Discovery Cloud Vision Comes to Baylor College of Medicine

Devon Buffington, Consulting Principal, Presidio
11/10/14 at 07:32 am

Many corporations face the challenge of keeping end-users satisfied with their company’s IT services while maintaining control over information that is critical to the success of their business. Baylor College of Medicine recently found themselves in a similar situation. Compounding these conflicting efforts, Baylor needed to negotiate and resolve issues around researcher grant funding (which is granted to a researcher or project) as well as solve for challenges plaguing the College itself. To position itself as a leader to both internal and external researchers and institutions, Baylor looked to its IT partner ecosystem, that includes Presidio, NetApp and Cisco, for a solution.

Baylor IT Leadership knew that researchers were using grant money to purchase “Shadow IT” for their research projects.  Cost, a lack of IT flexibility, response times, and ease of acquisition were all primary motivators. The CIO of Baylor, Alex Izaguirre, and his management team recognized they needed to respond, and that it would take changing the paradigm of IT Services at Baylor.

Presidio, along with Cisco and NetApp, worked with Baylor to determine what technology should be implemented in the “Discovery cloud”. After getting a proof of concept completed in under a week (literally from dock to provisioning VMs), Baylor was impressed with the technology and ease of deployment the FlexPod architecture offered. To assist with the cloud mobility aspect of application deployment, Presidio’s Advanced Consulting Group introduced Baylor the CliQr application. This would allow Baylor to move application workloads into and out of whatever cloud they chose, along with being able to provide a dashboard and reporting system that let researchers see exactly how many resources were being consumed. Presidio continued to collaborate with Baylor from the CIO level to the administrator level, across multiple disciplines including networking, storage, servers and virtualization.

Baylor required  Presidio to provide, both design concepts and management of multiple technologies. Presidio’s ability to handle the numerous revisions, additions, and changes of the FlexPod environment, along with the account team’s attention to detail and customer satisfaction led Baylor look to Presidio to be the central procurement source. Baylor and Presidio co-presenting at the NetApp Insight Conference this year, presenting the Discovery Cloud vision to NetApp CTO Dave Hitz together, as well as NetApp’s EVP of Product Operations, George Kurian and NetApp’s CIO, Cynthia Stottard.

Baylor is addressing the issues that concern them most, which are cost, response times, information security and IT being seen as an enabler, and not a barrier for their business outcomes. They have done this by building a custom solution for their environment and not by trying to fit their issues into a predefined solution.