Centers of Attention

Attention to Detail Keeps Emdeon Data Centers Running and Your Transactions Going 24x7x365

Recently, there was an intense lightning storm in Nashville, the city that’s home to Emdeon and one of its state-of-the-art data centers. The wild weather took down trees, sparked fires and flash floods and left parts of the area temporarily in the dark. Yet your data and essential administrative transactions were never in harm’s way—not even for a moment. With careful building design and construction, methodical interior layout, multilayered security and massive yet intricate operational systems, Emdeon’s data centers helped to ensure that our services and solutions continued to run smoothly.

Emdeon invested over $27 million in 2011 to build a new data center in Nashville which is just one of two highly secure locations meticulously built with redundant infrastructure and network architecture designed to provide 24/7 uptime, 365 days a year.

The second data center, located 200 miles away in Memphis, is connected to the Nashville facility by two ten gigabit pipelines. Not only does each data center serve as seamless, airtight back-up for the other for most applications, each facility has layer upon layer of redundant architecture within itself. There’s literally failsafe measure upon failsafe measure in place in both locations to safeguard data and avert system outages.

So how exactly do they work? The Emdeon data centers mirror each other and function like the brains and nervous system of the company. Both locations house state-of-the-art command centers that are staffed at all times around the clock and even on holidays to monitor and rapidly respond to even the slightest hint of a service disruption.

Command Center

Millions of dollars worth of servers (2,700 total servers with much room for growth) handle literally billions of transactions each year and are protected by some of the most impressively configured temperature controls, fire suppression systems and uninterrupted power supplies.

Larry Graubner, Emdeon Vice President of Information Technology

Here are specific highlights of just how far we’ve gone to help you carry out the business of healthcare.

• Security: Security is provided 24x7x365 by a separate group that reports independently to the Chief Information Officer (CIO). All activities throughout the facilities are recorded by video surveillance. Exterior and interior doors are secured with dual mode access requiring card swipe and biometric fingerprint reading for entry.

• Power: Data centers operate with state-of-the-art electrical systems backed by uninterruptible power supplies and turbo-charged diesel generators. The systems have N+1 redundancy (a form of resilience that ensures system availability in the event of component failure), and all power sources receive testing and maintenance to ensure they’re always on the ready. Emdeon has prioritized diesel fuel resupply priority status, second only to hospitals and life support systems, in Nashville.

• Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC): Cooling towers maintain constant temperatures at the data centers using continuously recycled liquid coolant. Dual towers and 6,000-gallon reserve water tanks provide additional redundancy. Each location has nearly 400 tons of HVAC with backup pumps on standby if needed, while 200 temperature sensors work constantly to monitor the air and trigger alerts if needed.

• Hardware: Server pods (logically arranged groups of cabinets housing servers) have redundant network and Storage Area Network (SAN) fiber connections. Switches and routers are configured with redundancy for constant uptime and the data centers are designed to accommodate additional capacity at any time.

• Virtual Servers: Emdeon can also rapidly deploy new virtual servers to meet various business needs quickly and efficiently. A virtual server consumes a portion of a large “host” server. First a large host server is configured and installed. But unlike physical servers which have to go through the same order, unpack, configure and install cycle each time an additional server is required, the host server with unused capacity can be allocated on the fly to rapidly create several virtual servers which can be deployed in a matter of minutes, not weeks.

Network Switch

With every layer of security, safeguarding and monitoring, we prove that you and your business have our utmost attention. We’ve made phenomenal investments to ensure each and every one of the six billion transactions we process annually is handled with the care it deserves. The needs of your organization are at the heart of everything we do.

To learn more about the Emdeon data centers and our commitment to innovation, visit us online.

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