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Our experts provide our client owners with reliable and cost-effective services that help them maintain high-quality healthcare for Finns. One of our most important goals was to be able to cross-use our experts across data center environments, regardless of location. This way we can ensure the most cost-effective services. The fact that there have been no hardware failures or unpredictable software updates in two years' use is a great indicator of the reliability of the devices.
2M-IT is Finland's largest publicly-owned ICT healthcare provider, offering services in 14 of the country’s hospital districts from Hanko to Utsjoki.
In March 2018, Medi-IT, a well-established provider of healthcare information and information technology services, and Medbit merged to form 2M-IT. The company now employs 500 experienced experts in the information technology and healthcare industries.
"Adapting IT capabilities to healthcare systems requires a strong understanding of healthcare processes and operations," says Olli Toivonen
2M-IT's services consist of ten data centers and a host of applications for over 300 medical units. Information systems in a critical sector like healthcare demand the highest fault tolerance standards, making system reliability at all device levels a high priority.
Healthcare customers also have stringent demands for the location of data centers. Applications are very sensitive to latency, so delay must be minimized. The location of data centers is a major factor for reducing latency, significantly impacting the functionality of such critical services.
The integration of 2M-IT's IT infrastructure was already a priority before the merger of the original two companies.
Yet, the company's data centers in Turku and Pori had different architectures and varied technology solutions. To rectify this, Toivonen and his data center experts set out to find the best technology available to build a unified, cost-effective, long-lasting, and reliable data center environment."One of our most important goals was to be able to cross-use our experts across data center environments, regardless of location. This way we can ensure the most cost-effective services. The fact that there have been no hardware failures or unpredictable software updates in two years' use is a great indicator of the reliability of the devices," Toivonen explains.
Each of the 2M-IT data centers has three virtual halls, two of which form a pair of mirrors and the other serves as a backup. All components of the core network are therefore duplicated.
"Our network is the backbone of our healthcare information technology. We take communications reliability very seriously and ensure that all backups are accurate and fault-tolerant."
Choosing Huawei as the vendor of choice for network equipment was a decision based on extensive testing by 2M-IT. In a test environment that mimicked the real-world, Huawei devices were found to be both reliable and trustworthy.
2M-IT equipment was initially installed on the network by its own staff, with Huawei equipment gradually phased in. As a result, Operations and Maintenance (O&M) of the equipment has been simplified and has proven to be reliable.
Huawei's equipment was determined to be the most suitable node for 2M-IT's network architecture, so the company decided to continue to select critical network components from Huawei's product portfolio.
Now, a unified, easy-to-use, secure network architecture provides 2M-IT with significant resource savings.
"We have a clear and easily replicable model that we will follow when we want to expand our network in the future,” says Toivonen. “This is important during the network maintenance phase, where our experts can maintain the network in the same way, regardless of location."
As 2M-IT developed its own core network, an additional medical network — Mednet — was also established, to connect the different offices of the company’s service network, through which services are offered throughout Finland. Huawei equipment is also an important component of Mednet.
Huawei’s standards have quickly become evident: there have been no hardware failures or unpredictable software updates during two years of use, despite the fact that 2M-IT has over 300 Huawei networking devices. Additionally, service and maintenance of the equipment has required little manpower, time, or money.
Indeed, powerful backbone technology has helped ensure the continuity and seamless operation of 2M-IT's healthcare services. Furthermore, the two years of cooperation with Huawei have provided 2M-IT with a range of benefits.
"It is absolutely essential to our operations that we can focus on developing our services and that the equipment must not cause us any trouble. Huawei's unified management environment facilitates flexible use of equipment as our needs change.
"Our experts have modernized and harmonized our highly complex IT environment in cooperation with Huawei. I am particularly pleased that we manage to constantly develop our customers by utilizing cutting-edge services to secure the activities of a high-tech hardware platform," Toivonen concludes.