Welcome!

Linux Containers Authors: Chris Colosimo, SmartBear Blog, Elizabeth White, XebiaLabs Blog, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Linux Containers

Linux Containers: Article

Catholic Healthcare West Reduces Costs with Standardized Identity Management

Standards-based Linux-hosted directory services displaces Microsoft Active Directory

With more than 40 locations, Catholic Healthcare West was managing user identities across hundreds of applications running on multiple platforms. A streamlined identity management solution running on Linux has increased security and improved regulatory compliance, while dramatically reducing costs.

Overview
Catholic Healthcare West (CHW), headquartered in San Francisco, is the eighth largest hospital system in the nation and, with more than 9,500 beds, the largest not-for-profit hospital provider in California. The CHW network of more than 7,500 physicians and approximately 40,000 employees provides quality healthcare services for more than four million patient visits annually.

Challenge
As with many healthcare organizations, many of Catholic Healthcare West's facilities had locally developed information systems and software. As a result, it was managing disparate systems and platforms across 40 hospitals and medical centers. Each location also had its own way of managing network access and user identities for nearly 1,400 applications.

To streamline IT operations, CHW wanted to move away from proprietary platforms and create a standardized, open environment. The organization also wanted to create a standard approach to identity and access management that would increase security and meet regulatory requirements, while still giving physicians and staff fast access to applications.

Solution
After thorough research, including talking to many customers who had implemented identity management across a large enterprise, Catholic Healthcare West selected a Novell identity and access management solution to run on SUSE Linux Enterprise Server.

"A solution based on open standards fits our model of doing business," said Eric Leader, chief technology architect for Catholic Healthcare West. "Healthcare procedures are not proprietary, and information concerning how best to meet the needs of our patients is freely shared among caregivers. Because we work in an open community, it makes sense for us to have an open environment."

CHW consolidated all of its directories and migrated its Windows NT domains to Novell eDirectory to manage 20,000 user identities. Novell Identity Manager synchronizes user identity information across applications running on multiple platforms including Microsoft Windows, Linux, and multiple versions of Unix.

"Many of our applications require Microsoft Active Directory, but we were uncomfortable standardizing on a proprietary platform," Leader said. "Novell eDirectory supports open standards and allows us to manage identities across our diverse environment."

With centralized identity management, CHW can provision users three times faster, giving them immediate access to the applications they need. Users even have a single ID and password for many applications that are integrated with eDirectory. CHW will also be using Novell SecureLogin to give users single sign-on access to applications that are not LDAP-enabled.

Centralized identity management has greatly improved the organization's overall security and ability to comply with HIPAA, Sarbanes-Oxley, and other regulatory requirements. Using Novell Audit, CHW can conduct timely audits to track who is accessing information and when. The IT staff can also immediately revoke network access when employees leave the organization.

"We operate in a highly regulated environment where the requirements are always changing," Leader said. "We simply had to consolidate identity management or we would see a huge increase in time spent managing regulatory issues. The identity and access management solution provided by Novell helps us stay ahead of the curve."

CHW runs its Novell identity management solution on 30 SUSE Linux Enterprise Servers and HP hardware, and also runs several mission-critical systems on Linux, including Oracle databases, software distribution, claims management, and digital image archives.

"Microsoft licensing became too burdensome, so we looked for lower-cost alternatives and found that many of our large vendors were providing support for Linux and open source," Leader said. "As we purchase new software, we look for vendors who run on Linux. Eventually, we would like to run our entire organization on Linux."

A solid disaster recovery strategy is also an integral part of HIPAA compliance. With SUSE Linux Enterprise Server, CHW is implementing redundant systems faster and at a lower cost than with proprietary platforms.

"The flexibility we have with SUSE Linux has exceeded our expectations," Leader said. "There is no way we could keep up with rapid change if we continued to manage proprietary platforms. We now have a cost-effective way to remain compliant and maintain high availability."

Results
With a Novell identity and access management solution, Catholic Healthcare West centralized identity management across its diverse enterprise and reduced initial user administration time by 70%. The organization has increased security with role-based access, auditing capabilities, and streamlined provisioning and deprovisioning to immediately grant or revoke access.

"Before implementing the Novell solution, we provisioned users in a hundred different ways," Leader said. "We didn't think we could streamline this process without substantially increasing our staff. With the Novell solution, we have a high-quality, yet cost-effective solution that actually frees up much of our staff to work on other projects."

Running SUSE Linux Enterprise server has improved performance for several mission-critical systems, while significantly reducing hardware costs and reducing server administration time by 25%. The organization anticipates an estimated cost savings of $1.5 million.

"Novell's support for Linux has been excellent," Leader said. "We've now moved Linux from a hypothetical idea to a mission-critical platform in our organization."

More Stories By Linux News Desk

SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Apache Hadoop is emerging as a distributed platform for handling large and fast incoming streams of data. Predictive maintenance, supply chain optimization, and Internet-of-Things analysis are examples where Hadoop provides the scalable storage, processing, and analytics platform to gain meaningful insights from granular data that is typically only valuable from a large-scale, aggregate view. One architecture useful for capturing and analyzing streaming data is the Lambda Architecture, represent...
My team embarked on building a data lake for our sales and marketing data to better understand customer journeys. This required building a hybrid data pipeline to connect our cloud CRM with the new Hadoop Data Lake. One challenge is that IT was not in a position to provide support until we proved value and marketing did not have the experience, so we embarked on the journey ourselves within the product marketing team for our line of business within Progress. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Sum...
Things are changing so quickly in IoT that it would take a wizard to predict which ecosystem will gain the most traction. In order for IoT to reach its potential, smart devices must be able to work together. Today, there are a slew of interoperability standards being promoted by big names to make this happen: HomeKit, Brillo and Alljoyn. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Adam Justice, vice president and general manager of Grid Connect, will review what happens when smart devices don’t work togethe...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ocean9will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ocean9 provides cloud services for Backup, Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) and instant Innovation, and redefines enterprise infrastructure with its cloud native subscription offerings for mission critical SAP workloads.
In his session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Lachapelle, CEO of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), will provide an overview of various initiatives to certifiy the security of connected devices and future trends in ensuring public trust of IoT. Eric Lachapelle is the Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Evaluation and Certification Board (PECB), an international certification body. His role is to help companies and individuals to achieve professional, accredited and worldw...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, will posit that disruption is inevitable for c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor - all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buyers...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.