Updating AIX and DB2 in 150 Hospitals

CHALLENGE

A major supplier of software to hospitals needed to perform updates to their IBM AIX operating system, DB2 LUW databases and Microsoft Windows client software in 150 hospitals. The updates required outages and downtimes of up to 18 hours. The servers involved were a mix of obsolete, old and newer hardware that needed to be evaluated in order to determine its fitness for updating. The software for the OS and databases were older and also needed to be evaluated. Both the hardware and software often needed modification before proceeding with the updates. Planning and scheduling were critical to reduce downtime for the hospitals.

SOLUTION

XTIVIA helped plan the effort, perform the OS and database updates as well as provided post-update support. Planning was complicated by the need to perform updates “off hours” for the hospitals. XTIVIA managed and scheduled its staff for nights and weekends to make sure all the hospitals’ updates were performed with minimal disruption. Completing as many as 15 updates a week, XTIVIA was able to make sure the project stayed on schedule.

Think about the difficulties of scheduling downtime in any hospital environment - management information systems are critical to providing quality care in all operational scenarios. XTIVIA stayed within the scheduled downtime windows and, depending on the type of issues encountered, had plans in place to make sure either the previous system could be restored or the newly upgraded systems were ready to implement.Due to a varied collection of hardware, software, firmware versions, attached accessories, and staff skills at each hospital, each environment had to be examined prior to every upgrade. Therefore, custom plans were made every time to ensure the updates would not interfere with hospital activities outside of the maintenance window. XTIVIA also aided each hospital by providing post-upgrade support as required and helped troubleshoot database, AIX operating system issues as well as performance problems.

RESULTS

Updating AIX, DB2 LUW and client workstation software on this scale required careful planning and execution. Incorrectly installed updates would have incurred a large cost to the hospitals. XTIVIA used their team’s extensive experience in technology to make the updates as painless as possible for the hospitals, as well as the client, the software vendor. The project was a success, and the hospitals now have a more robust system with minimal disruption and the software vendor has a trusted partner.

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