Abilene Diagnostic chooses Parallels RAS for efficient load balancing

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Company Overview

Abilene Diagnostic Clinic (Abilene DC) is one of the leading clinics in Texas, providing the best possible care to patients. The Clinic has access to very advanced technology to support physicians in their diagnoses. Patients are constantly informed about the data gathered through leading diagnostic tools. The Clinic offers a complete set of labs, such as EKG, Radiology, Physical Therapy, Anticoagulation and Nuclear Medicine. With more than 300 employees and in excess of 100 000 patients, Abilene DC has made its mark in the healthcare infrastructure of the region.

Abilene Diagnostic chooses Parallels – Challenges

Abilene DC must ensure timely delivery of data, to enable physicians to complete their diagnoses, requiring the company’s server-based computing environment to function efficiently and flawlessly.

Jacob Brokke, Abilene DC’s IT Manager, explains that the company uses Microsoft Server for remote server access and application publishing, to centralize data access and guarantee patients’ privacy. They were running Windows Server without any add-on, due to the complexity of installation and configuration. When the 300 users logged in to use the server, there was no load balancing system in place, resulting in poor performance. Brokke had no way of efficiently balancing application demands with available resources among his server base, resulting in highly inefficient application delivery and slow network speeds, and compromising the ability of clinic staff to meet their high quality standards.

Abilene Diagnostic chooses Parallels – Solution

As a solution to Abilene DC’s network problems, Brokke investigated load balancing solutions and eventually settled upon the Parallels Remote Application Server, initially choosing it because of its low cost compared to other solutions. Brokke installed Parallels RAS in his farm, also setting a server as backup. Now users can reach applications on the Windows Servers supported by Parallels RAS, with negligible waiting times.

Abilene DC has also virtualized the practice’s Electronic Medical Record Allscripts EHR Pro applications with Parallels RAS. The hosted environment allows applications to be rolled out to any mobile device, virtual and remote desktop. When users access the applications, they receive fully deployed virtual applications and configurations, which remain constant no matter where remote access originates. Deployments and updates can be made offline, becoming active at the next log on. Users can move between different versions of operating systems, and each client can continue to keep its own version of applications.
Before installing Parallels RAS, the addition of new users and devices would take several hours to configure, not to mention hours of downtime. Now, with Parallels technologies, all this takes less than 5 minutes.

Abilene Diagnostic chooses Parallels – Benefits

Parallels Remote Application Server has not only solved the load balancing issue, but delivered additional advantages, driving Abilene DC to the next level of virtualization.

Load Balancing: The product has worked flawlessly. Parallels RAS intelligently distributes the load onto the Windows Server machine with the lowest usage. By retrieving information about the servers’ resource usage before establishing a connection, it is able to determine the best server to handle the incoming session.

High Availability: Brokke can now easily add extra servers and gateways to the farm, using an intuitive wizard. Parallels solutions are built to grow with company needs; Parallels RAS allows IT managers to change their infrastructure at any time with no extra cost, leveraging the initial investment.

Reporting, Monitoring and Security: The applications and data are centralized on server farms, with none of the information being saved locally. This helps the IT administrator to easily control access and increase security. Also, by reading the Parallels RAS register log it is possible to track the activity of the users over the network. The data managed by Abilene DC are very sensitive, and great care must be exercised to reduce the risk of data leakage .

Installation, Configuration and Maintenance: Parallels Remote Application Server setup takes less than five minutes, and most of the components are auto-configured, including load balancing. Parallels RAS is fully managed from its central console, which allows constant monitoring of the performance of the environment, and hence the possibility to address any issue immediately. Backup and restore are integrated in the console and configured through a wizard.

Application Virtualization: Application publishing is now much easier: the IT administrators can pick and publish any application from any of servers in the farm, with just a couple of clicks. There is no need to install applications locally, as users can access them and related files from any device.

Scalability: Parallels RAS allows you to work instinctively with Windows Server, VMware or Citrix. In future, Abilene DC can decide to implement a VDI environment or add extra hypervisor software, and the 2X solution will facilitate the new project. Parallels Remote Application Server supports company growth, with no extra component being required.

Brokke notes that “within five minutes of being shown what the product is and how it performs load balancing functions, I was fully comfortable with using the product, being able to monitor each server without an issue.” The product’s easy-to-use interface has been especially useful, dramatically reducing the time required to understand the functionality of the product, and moving directly to implementation. The simplicity of the solution has led Brokke to make Parallels a top priority when considering an expansion of the company’s application-publishing capabilities. He explains that “I know Parallels products are built in a simple way that allows them to perform exactly as expected,” which makes them a great option for future expansion plans.

About Abilene Diagnostic Clinic

Abilene Diagnostic chooses 2XFor over 40 years, Abilene DC has provided patients with the best possible care, with health professionals who listen to them and care for them as individuals, and the best and most advanced medical techniques available. Abilene DC has 30 multi-specialty physicians backed by dedicated nurses and clinic staff who strive to provide the highest quality of consultation, treatment and management of all your primary healthcare needs. Patients of Abilene DC physicians enjoy not only the advantage of highest quality care, but also the benefits of timely information gathered through advanced diagnostic tools that are available onsite at the clinic. The Clinic offers complete Lab, EKG, Radiology, and Nuclear Medicine. It also offers the in-house services of an Anticoagulation Clinic, IV Therapy, Occupational Medicine, Physical Therapy, and Walk-in Clinics. ADC operates from various locations within the Abilene and Baird area. The clinic provides a broad range of primary care services and maintains a close referral relationship with physicians in other specialties. ADC is organized as a Professional Limited Liability Company with a staff consisting of 30 physicians, 15 physician extenders and approximately 300 other administrative, clinical, technical and clerical staff supporting the Clinic’s operations.

Giorgio Bonuccelli is a Marketing and Communications Director at Parallels. Giorgio has extensive experience in cloud computing and virtualization, with a background of many years in multinational corporations (Dell, EMC and McAfee). In his career he has filled different roles, from sales to training and marketing. This wide-ranging experience and flexibility helps him simplify concepts and write content that is easy to read and understandable even by newcomers to the subject. As a blogger and technical writer he has published more than 1000 papers.