St Helens and Knowsley NHS Trust is using technology from B2net to streamline its data storage and improve back up.

The trust was storing old, unused data on expensive fibre channel disks and adding new disks when space ran out. But it wanted to store existing, critical data by freeing up storage area network capacity.

Assistant IT director Phil Corrin said: “We found that the amount of data we were storing was becoming huge and we faced two options – either upgrade the storage or find a way of streamlining it to make sure that only the most critical data was stored on the disks and not all data.

“As a result of the new system, we can produce a smaller window for backing up our live data – and in the event of a catastrophic failure, we can restore easily within a much faster timeframe.”

The trust asked B2net to install and configure a new storage and back-up environment, using Symantec Enterprise Vault and NetApp technology.

The NetApp system provides the trust with the single storage WORM (write once read only) capability it required. This filters the data and will help future-proof the system for potential storage compliance regulation.

“The system has already shrunk the storage space we use by 40% and is helping us back up data much more quickly,” said Mr Corrin. “Relevant data can quickly be recalled and in real-time we can see what has been stored and apply the most critical data into a secure backup location.”

The trust employs in excess of 4,000 staff and provides general and acute health care services over two main sites.