Hoffman Enclosures Protect the Pulse of Data Center Operations at Baptist Memorial Health Care

Regional Health Care Corporation ‘transplants’ data center with the help of Hoffman PROLINE® Modular Enclosures

Baptist Memorial Health Care Corporation, headquartered in Memphis, Tenn., relies on its data center not only for the health of its business, but for the health of its patients. The data network is the heart of Baptist’s growing operations, supporting 17 hospitals, including 2,400 affiliated physicians; a chain of medical clinics; surgery, rehabilitation and outpatient services; and an education system. With increasing demands on the system, Baptist was beginning to outgrow its data center and relocation was just what the doctor ordered.


Phillip Webster, director of information systems for Baptist, was all too aware of the relocation challenges ahead of him. He knew that the new data center could only be brought online while systematically shutting down the old data center. But service disruptions were not an option for data control operations of such a large, integrated complex.


No Ordinary Enclosure Will Do

Webster began to look into numerous suppliers to provide up to 40 enclosures for both the servers and the network gear. Due to the unique needs of the Compaq 1U servers, which require a high-density cabinet, it soon became apparent that not just any enclosure would do.


“These racks often connect more than 100 cables,” said Webster. “At Baptist, we take pride in our cable management, and ordinary cabinets simply could not accommodate the extra width required to manage the cabling properly.”


After meeting with Hoffman representative Pete Futris of Byron Carson Company, Webster and his team decided that Hoffman’s PROLINE® Modular Enclosures, part of the company’s DataCom line, would be the best fit. The team liked the flexibility and availability of the PROLINE cabinets, since they provided the extra depth the servers required. After researching and evaluating other enclosure offerings, Baptist’s data center team found that the other frame constructions were not as solid and structured as Hoffman’s PROLINE cabinets.


Hoffman Meets the Challenge

Hoffman’s solution consisted of a 78”H x 31.5”W x 39”D cabinet. Most off-the-shelf server cabinets available are 24” wide, so the broad range of PROLINE sizes provided Webster and his team with greater flexibility for the data center equipment. In addition, Hoffman’s Assemble-to-Order (A-T-O) program allowed Baptist to take delivery of fully assembled cabinets built exactly to the health care corporation’s specifications.


Other special requirements included two types of thru-hole rack angles, and exact placement of rack angles and grid straps to accommodate horizontal cable managers. Requirements also included cable entry fan tops to facilitate fans that might be needed at a later date, fully perforated front and rear doors, redundant 6-foot interior-mounted power strips and grounding kits that grounded all the cabinets together. Eight of the cabinets housed 80 Panduit 48-port patch panels requiring tapped-hole rack angles. Panduit vertical wire managers were mounted in the rear of the cabinet to dress up the cabling, and Panduit horizontal wire managers were also mounted across the top of the cabinets to route fiber-optic cables to the servers.


“With the rack angle changes we were able to make, we can mount just about anything in these cabinets,” said Webster. “Hoffman’s extra-wide and extra-deep cabinets gave us greater cable management options than anything else we found on the market.”


Hoffman Exceeds Expectations

In the end, Hoffman not only met Baptist’s need for customized enclosure solutions, but the company also delivered on-time results. Since PROLINE is available in a broad range of sizes and accessories in a modular style, Hoffman successfully delivered many cabinets from its stock within a matter of days. Webster reports the fully assembled cabinets have proven to be a real time-saver, allowing the transition to the new data center to take place comfortably and on schedule.


With the wide variety of PROLINE configurations available, a deep line of accessories, and industry-leading capabilities and resources, Hoffman stands out from other off-the-shelf vendors in its ability to expedite the special requests of customers.


Hoffman’s exclusive A-T-O Program also presents a significant difference among competitors. Many modular cabinet builders will send a box full of parts and assembly instructions and leave it up to customers to complete the time-consuming process of building the enclosures. Hoffman’s A-T-O Program not only saves considerable time and money required for on-site assembly, it also lets the customer add special features and take delivery of fully assembled cabinets at the installation site. New enclosures will be ready to be populated at a level of service that is unmatched in the industry.


“All together, the relocation of our data center was a very smooth process,” said Webster. “Thanks to Hoffman’s flexibility and product availability, we were able to get things up and running much faster than I had originally anticipated.”