Rhapsody Health Solutions Team

‘A New World Record’ for applying Windows Updates in Health IT

August 24, 2015

Last week I received the following email from Corepoint Health customer Micah Christy, IT Application Analyst – HIE, at Birmingham Baptist Health System. I’ve worked firsthand with Micah on several different IT initiatives over the past 4 years, and his sense of humor really makes each interaction a lot of fun.

Over the years Corepoint assured availability (a2) has been used to provide peace of mind for both unexpected downtimes and planned downtimes for many of our customers. This particular email highlights how the a2 failover feature in Corepoint integration engine was able to provide peace of mind with planned downtimes associated with applying windows updates and help Micah set a new “world record” for applying windows updates.

By leveraging a2’s message-replication and configuration-replication to ensure engine uptime, he not only set a new world record for applying windows updates, but also did it while minimizing engine downtime.

I followed up with Micah with a few additional questions about a2 for this specific scenario:

  1. how much time has a2 saved you when applying windows patches?
  2. how often do you apply Windows updates?
  3. what is the average duration to apply updates?
  4. how much engine downtime has a2 helped you avoid over the past year?

Micah’s reply:

“We apply patches once a month and follow the ‘using a2 to apply windows updates’ guidelines. I would say the reboots of the servers takes 4-8 minutes each, depending on the number of updates and time required installing each update, which is always unknown.

Without a2, we would have to schedule downtime at night, instead of doing it on friday afternoons. Additionally, we have some interfaces that stop trying to re-connect after 5 minutes of downtime (by design) and can require a 45-minute support call to the vendor, or now we can login to the server and manually reset the interfaces (which doesn’t always work).

So I would say this about a2:

  1. saves at least 10 minutes of downtime a month, plus.
  2. much avoided cleanup of down interfaces.
  3. ability to update anytime
  4. added confidence that our interfaces won’t be down long at all which makes clinical ancillary support teams very happy (labs especially).”

Special thanks to Micah for letting us share his story. and, if any of our customers can stake claim to Micah’s world record of 10 minutes to apply windows updates, let me know and I’ll happily update the high score table!

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