Rhapsody Health Solutions Team

Healthcare taking notice that Microsoft scalability is key for growing demands for health data

August 5, 2015

Since the release of Microsoft Windows Server 2008, large industry operating system preferences have begun to move away from Linux, which traditionally was viewed as more stable with less downtime. Lower prices, performance, and a larger pool of qualified professionals are a few reasons cited for Windows’ emergence.

According to ITIC’s latest Global Server Hardware and Server OS Reliability Survey (2013), Microsoft’s Windows Server 2008 whittled its annual unplanned downtime to an average of 13.2 minutes, the lowest level ever reported for the OS. Windows OS now sits cozy with virtually identical downtime as its main competitors – IBM’s AIX, Canonical Ltd.’s Ubuntu and Red Hat Enterprise.

Additionally, Microsoft climbed to the top in customer satisfaction ratings in 2013 with 71% of itic customers rating the company’s service either “excellent” or “very good.”  windows-based applications are now installed in practically every healthcare facility in the U.S. (read: windows servers continue to shine in reliability surveys, downtime no longer a concern.)

Thanks to improvements in performance, other industries such as finance have adopted windows server technology, as explored in our new white paper, “linux vs. windows: a comparison across industries”.

Tests performed in those industries comparing microsoft windows and unix solutions under similar circumstances consistently show that windows performs equal to or greater than linux configurations.  a few highlights from the tests that are explored in the white paper:

  • sap software and solutions compared the use of its global erp application running on windows with the same application running on suse linux. the windows server processed twice the number of items as linux during the same time.
  • fiserv tested a transaction load of more than 155 million  records using sql and was able to process 1.37 million records a minute.
  • nasdaq implemented sql server 2014 software in its in-memory columnstore to keep its massive data volumes manageable. data compression alone saved 500 tb of disk space.

These case studies provide a comfort level for scalability for health it, especially when leveraging the microsoft platform. the amount of data and the throughput of data requirements in the financial industry currently scale above what is required in healthcare; however, the pressure to scale with health data demands has never been higher with requirements to capture and utilize historical patient data, external connectivity demands, and the need to incorporate data from devices and apps.

The hospitals that continue to utilize unix solutions for their interoperability/interfacing activities do so primarily due to staff resistance to change, staff preferences for applications that require significant programming and coding, and other biases that can hinder healthcare organizations in various ways, notably in additional costs and scalabilty

Having a robust operating system that can handle the load of an integration engine is required for the data demands of the healthcare industry. large providers are known to utilize a single server to run hundreds of interfaces and millions of daily messages. A single corepoint health windows-based server, for example, can handle more than 10 million health data messages per day, concentrated at the peak hours of the day.

finance industry it performance

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