Westfund transitions to cloud-based solutions and sees benefits

An Australian health insurer with a rich history moves toward a limitless data future enabled by a NetApp hybrid cloud.

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Way out west

Westfund Health Insurance helped to forge the private health industry in Australia back in 1953 – with origins dating back to 1881. Westfund has evolved a lot since then but one thing that’s remained the same is their care for all Australians. Westfund Health Insurance, as the fund is known today, is proud to provide cover for over 110,000 individuals across the country.

To make sure that their data demands are carefully managed, Westfund launched an upgrade and migration project, with the goal of moving workloads to the cloud. With this step, Westfund has achieved performance improvements and cost savings. NetApp® A-Series arrays and NetApp ONTAP® data management software support hybrid data centres that are faster, easier to manage, and deliver new opportunities for innovation.

Expanding services, improving data access

The existing onsite data centre, built on a NetApp® E-series storage array, was experiencing performance and capacity issues due to growth. Development of new services slowed to a crawl. The length of time required to perform backups and update databases ballooned. The SQL databases slowed, which slowed the applications.

After strategic planning and a tender process with NetApp’s trusted IT service provider Canary IT, NetApp and the NetApp AFF A-Series storage arrays won the day. The tight integration of NetApp ONTAP® data management software and VMware made sticking with both for the upgrade an easy decision.

We’re now at the point where our infrastructure and our bandwidth are ready for us to pursue a truly cloud first approach.

Daniel McLoughlan, Technical Services Manager, Westfund

Drastic improvement in performance

When the upgrade was made, it went off without a hitch and the impact was immediate. McLoughlan and his team documented a 4x improvement in storage performance, resulting in lightning-fast application performance. So noticeable was the improvement that some users reported something “wrong.”

The service impact was felt directly by Westfund staff and the members they serve. Claim application wait times were reduced from 28 seconds to one second almost overnight.

Responsive delivery of new services

The upgrade and an eventual migration of the data centre from onsite Lithgow to offsite Sydney and to multicloud platforms will also go a long way toward improving the availability and security of corporate systems. Use of the cloud for disaster recovery will help reduce costs, minimize the need for additional IT staff, and make sure that the health insurer can meet all governance, risk, and compliance guidelines.

Their investment is also going to help Westfund with more predicable costs and additional opportunities for predictable savings, such as reducing the need for IT staff to manage different platforms. NetApp ONTAP for storage management in a hybrid environment does it all—on premises, in the cloud, production, development, DR—from a single view.

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From 28 seconds to > 1 second in application wait time

4x improvement in storage performance

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