Hennepin Healthcare System

Relocating Critical Data for Greater Performance and Up-Time

Hennepin Healthcare System is a Level I trauma center based in Minneapolis, Minnesota. With a primary 455-bed facility, and numerous clinics in neighboring communities, Hennepin Healthcare was looking to modernize and improve the primary data center business systems and supporting technologies in order to meet business needs and mitigate risks.


Preparing for the future needs of the business

Hennepin Healthcare System’s Tier II data center was running out of space and power, with very limited room to expand. There were also cooling and power concerns, and environmental risks due to the location. The rapid growth in the business demand for applications and data meant the demand would exceed supply by the end of 2017. The team, led by CTO Matt Werder, identified the need to position IT to be a more agile business partner to their stakeholders and patients. Mr. Werder also expressed a desire to outsource the data center responsibilities through the partnerships with OST and DataBank to focus on providing healthcare services to the greater Minneapolis area. Through a review process, Hennepin Healthcare determined that a phased approach was needed. This approach started with relocation of the on-premise data center, located on the main downtown campus in Minneapolis, to DataBank, a Tier III certified SSAE 16 SOC II co-location facility in Minnesota.

Hennepin Healthcare Clinic and Speciality

Hennepin Healthcare Clinic and Specialty Center

Preparing to get out of the data center business

OST was contracted by Hennepin Healthcare System, and partnered with DataBank to work together with stakeholders, clinical leaders, administrative staff, and domain technical personnel from the beginning through our initial discovery, Phase 1, that included interviews, physical reviews, automated discovery and workshops. The critical nature of the services Hennepin Healthcare provides to patients, customers, and partners meant that the move had to be completed with no significant impact or outages. Following OST’s Data Center Transformation methodology, Phase 1 included assessing Hennepin Healthcare’s readiness and preparation for the relocation with recommendations to mitigate risks identified. This also included an assessment of critical application dependencies which allowed the teams to identify systems that could be grouped logically and prioritized according to their alignment to workflows. This understanding of the business processes ensured supporting infrastructure, integrations, and applications were moved in sequence or groups to avoid unnecessary interruptions. This phase was crucial to ensuring a migration with limited disruption to the business, and most importantly, have zero impact on patient care.

Hennepin Healthcare

Customer Voice

“At Hennepin Healthcare, our IT teams deliver technology solutions that keeps our care providers connected to deliver exceptional patient care. As a key partner, OST worked closely with Hennepin Healthcare to ensure success of our data center migration project which was well executed and seamless. I was very impressed with their technical expertise and process in creating value to our clinical operations through a very technical project. As the CTO, I am committed to providing a technology service portfolio along with a network of technology partners that support the mission and purpose of Hennepin Healthcare. And I am excited to have OST as a key partner in our vision.”

Matt Werder

Chief Technology Officer, Hennepin Healthcare Systems

Migrating data and systems without impacting patient care

Due to the many business and technical initiatives already underway, the timeline was set to avoid conflicting with a new clinic and specialty center build, EMR upgrades and other department level initiatives. Hennepin Healthcare System and OST employed strategies with detailed planning to stage multiple migrations to accomplish the targeted deadline and goals. The relocation and scope of work was completed on time and on budget, with minimal impact on patient care and customers. 90% of the data, systems, and applications were moved within the initial scope of the project. To minimize risk and outages, additional time was taken with several very complicated and critical systems, which were successfully moved in the next month.

Statistical Outcomes


Power Savings Annually


Structured and unstructured data migrated


Retired VMs as a result of migration audit

Providing increased business value through increased performance and reliability.

Throughout the process, OST worked with the Hennepin Healthcare team to modernize the core network, which provides greater availability, performance, and manageability to the business. Implementation of out-of-band management on all infrastructure allows both internal and external teams to remotely manage components. Technical changes made to an intelligent communications system which enables nurses to ensure that patients’ needs are quickly and adequately met, corrected configurations that would have affected nurse-calling in the future. Over 2000 physical and virtual servers were mapped to an application and an owner, which allows all incidents and changes to be tied to an owner. These items, along with numerous others are providing the business with a higher level of performance.

The data center migration has positioned the patient care organization with a higher degree of availability, stability, capacity, and recovery. All systems, data, and applications have equal or better performance, and in many cases increased availability, recovery, and security. By selecting a data center and services partner that understands the nuances of providing modern healthcare and the trends for digital transformation, Hennepin Healthcare has the ability to grow or consolidate the data center footprint more efficiently and take advantage of “IT as a Service” options ; therefore, quickly and easily adapting to the needs of the business. The migration also allowed for significant training and knowledge transfer to the Hennepin Healthcare IT teams, which has resulted in more depth in expertise in server/storage and networks on the team. These outcomes have positioned Hennepin Healthcare to capitalize on technologies such as cloud and advancements in automation allowing their IT organization to become a more agile partner in patient care.