Monthly Archives: August 2013

MICROSOFT CEO CHANGE

 

I had blogged this on DEC 22nd 2012. All of a sudden there is spike in the number of views today.

https://shanthuk.com/2012/12/22/scott-guthrie-should-be-microsoft-ceo/

I am pretty sure in principle many people will agree with me. IMHO, Microsoft is primarily a technology company. Whoever happens to be the next CEO must have a very good balance of both worlds (technology and sales). Anything less, will be a mistake. Both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates could visualize lot of new ideas at the same time, they were brilliant sales fellows.

BUILDING YOUR OWN NAS (Network ATTACHED STORAGE)

I was supposed to setup a backup system for a medical practice. I was looking around for products and came across WD Sentinel DX4000. This is a decent storage system which runs Windows Storage Server 2008 R2. Since my company already has license for Windows Storage Server 2012, decided to build my own NAS.

 

WD Sentinel DX4000

SNAGHTMLe5898ff

This unit with 8TB storage costs just over $1000.00.

 

I decided to build my own NAS which runs Windows Storage Server 2012. I decided to use Celeron quad core and 16GB RAM. My System also has DVD drive.

With case it looks like this.

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My NAS specification:

As you can see, in addition to faster processor and more memory, I have 9TB of storage. With RAID 5 setup, you get 6TB of space.

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OUR ONCOLOGY SOLUTION

We have built a powerful oncology software platform. When I go and pitch this software, it is challenging to articulate what this does and how it benefits them. I decided to paint the whole picture in a single page. Here it is.

 

In this picture the enterprise can be any organization which has influence over many cancer clinics. Examples are GPO (ABSG/ABC, US ONCOLOGY etc..) and Software hardware vendor (Varian,GE Healthcare etc.)

There are several benefits in managing all the protocol (regimen) aspects from one central place. You design, build and test evidence based protocols using this platform and all the clients (cancer clinics and hospitals) will have access to these protocols.

If you have any questions, contact me at shanthu@palisha.com

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OPEN SOURCE MULTI-TENANT SECURITY SOFTWARE

I have created this open source project to handle security aspects of  a hosted multi-tenant applications. Recently, made some enhancements, just wanted to blog about these changes. I am using this in two large healthcare applications. It is evolving based on the actual application needs (eating your own dog food!).

You can find this open source project here

As I mentioned earlier, until very recently I used ASP.NET provider model to accomplish security.  Provider model provided a very nice abstraction over many of the security needs.But it totally lacked the support for multi-tenant scenario. I have added this support and abstraction is provided through SOAP and REST services.

Your login screen will have enterprise (tenant) name in addition to username and password.

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Recently added a concept called ‘EnterpriseAttribute’. In a typical multi-tenant application, there are several scenarios where you have to store tenant specific information. I will give a concrete example. We are building an EDI platform. We have to load the EDI documents belonging to many tenants. Where to store metadata such as folder information, database connections etc.? I could have easily made this part of my platform. After some thinking, I decided to make this part of the security project and generalized these concepts (folders, connections etc.) and called them ‘Attributes’. I am pretty sure your applications will have many such attributes. Added corresponding API in SOAP and REST services to get/set these enterprise attributes.

Also added an attribute called ‘DisplayOrder’ in Application Entity. Whenever your application requests for this list, they will be automatically sorted by this order. This will give you control over how you want to display list of features/modules.

 

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GET THAT POWERFUL COMPUTER!

I have seen this trend in many organizations. In their IT department, there is a tendency to be penny wise pound foolish. Instead of buying a a fast computer, they let their resources use computers which are slow.

Let us do a simple math:

Average benefit of your development staff : $100/Hour.

Let us assume that, by using a fast computer (32GB RAM, i7 Processor, SSD etc.) this developer can save 20 minutes per day. This 20 minutes translate to $33/Day. Assuming there are 200 working days in an year this amounts to $6600/Year.

Recently I went to a near by Micro Center and selected the following:

  • A nice mother board
  • Intel i7
  • Two 256GB Solid State hard drives
  • DVD drive
  • 32GB RAM
  • Nice fancy case

Including the assembly cost and taxes, it came up to $1400.00

So, if you invest $1400.00, it will be paid off in first 50 days and you can reap the benefits for next three years (minimum).

MEDICAL PRACTICE (SMB) : BACKUP STRATEGY

Most of the medical practices use EMR/HER and practice management systems. Very few of them have a good backup strategy. Also how much should a small business spend on a decent backup solution?

One of the medical practices came to me and mentioned that a company is quoting close to $3000.00 initial setup fee and $500.00/month for their backup solution. I really thought, it was a big rip off. Decided to spend time to research how much would it take have a decent backup operation in place.

The following picture shows a minimal solution for a small business. You should definitely have a mechanism where you make a copy of important data on the server itself. In addition to this, you should have a robust (at least) RAID 1) network storage device. Important data files should be regularly backed up onto this storage device.

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Coming back to my original point, how much should a small business invest in a back up solution. I looked at most of the devices with 4TB RAID 1 configuration. On an average they cost around $800.00. Setting up this on the network might take an hour and scheduling regular backups might take 2-3 hours. If you add up all this cost, it will be around $1000.00 (one time initial cost).

One of the devices had some sort of solution (optional) already built in which will backup the storage data onto a cloud storage. The cost of this was around $1000/Year (~300GB). But, still this far better than $500/month which would have cost you $6000/Year.

 

MAKE SURE THAT YOU CAN RESTORE FROM YOUR BACKUPS

Having a backup solution takes you half way there. First, you have to regularly make sure that backup is happening as planned. Also,it is important to make sure that, your business can be up and running in a short amount of time. Regularly restore (to a dummy environment) from the backups and make sure it works.

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