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Vol. 7 No. 5 July 2008

Storage gets a dose of medical data

The storage capacity needed for electronic medical records could be big ... real big. "WITHIN 10 YEARS, every American must have a personal electronic medical record," said President George W. Bush in his State of the Union address on January 20, 2004. With that declaration, the federal government, led by Medicare and Medicaid, began the charge to electronic medical records (EMRs). The impact of EMR on IT, particularly storage, could be huge ... or not, depending on whom you ask. "I don't think people are making special IT plans," says John Lightfoot, CTO at EMR technology vendor Orion Health Inc. "EMR requires about 2MB of data per patient on average. For 1 million patients, you're talking about 2TB of storage." At that rate, a neighborhood clinic could buy two 1TB disk drives at its local office-supply store, connect them to the server via the USB port for approximately $500 and support more patients than it would ever handle. But other observers say EMR's impact on IT will be huge. "We are on the verge of a crisis," says ...

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Features in this issue

  • Solid State: New frontier for storage

    Solid-state media is starting to show up as an option for traditional storage arrays because it offers higher performance and lower power consumption. However, there are still reliability concerns related to wear out, the slower write performance of flash cells, and issues related to array management and interoperability.

  • DLT-S4 tape drives at bargain prices

  • Here comes 8Gig Fibre Channel

    New 8Gb/sec host bus adapters (HBAs) and switch devices have started arriving. But with storage arrays incorporating the new, higher speed technology still months away, end-to-end 8Gb storage infrastructures are still in the planning stages. Storage managers can get a jump on their 8Gig configurations by upgrading switches and HBAs now, or by considering networking gear that supports Fibre Channel over Ethernet.

  • Server blades and storage

    by  Ellen O'Brien

    Many IT shops are moving from traditional rack-mounted servers to blade configurations in hopes of reducing power and floor space requirements in their data centers. But combining blade architectures with server virtualization can cause problems with I/O and storage systems.

Columns in this issue