By deploying Red Hat Enterprise Linux for SAP Hana – supported by backup software from Bacula Systems, a Red Hat partner – Molecular Health gained a high- performance, cost-efficient solution that helps doctors create individualized cancer therapies. In addition, the company simplified operations and management for its IT department.
Molecular Health provides comprehensive medical and therapeutic services to a variety of customers – including physicians, hospitals, research networks, labs, regulators, and pharmaceutical companies – using big data insight.
Its data analytics product, Molecular Health Guide (MH Guide), supports decision-making related to cancer treatments with a highly reliable knowledge database, Dataome. This database hosts curated biomedical data from 26 million scientific and medical publications, as well as data on 273,000 drug interactions, 7,000 biomarkers for drug efficacy and safety, 85,000 gene variants, 56,000 drugs, 126,000 clinical trials, 270,000 protein interactions, 9 million patient medical records for drug safety, and more.
Open hybrid cloud
MH Guide connects individual patient data with this body of relevant biomedical knowledge through a cloud-based interface tailored to the needs of various target groups – such as clinical interpretation and recording genetic changes in next-generation sequencing (NGS) at laboratories and hospitals.
Ensuring the stability and consistency of its operating system and backup environments is key to completing long-term batch processing and data storage for Molecular Health’s complex IT environment, including its cloud environment.
“We use a diverse range of processor and memory configurations for physical and virtual servers,” said Ralf Stecher, senior database administrator at Molecular Health in Heidelberg, Germany. “Depending on the dynamic application profile, we use various databases like PostgreSQL or Hana and run various cluster setups for genomic interpretation. All of these processes need a reliable system foundation.”
Molecular Health had used Hana on Suse Linux Enterprise Server to process clinical and medical data. Due to occasional availability issues and challenges with consistent operation, the company sought out a new solution for its Hana environment that would offer greater stability and simplify operations and management for its small IT department.
Because they specialize in precision medicine and operate a heterogeneous IT system environment, Molecular Health considered many criteria to select a solution. After comprehensive testing using existing data, the company replaced its Suse solution with Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Hana and Bacula Enterprise Edition, an open source backup software from Bacula Systems, a Red Hat partner.
Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Hana
“We chose Red Hat because our tests showed that it was the most technically proven, stable, and user-friendly operating system,” said Stecher. “For instance, we can use Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Hana on a server with 80 CPUs without experiencing any issues.”
Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Hana combines the reliability, scalability, and performance of its enterprise Linux platform with Hana’s robust in-memory database. With this technology, Molecular Health created a high-performance, open environment that offers the necessary consistency and security for its critical data analysis and treatment proposals.
New data warehouse improves support for clinical analysis
Server stability and security are critical to the IT environment that hosts and manages Molecular Health’s patient data. With the new Red Hat and Bacula solution, the company can ensure critical reliability and stability for current application scenarios – such as clinical decision-making processes – as well as new use cases, such as collecting, integrating, and analyzing molecular patient results from peer-reviewed publications.
For example, MH Guide provides an overview of potentially effective treatment options, including potential risk of undesired side effects and reactions. It also provides patient-specific, clinically relevant data and treatment options – including reports on clinical and evidence-based treatment options, clinical studies, as well as medication interaction data and other supplementary data.
“Red Hat and Bacula’s solution offers an organized and stable operating system with markedly lower maintenance overhead,” said Stecher. “Combining Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Hana and Bacula Enterprise Edition has significantly increased our efficiency and saves us considerable time.”
To ensure necessary availability, MH Guide requires backup support that includes the option to secure data on different media types, such as disks or tapes. With Bacula Enterprise Edition, Molecular Health can quickly back up its network file systems (NFS) as well as its physical and virtual Windows and Linux servers.
In addition, Molecular Health uses this solution to remotely monitor and control data backup at its other locations, ensuring users can recover data at any time and that company-wide data backup policies are followed. As a result, Molecular Health can effectively recover data on demand, faster and more reliably than before.
Lower IT operational costs
With the Red Hat and Bacula solution, Molecular Health can streamline its IT environment to reduce ongoing operational expenses and other related costs. Previously, the company’s R&D employees used Hana on servers with 128 CPUs and maximum main memory, but these highly integrated servers were costly to operate.
The company primarily uses servers with just 24 to 30 CPUs now. Red Hat Enterprise Linux for Hana, combined with Red Hat Virtualization and Bacula Enterprise Edition, have proven to be an efficient, easy-to-manage, and highly stable operating system for Molecular Health.
Thanks to this powerful solution, the company is positioned to continue supporting an increasing number of healthcare patients, professionals, and organizations with timely, relevant data and analysis.
This is the fifth and last article of a series! To read the first part, click here.