REVIEWER: Donald Rodgers, Nassau County Health and Human Service (NCHHS) Systems manager for IT.

BACKGROUND: NCHHS located on Long Island, New York, provides more than 250,000 of the county’s 1.3 million residents with an array of services through the following eight departments: social services, health, mental health, veterans, physically challenged, substance abuse, senior citizens and youth.

HARDWARE PLATFORMS: 16-processor Unisys ES7000/one Enterprise Server employing Intel Xeon processors MP and running Microsoft Windows Server 2003 Enterprise Edition and Microsoft SQL Server 2000.

PROBLEM SOLVED: Changing state and federal regulations brought increased processing and application development demands on an aging IT infrastructure and downsized staff at NCHHS. Faced with the challenge of migrating to a completely new infrastructure - and unable to support this effort on their own, the NCHHS IT staff called on the expertise of Unisys. Officials needed to make both technological and cost-efficient changes and implement more effective procedures to better serve the 1.3 million county residents. For more than 20 years, NCHHS had operated on a VS8460 running Wang’s proprietary VS operating system. At the time, because the applications were proprietary, they were extremely useful because NCHHS staff could create and manipulate applications to serve their needs. However, the legacy applications limited the staff from being able to interact more closely with modern technologies. NCHHS worked with Unisys to deploy a 16-processor Unisys ES7000/one Enterprise Server. Unisys counseled NCHHS on how the county could best use the SQL database to its advantage as well as helped the team properly size and configure the database environment to ensure optimum performance for the thousands of transactions processed on a weekly basis.

PRODUCT FUNCTIONALITY: All Nassau County residents are provided with health and human services via a comprehensive, integrated database. NCHHS previously served all eight departments that fall under its umbrella separately as each operated completely independently of one another on various platforms. The ES7000/one now supports all eight agencies through its mainframe-like Microsoft Windows 2003 operating system, which permits case worker applications to be handled on one node and imaging on another node in a clustered environment. Additionally, NCHHS has captured and been able to process digital images of more than 50 million paper documents. Unisys’ guidance allowed the small Nassau County IT staff to utilize the ES7000/one, develop applications and actually train users to best utilize the equipment and applications that they have.

STRENGTHS: With the ability to scale up to 32 dual-core Intel Xeon or Itanium 2 processors, the ES7000/one blends mainframe virtualization and availability technology with open, industry-standard economics. In addition to scaling out, the ES7000/one provides significantly enhanced performance and reliability.

WEAKNESSES: The ES7000/one does not support Solaris on its Xeon architecture and HP-UX on its Itanium 2 architecture.

SELECTION CRITERIA: Other solutions proved to be too difficult to manage and would have required a significant financial drain and constant resource evaluation. Others were not user friendly and too complex for a small staff that needed to do more with less.

DELIVERABLES: The Unisys ES7000/one Enterprise Server and Microsoft-based solution now provide a single platform for application development in Microsoft’s .Net environment. Because the applications are all browser-based, they are deployed from application servers. This eliminates the need to load software and software updates on each of NCHHS’s 1,700 workstations and subsequently reduces related support requirements.

VENDOR SUPPORT: From start to finish, Unisys leveraged its years of experience to create a business blueprint to help understand how work actually was done within NCHSS. Unisys created a single model that visibly showed the impact of decisions before they are actually implemented. NCHSS used this model and continues to do so today.

DOCUMENTATION: Unisys provides comprehensive documentation for an IT department to self-run an ES7000/one as well as training programs to learn how to further leverage the server.

Unisys ES7000/one Enterprise Server
Unisys Way
Blue Bell Pennsylvania 19424
(215) 986-4011

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