University of Utah Health Sciences Center Teams with HP to Improve Patient Care and Accommodate Growth and Innovation at a Lower Cost—realizes a 346% ROI


Independent audit details business outcome from University of Utah Health Sciences Center’s investment with of HP – reduced costs, increased capacity, optimized resources


SAN FRANCISCO, California, April 12, 2007  — University of Utah Health Sciences Center (UUHSC) teams with HP to improve patient care and accommodate growth and innovation at a lower cost, realizes 346-percent return on investment in three years, leveraging HP products and solutions according to an independent study conducted by Thoughtware Worldwide, LLC, an specialized research and information services focused on value measurement.

UUHSC handles more than 900,000 outpatient visits and 23,000 inpatient admissions each year.  While its programs are considered leading-edge, like most of its counterparts in the healthcare industry, IT has been struggling to keep up with demand.  As UUHSC brought in more systems to support patient care, they were rapidly running out of data center space, power, and cooling capacity.  Faced with a possible $7 million data center expansion, UUHSC began an investigation to shift its investments from more servers and their accompanying environmental costs to a consolidated environment that would reduce costs and allow UUHSC to focus on enhancing patient care. 

In outlining their goals, containing rising data center and server costs was at the top of UUHSC’s list.  UUHSC sought to gain insight into their network, add capabilities without adding servers to accommodate growth needs, and provide 99.999% uptime for mission-critical applications, on a 24x7 basis.  UUHSC conducted a thorough analysis which considered the leading IT vendors as consolidation partners.  HP was selected for its ability to provide: technology that reduces risk, remote management capabilities, reliability with a proven track record; and its BladeSystem servers for their more efficient power and cooling consumption.

Partnering with HP, UUHSC virtualized to achieve a 15:1 server consolidation—50% higher than originally expected.  The organization has achieved significant cost savings by increasing efficiency and utilization of resources and controlling data center growth.  Power and cooling consumption has been reduced with 25% fewer physical servers, and remote management capability is enabling UUHSC to quickly identify and manage server issues as they arise.  With a clearly defined procedure for virtualization, UUHSC can now continue to add the capacity they need to support patient care and growth.    

As a result of the HP consolidation solution, UUHSC is realizing its patient care goals with a lower cost, virtualized server environment that increases efficiency, controls data center costs and allows room for growth and investments in innovation.  The results show a 346% ROI in three years.


UUHSC Business Challenge 

In 2005, UUHSC management realized that in order to keep pace with the explosive growth they were facing, they would either need to quickly build a new data center or find a way to consolidate hundreds of servers. The existing data center was so stressed that it had run out of space, power, and cooling capacity.  According to Data Resource Center Director Jim Livingston, “If we plugged in one more thing in the data center, we would have caused serious problems.”

 UUHSC was looking to consolidate a number of database, application, and Citrix servers into a VMWare environment.  Their initial objective was to cut server quantity by half, while improving system performance and utilization.  They also sought to decrease the cost of server maintenance and software licensing as well as ease the manageability of the server environment.  The following top-level goals were identified:


         Invest capital on care transformation, not new data centers

         Consolidate and reduce the number of physical servers

         Eliminate backlog of server requests and accommodate projected growth

         Monitor and manage servers from remote locations

         Gain insight into network problems

         Provide 24x7 support without increasing staff

HP was selected for its ability to address UUHSC’s requirements.  HP Services consultants brought in partner Avnet to assess UUHSC’s existing server infrastructure, whose study of 352 existing Microsoft Windows servers validated UUHSC’s consolidation goals.  The consolidation program began by employing HP BladeSystem servers and using HP’s OpenView Performance Insight to provide real-time utilization statistics.  Partnering with HP, UUHSC virtualized in order to achieve a 15:1 server consolidation—50% higher than originally projected.


Technology Benefits


With the HP solution, UUHSC’s IT staff can better respond to changing demands by using virtualization. Running HP BladeSystems with VMWare software to virtualize the server environment allows UUHSC to build and provide servers 11 times faster than in the previous environment.  The server team is now able to rebuild one server or multiple servers in less than 10 minutes, as opposed to the previous 2 to 3 hours per server.


Operational Benefits: Greater Reliability and Efficiency


15:1 IT Consolidation

Virtualization allowed the data center to consolidate 150 physical servers onto 10 HP BladeSystem servers.

Greater Productivity

With the same headcount, the server team has increased productivity by 11x, i.e. from at least 2 hours to less than 10 minutes per server build.


Headcount Avoidance

Desktop support staff avoided an increase in headcount, holding at 20 employees and avoiding growing to 40 employees, a 100% staff cost savings.



HP’s consolidation solution is helping UUHSC deliver the available, reliable data the medical staff needs to provide high-quality, innovative care and achieve high patient satisfaction levels. HP hardware, architecture, tools, and knowledge have helped UUHSC virtualize its server environment and bring new levels of service capabilities to staff— cutting costs, yielding increased efficiency and utilization of resources, and controlling data center and server growth. Performance improvements have also been achieved by migrating some application servers to virtual machines, and power and cooling requirements are down by over 20% from a reduction in the number of physical servers.  The new IT model allows UUHSC to redeploy capital to investments that directly support patient care and innovation while providing capacity, growth and manageability to better support their patient care goals and overall organizational growth.

“In analyzing UUHSC’s results, we were extremely impressed by the degree of efficiency that resulted from the virtualization—namely 15:1 server consolidation demonstrates how computing and architecture is changing the way IT support the business,” said Timothy Guyre, Managing Director, Thoughtware Worldwide, LLC. 


          To view the comprehensive UUHSC ROI study by Thoughtware Worldwide, LLC, please visit


About University of Utah Health Science Center

The University of Utah’s Health Sciences Center’s mission is to serve the public by improving health and quality of life.  They seek to accomplish this with a commitment to excellence in education, research and clinical care.  University Health Care has been recognized as one of "America's Best Hospitals" for the 13th year and counting.  They educate practitioners, educators and scientists for the state of Utah and beyond and advance knowledge through innovative basic and clinical research and scholarship and translate their discoveries into applications that help people.

University Health Care is the only academic health care system in the Intermountain West. As part of that system, University Hospitals & Clinics offer services in more than 120 specialties and is consistently ranked as one of the country's best hospitals by U.S. News & World Report. The system provides care for Utahns and residents of five surrounding states in a referral area encompassing more than 10 percent of the continental United States. The hospitals and clinics see more than 900,000 outpatient visits and over 23,000 inpatient admissions each year. Its academic partners at the University of Utah School of Medicine and Colleges of Nursing, Pharmacy, and Health are internationally regarded research and teaching institutions.  


About Thoughtware Worldwide, LLC

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