note – the article above is an updated and corrected version of the original which incorrectly stated the trust had replaced its eGate integation engine.