IBM allies with Bycast to supply grid
ARMONK, N.Y. – IBM Corp. has struck up an alliance with Canadian storage
solutions developer Bycast, Inc., of Vancouver, B.C.
Under the agreement, IBM
will employ the grid storage technology developed by Bycast to deliver
improved solutions for Picture Archive and Communication System (PACS)
applications and other fixed-content data.
IBM Healthcare and Life Science’s Grid Medical Archive Solution (GMAS),
based on IBM’s TotalStorage and eServer and Bycast Inc.’s StorageGRID
software, is said to provide flexible and scalable virtualized storage
solutions for medium to large healthcare organizations and hospital
Hospitals and other health institutions, through their existing PACS and
imaging applications, will be able to access distributed medical images
using open and scalable technologies, including Linux, while taking
advantage of robust data integrity features.
GMAS effectively abstracts PACS from the underlying storage
infrastructure via the use of Grid storage technologies, allowing
hospitals to share storage across distributed facilities, helping to
optimize utilization, simplifying administration and decreasing storage
costs. The resulting scalable storage system enhances PACS’ ability to
quickly and reliably deliver patient images to where they are needed
throughout the organization, which can help lead to improved diagnosis,
treatment and serve as a foundation for information based medicine.
With departmental buying being the historic norm in healthcare,
healthcare providers are seeing a significant increase in storage
investment associated with medical imaging and other types of fixed
content (e.g., audio, video, documents). Today’s healthcare providers
must address their growing storage needs by leveraging resources across
multiple applications and sites instead of continuing to invest in
storage every time an individual departmental need arises.
“Healthcare clients are looking for ways to deliver high-availability
storage systems that can scale to tackle the exponential growth of fixed
content data and multiple facilities”, said Moe Kermani, CEO of Bycast
Inc. “By using StorageGRID’s capabilities with IBM’s products and
services, hospitals can achieve a more flexible and cost effective
enterprise-wide storage system. IBM has the experience, skills and
resources to assist customers of all sizes, across all geographies, to
deliver solutions on a local, national and global basis.”
As a technology leader with years of experience developing and
implementing breakthrough healthcare solutions, IBM Healthcare & Life
Sciences believes that it understands the infrastructure, regulatory,
budgetary and patient care challenges facing healthcare providers.
“This solution is a prime example of how Grid computing is fundamentally
changing the way customers interact with information technology,
harnessing the combined power of heterogeneous computing devices and
disparate information sources around the world to attack challenges in
research, government, healthcare and commercial enterprises,” said Ken
King, IBM’s vice president of Grid computing. “In this instance, we’re
delivering innovative Grid-enabled solutions to address healthcare
providers’ most important challenges with the long term goal of
improving patient care.”
Implementing GMAS underneath an enterprise PACS or imaging system can
help deliver the following benefits to healthcare organizations:
• Intelligent, cost-effective storage: Information Lifecycle Management
(ILM) capabilities of the grid-powered storage system enable intelligent
placement of medical images and high-value studies on online, while less
important data can automatically be stored near-line or offline. The
value of the data can be derived from the file content or metadata.
Storing data in the right place, on the right media, at the right time
will reduce the total cost of ownership of an enterprise storage system.
• Reduced hardware obsolescence with easier upgrades: GMAS was designed
to enable seamless technology refreshes – new hardware resources can be
transparently added, older existing hardware is easily decommissioned
and data migration is automated. In healthcare, where data will outlive
hardware, hardware obsolescence protection will help drastically reduce
the total cost of ownership.
• Built-in business continuity: GMAS intelligent replication and grid
architecture can deliver business continuity robustness in case of a
disaster. In healthcare, where digital image archives can be hundreds of
terabytes, this built-in approach to business continuity is superior to
traditional “back-up and restore” procedures which may lead to extended
service disruptions during recovery.
• Greater openness, scalability and reliability: GMAS provides a unified
storage system that supports multi-PACS, multi-storage vendor and
multi-server environments. Storage virtualization enables improved
scalability, reliability and availability.
Bycast Inc. is a leader in high performance storage software solutions
based on the next generation of grid computing technology. The Bycast
StorageGRID solution combines the power of grid computing with
intelligent information lifecycle management to optimize petabyte-scale
archives of fixed content data. Healthcare providers can leverage Bycast
software solutions to securely store and efficiently transmit diagnostic
images and documents within the enterprise or across multi-site
facilities. Bycast solutions have been deployed at leading healthcare
institutions, including the British Columbia Cancer Agency. Bycast Inc.
is a privately held company located in Vancouver, B.C., and is on the
Web at www.bycast.com.