Cloud at work

Open cloud platforms improve efficiency, foster convergence and reduce costs, according to Huawei's Julius Liu.

Johannesburg, 24 Mar 2014
Read time 2min 50sec

HM Hospitales is a private hospital group in Spain that employs roughly 4 000 doctors and health workers.

The IT and office systems at the various HM Hospitales hopitals were deployed and managed separately across the different branches, making it complicated to share information. According to Julius Liu, senior marketing manager for cloud computing and IT Product Line, these IT systems needed to be consolidated to simplify communication across hospitals and in doing so, reduce purchase costs and low utilisation.

To assist with this problem, Hauwei built a cloud data centre, employing its open cloud operating system FusionSphere, and deployed thin clients across HM Hospitales branches. Huawei's FusionSphere platform consists of a carrier-class server virtualisation component, a distributed storage virtualisation component, as well as a network and security virtualisation component, says Hauwei.

The platform improved maintenance efficiency tenfold, while ensuring that IT resources were being utilised efficiently, Liu says, adding that the cloud approach also improved data security for both hospitals and patients. He continues that Huawei FusionSphere has already been deployed in nine hospitals and at three pharmaceutical corporations around the world.

The platform has also been integrated into the administration of several provincial railways in China, notes Liu. "Xi'an Railway Administration plays an important part in national traffic. It manages more than 300 stations and more than 40 production sections," he says, which makes an efficient IT infrastructure essential.

In this industry, says Liu, workers are constantly moving from one place to another, which means that desktops and notebook are simply not flexible and convenient enough. By migrating to a virtual desktop, workers can log on from anywhere using thin client, states Liu. He goes on to say that server and desktop virtualisation in the railway industry allows for centralised scheduling of IT resources, which now support elasticity and promote quick response to service demands.

According to Liu, the unified, efficient and open cloud operating system discussed above provides enterprises and telecom operators with the benefits of economies of scale and simplify system integration, while allowing service scalability and accelerating service innovation. And the data stored and processed in the cloud can be used by the business to improve customer experience and create new business models, he continues. It can also help the organisation to better understand the needs of customers, which enables them to provide more targeted and customised products and services, Liu notes.

"The enterprise ICT system is not just a support system to improve efficiency and reduce cost, but is increasingly a customer-oriented business and production system," says Liu.

In developing regions, fewer national data centres and high broadband costs make it harder to provision cloud services, concludes Liu. Fortunately, the transformation of telecom networks, as a result of the virtualisation of network infrastructure, can solve this dilemma, while improving services to the public and reducing costs for carriers. He asserts that the network infrastructure of the future should be converged, open cloud-based, data centre-centric, software defined and virtualised.

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