Speaker Interview - Brian Wezensky

Brian Wezensky In the first Speaker Interview of the 2017 series we talk to Brian Wezensky, Data Center Engineer at Henry Ford Health System, about his greatest professional achievement and the challenges he faces in his role. 

Brian is a professional manager and engineer in IT and telecommunication operations, with extensive experience in the competitive local exchange, long distance and data center business arenas. His experience includes project management of all the infrastructure deployment, administration and maintenance of associated IT and telco systems. He also has experience in construction of outside plant facilities to support such operations. Brian also has knowledge of data and voice networking using traditional switch plants, routers and fiber optics.

Please tell us about your role at Henry Ford Health System. What are your key focus areas and responsibilities?

The main emphasis for our organization is quality of patient care and the IT department achieves that though the implementation of electronic medical records and great uptime metrics. Our focus areas are deployment and maintenance of the data centers throughout the health system. The centers range in size from 500 to 15 racks. We are currently upgrading the power infrastructure to a Tier III at our main data center and are looking forward to enjoying the improved uptime and easier maintenance procedures that will result.


quoteWhat would you say are the key challenges and opportunities you face at present?

The challenge for us as an organization is backwards compatibility and security of our data centers. The infrastructure being deployed typically has a 20-year service life or longer whereas our IT infrastructure has a maximum life span of 5 years. This leads to quick advancements in networking, security, graphics, and hardware for the computer components leaving our infrastructure behind and in need of interface upgrades.


In terms of industry news, what development, announcement, or otherwise has stood out most to you in 2016?

The need for advanced proactive security to stop the infiltration of viruses and loss of patient information. The most shocking news headlines related to healthcare pertained to Ransomware and WannaCry taking over institutions hard drives and forcing payment in Bitcoin to the information kidnapers. 


You have extensive experience in engineering, project management and maintenance of critical power systems related to datacentres, what has been your biggest personal achievement in your career?

At Level 3 Communications as Director of Operations I oversaw the deployment and turn up of 254 miles of outside plant fiber, building of 45 points of presents and turn up of the main 55,000 square foot data center in Detroit.  It was fulfilling to bring all that technology and personnel on line and be ready for business and restoration.


You are presenting a case study on monitoring critical infrastructure in a healthcare environment. In your opinion, what are the key challenges in implementing automation in monitoring of critical infrastructure?

In the IT world we sometimes call these automated electric platforms DCIM or Data Center Infrastructure Monitoring. Some vendors offer turnkey solutions that will work to achieve this goal, with the proper support contracts in place, but at what cost and how much benefit to the organization? We have to get creative in ways to stay backwards compatible, accessible and secure.  To contain the cost of maintaining your network and being able to run your hardware for its full-service life is my challenge

We are currently looking at Thin App to package drivers needed to interface the older systems and private management networks with restricted access to achieve security. This, coupled with a virtual tool box of technologies that include scripting for access and SNMP trap receivers with advanced filtering to achieve notification. By using tools that don’t require licensing fees and support contracts we are saving money and achieving ultimate flexibility with our monitoring systems.

Catch Brian Wezensky's presentation on 'Monitoring Critical Infrastructure at Henry Ford Health System' at the Buyers Forum @ Critical Power Expo on Thursday September 14 at 1:15pm

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