Blood Centers of the Pacific Chooses Silver Peak Systems to Increase Blood Donations

Faster Database Downloads Increases Organization’s Responsiveness, Helps Combat Dangerously Low Blood Supply in Northern California

Santa Clara, Calif., and San Francisco, October 15, 2008 Silver Peak Systems today announced that Blood Centers of the Pacific (BCP), a nonprofit organization that delivers more than 130,000 pints of blood each year to more than 50,000 patients in need, has deployed Silver Peak NX appliances to improve database transfers across their Wide Area Network (WAN). By leveraging Silver Peak’s advanced network acceleration capabilities, BCP has dramatically reduced the time and effort required to perform donor eligibility checks, saving the organization money and enabling them to more effectively meet the enormous demand for blood in the Northern California region.

“At a time when Bay Area blood supplies hover at critically low levels, we need to do everything in our power to increase donations,” said Lisa Bloch, director of communications, Blood Centers of the Pacific. “In addition to public appeals to raise awareness to the shortage, BCP has taken internal measures to improve the efficiency with which we can react to the problem.”

BCP identified WAN acceleration as a way of addressing one of its largest IT challenges – the routine download of database across their WAN. This database, which is required to verify donor eligibility, is downloaded weekly onto 50 laptops located on mobile units dispersed throughout Northern California. The entire download process consumes several gigabytes of WAN traffic, requiring each laptop to be handled serially. This takes more than 100 hours to fully complete. Furthermore, parallel downloads brought the network to a halt.

“Donor eligibility checking was a simple process but required most current donor data down-loaded from the server to the mobile laptops with encryptions built-in. The downloads required dedicated IT staff and consumed expensive WAN bandwidth,” said Sam Waran, regional director of IT, Blood Centers of the Pacific. “More importantly, it impacted the flexibility with which we could schedule donations. In our line of work, that kind of bottleneck can actually cost lives.”

After thorough testing and analysis, BCP chose Silver Peak to address its WAN acceleration needs. Silver Peak Systems NX appliances were deployed in the organization’s main data center in San Francisco and in multiple remote locations. The Silver Peak solution was chosen for its unique ability to eliminate the transfer of duplicate data across the WAN, coupled with various techniques for ensuring Quality of Service (QoS) and mitigating latency and loss across the WAN. Once the Silver Peak Systems appliances were in place, BCP routinely saw dramatic improvements, including a 10 times reduction in traffic across their WAN. This improved data transfers significantly – from more than one hour per laptop to less than 15 minutes. Additionally we were able to download these laptops in parallel.

With Silver Peak, BCP could more efficiently schedule its data downloads. Seven laptops are now updated simultaneously, with downloads staggered across multiple days. This eliminates the need for dedicated after-hour IT personnel and improves operational efficiency as donation schedules are no longer impacted by IT schedules.

Silver Peak provided the following added benefits in the BCP environment:

Protect Patient Information: Because Silver Peak leverages hardware based 128 bit AES encryption, all patient information remains secure – both at rest on Silver Peak NX appliances and across BCP’s WAN. This is a critical feature that enables BCP to comply with the Health Insurance Patient Portability Act (HIPAA)

Reduce Expenditures : With 10 times data reduction, BCP is able to avoid upsizing the WAN links to its branch locations. This translates to approximately $100,000 per year in WAN bandwidth savings across all BCP locations. In addition, BCP can more efficiently utilize scarce IT resources for additional operational savings.

Improve Application Performance : Silver Peak’s WAN acceleration solution also improves the performance of BCP’s file, email, and Voice Over IP (VoIP) traffic. In addition, it improves the efficiency and reliability of database backups that are occurring between BCP’s main site in San Francisco and a secondary site in Shasta.

“Silver Peak is the perfect complement to our WAN infrastructure,” said Waran. “By improving our ability to handle business operations across distributed locations, the Silver Peak solution has become an essential lifeline to BCP’s business operations.”

About Blood Centers of the Pacific
Blood Centers of the Pacific is a nonprofit, community-based organization that provides blood and blood components to hospitals, physicians and patients throughout Northern California and conducts medical research to improve blood safety and patient care. Blood Centers of the Pacific helps 50,000 patients every year with blood donated by community volunteers.
A subsidiary of Blood Systems, the second largest blood collection organization in the U.S., BCP is governed by a voluntary Board of Directors. BCP's board represents community leaders in the fields of medicine, business and civic service and is licensed by the Food and Drug Administration.

About Silver Peak Systems, Inc.
Silver Peak improves backup, replication and recovery between data centers and facilitates branch office server and storage centralization by improving application performance across the Wide Area Network (WAN). The company’s award winning NX appliances deliver exceptional performance improvements with unprecedented security and scalability across all enterprise applications, including data replication, backup, file transfers, email, web and real-time applications such as Citrix and VoIP. For more information, visit

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