Case Study: Savant

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Intro

Interoute’s Oracle expertise enables the smooth migration of 70Gb of life saving data.

Savant is a software and database specialist providing development, support and consultancy services. Its customers include specialist blood, tissue and stem cell testing and typing organisations. Savant is the exclusive UK reseller of Hematos IIG, a complex laboratory management IT package used to manage specialist testing, matching and reporting of donors and patients

along with critical stem cell donation and transplantation functions. Savant selected Interoute to support its complex hardware platform migration and Oracle upgrade for a life critical system used by Specialist Health Authority, NHS Blood and Transplant (NHSBT).

 

Life-saving software.

Stephen Edge, Project Manager, Savant Limited

Since 1984 Savant has worked closely with NHSBT, an organisation dedicated to saving and improving lives. The NHSBT collects around two million blood donations and 3,500 organs a year transforming thousands of lives. Hematos IIG is a highly flexible and configurable system, the life critical application uses Oracle as its back-end database to ensure that it is both secure and reliable at all times. We helped deliver a deeply complex upgrade for the NHSBT Hematos IIG system which involved a system hardware migration as well an upgrade from Oracle 9i to Oracle 11g.

 

Critical updates.

Stephen Edge, Project Manager, Savant Limited

Due to the life critical nature of the system a key element of the project was to ensure that the system downtime was carefully scheduled and fulfilled so that nationwide access to the service was controlled throughout the process. Drawing on our extensive Oracle experience we created a migration programme which included transferring 70Gb of raw medical data in over 40 distinct batches, running in up to 10 parallel streams.

As the source database version was Oracle 9i and there was a need to carry out some level of physical reconfiguration during the upgrade, we utilised Oracle’s export/import tool. Using this tool in the traditional way would have meant the migration taking almost 24 hours. We had just 2 hours to accomplish the work. Dividing, not only the database migration, but also the migration of the larger tables into smaller segments allowed us to meet the timescales. In addition to the migration process, it was also important to create a sophisticated data verification process to be able to quickly demonstrate that all data had been successfully migrated.

 

As requirements evolve, so must system solutions.

Having worked with NHSBT for over thirty years, its system requirements have inevitably evolved. We worked with Savant to design and deliver a solution that would work immediately without any usability issues. This involved helping Savant design a new database that makes the most of the new features of Oracle 11g while also minimising Oracle license and support costs for NHSBT. The solution provides greater data availability for management reporting and business testing purposes while surpassing the performance of the original. 

 

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