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Customer Adoption Series: Molina Healthcare uses Cisco MDS Multilayer Directors as a cornerstone for convergence


February 17, 2014 - 0 Comments

In my previous customer adoption series blog, I discussed how LinkedIn used Cisco MDS to solve their storage growth needs.  Today, I would like to address how Molina Healthcare utilized Cisco MDS 9700, Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus to overcome challenges posed by growth and new regulations.  Healthcare Industry is transforming rapidly and you need a dynamic infrastructure that helps you to transform seamlessly. The Cisco solution has greatly simplified management of all of Molina’s data center resources. One operating system and a single point of management have accelerated provisioning, delivered operational consistency, and reduced cabling costs

Having systems that offer a wide range of connectivity options, high scalability, and simplified management have set Molina on a high-performance path to its future. No matter how rapidly healthcare needs change, Molina Healthcare is ready.

MDS 9710 Director

Business Challenges

Since 1980, Molina Healthcare has been a leader in in providing quality healthcare for financially vulnerable individuals and families. In 2009 Molina consolidated its data center operations and virtualized much of its server infrastructure. Since then, business growth and the need to support new healthcare plans have escalated data storage demands. For example, in 2009, Molina stored 200 terabytes (TB) of data. By 2013, that figure had risen to almost 7 petabytes (PB).

Now, cabling costs and management complexity had risen to unacceptable levels. Without budget to add IT headcount, and with the SAN due for a refresh, Molina decided to converge its LAN and SAN infrastructures. Molina had turned to Cisco for network solutions and services during its 2009 data center migration and consolidation initiative. Once again, the company chose Cisco solutions for its converged infrastructure

Network Solution

Molina chose Vblock™ 300 and 700 Infrastructure Packages to build a highly scalable foundation and refresh its infrastructure. Vblock™ 300 and 700 Infrastructure Packages include Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®), Cisco Nexus® switches, EMC Symmetrix VMAX storage, and VMware vSphere 4 and are designed to meet the high-performance demands of mission-critical applications and large-scale virtualization. Molina also chose Cisco MDS 9500 Series and 9710 Multilayer Directors to replace its existing SAN switches.

“Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Directors are cornerstones of our infrastructure,” says Gautam Mukherjee, manager of IT Service Design, Enterprise Infrastructure Services, for Molina Healthcare. “They deliver superior performance and availability and provide high consistency across the data center. The Cisco MDS 9710 will be essential to supporting all of our data center storage infrastructure.”

Cisco Nexus switches create the high-capacity backbone of Molina’s infrastructure while significantly simplifying system management. The network design based on Nexus switches provides architectural flexibility to connect servers with 1 Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, or Fibre Channel connectivity and simultaneously reduce costs associated with ports, cables, and cooling requirements.

Business Results

Cisco solution has greatly simplified management of all of Molina’s data center resources. One operating system and a single point of management have accelerated provisioning, delivered operational consistency, and reduced cabling costs.  Today, critical applications including Microsoft Exchange, Molina’s Picture Archiving and Communication System, all virtual machines, and health plan business applications are fully migrated to the converged infrastructure.

Because Cisco tools are consistent across product families, such as Cisco UCS and networking products, deployment is greatly simplified. The consistent operating system used across Molina’s Cisco MDS 9710 systems has enabled IT staff to complete migrations within days rather than weeks or months.

Results:

  • Increased capacity and scalability without a proportionate increase in headcount
  • Significantly accelerated provisioning
  • Greatly simplified management while gaining efficiency and agility

 “We are planning to migrate the connections within our Vblock Infrastructure Packages from Fibre Channel to Fibre Channel over Ethernet,” says Mukherjee. “The Cisco MDS 9710 will be essential to supporting all of our data center storage infrastructure.”

Why Molina choose Cisco MDS 9710?

Molina had originally implemented Cisco MDS 9500 Series systems and is moving to the Cisco MDS 9710 as it replaces systems from another vendor. Cisco MDS systems deliver the performance, availability, scalability, and security needed for mission-critical applications, massive amounts of data, and cloud environments. Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Directors support up to 16-Gbps Fibre Channel and 1.5-Tbps throughput per slot, giving Molina superb scalability. Ten-Gbps Fibre Channel links connect the Cisco MDS Multilayer Directors, Cisco Nexus switches, and Cisco UCS systems to allow Molina to migrate to a converged infrastructure in the future.

The Cisco MDS 9710 also supports a comprehensive security framework consisting of RADIUS and TACACS+, Fibre Channel Security Protocol (FC-SP), Secure File Transfer Protocol (SFTP), Secure Shell (SSH) Protocol, and Simple Network Management Protocol version 3 (SNMPv3).

Room for growth for higher throughput in the future  without forklift upgrades

  • Performance: 3x the Performance with Consistent Operations!
  • Reliability: Industry’s Most Reliable Storage Director ( Supervisors (1+1), Grid Redundancy N+1 Fabrics redundancy )
  • Unmatched Flexibility– Multi-Protocol Innovations   

 

For More Information:

  • To find out more about Cisco Multilayer Director Switches, visit www.cisco.com/en/US/products/ps5990/index.html.
  • To learn more about Molina Healthcare, Inc. visit www.molinahealthcare.com
  • Read complete case study here

 

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