Log in / Register
Contact us

Case study

Sapphire Health reduces build time by 90% with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

Last Updated:

Sapphire Health (Sapphire) solves the challenges of migration, implementation, and managed services within the Epic environment for the healthcare industry. Taking a new approach to Epic deployments, Sapphire Health began in 2015 by establishing an Epic infrastructure for six area hospitals. When they needed to find a way to accelerate server builds, automation through Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform made builds fast and repeatable. Servers can be built 90% faster while also eliminating human error and providing full documentation.

image container


  • Reduced server build times ten-fold, freeing the team to focus on innovation
  • Eliminated manual errors and potential security concerns
  • Provided complete and accurate documentation without manual intervention

Helping healthcare customers modernize their IT systems

Sapphire is a long-time user of Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and has maximized the advantages of the platform across multiple Epic organizations, with successes that include conversions and migrations in one-third of the expected timeframe. 

Sapphire also provides consulting services for Epic-based healthcare systems, assisting organizations in achieving Epic Honor Roll requirements, which include requirements around hardware, licensing, and project planning and management procedures requirements. Established in 2017, the Epic Honor Roll Good Maintenance Grant Program is a recognition program based on applying strategies, lessons learned, and best practices Epic has gleaned from its experience serving healthcare organizations. Any Epic community member in the US can join the program once they have been live with EpicCare Ambulatory or EpicCare Inpatient for one year.

Building an integrated data management solution

While working on a project to modernize the Epic environments for some healthcare nonprofits, Sapphire found itself rebuilding servers over and over again—sometimes 10 or 15 times for each optimization. 

“While we were optimizing, we wanted to be able to throw away any change that didn’t work and quickly spin up a server identical to the previous build,” said Austin Park, CEO, Sapphire Health. 

Always on the lookout for innovative technologies, Sapphire realized it needed to find and adopt an innovative automation tool to simplify and replicate server rebuilds. 

Repeatable and dependable server builds with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform

Sapphire was extremely happy with its experience using Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and decided to adopt Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform because it provides rapid, efficient, and more secure IT automation capabilities.  

Sapphire decided to write playbooks to execute and record rebuilds for its Epic servers, with Ansible Playbooks offering a template for repeatable and reusable multimachine deployment systems. “Playbooks allow us to script build steps so we can repeat identical build and provisioning processes,” said Park. “Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform makes the concept of ‘throw-it-away-then-rebuild-it’ workable.” 

Once built, Sapphire registers its servers in Red Hat Satellite and then installs the Red Hat Insights client onto the servers. These two products allow Sapphire to manage and proactively address any issues within the environment.

Optimizing infrastructure quickly and with ease

Accelerated server builds

Using Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform lets Sapphire build servers ten times faster when building them serially. Those time savings multiply significantly when Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform helps Sapphire spin up large numbers of servers in parallel. 

Eliminated manual errors

Scripts are written once and applied without manual repetition. Sapphire can be confident that builds will always be identical, without anything being overlooked or forgotten, eliminating potential security concerns because misconfigurations can lead to vulnerabilities. 

Provided documentation automatically

Ansible playbooks provide full documentation of all actions across processes without the need for manual intervention. Ansible Playbooks’ built-in self-documentation capabilities mean the Sapphire team no longer needs to write up the documentation by hand, thus mitigating the risk of documentation containing errors or being difficult to read. 

Building long-term loyalty together

With more time for innovation, Sapphire is expanding its automation footprint to include network automation, compliance management, audit management, and more, bringing value to healthcare customers. The Sapphire team has also tested Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform for builds in Microsoft Azure, including Cisco and VMware builds. 

“We’re currently looking at using Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform to rapidly deploy our disaster recovery environments in Azure,” said Park. “This would mean we wouldn’t have to maintain the resources for our disaster recovery environment on-premise.” With Azure, the faster you can build the environment and back it down when it’s no longer needed, the less it costs, making Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform—and its rapid deployment capabilities—the ideal tool for disaster recovery builds on Azure. 

Additionally, Cisco has developed a playbook and made it public. The playbook allows users to commit any configuration changes in their Cisco backups to a GitHub repository. And since Sapphire has Cisco switches and routers serving its Epic environment, the team is also looking at Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform for backing those up with version control.

The Red Hat partner is continuing to explore the many opportunities Red Hat offers, including how it can use Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform’s ability to interact with the REST API so it can integrate with third-party products without writing additional code. “Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform is allowing us to leverage new technologies and work with any hardware,” said Park “We can do almost anything with Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform—even automate machines that are difficult to automate.” 

About Sapphire Health 

Sapphire Health was founded in 2015 with the mission of supporting healthcare organizations in the midst of complex transition, when a group of seasoned healthcare IT professionals recognized a significant gap in the market for a consulting company focused on the hardcore technical aspects of an Epic implementation. 

Innovation is the core of open source. Red Hat customers use open source technologies to change not only their own organizations, but also entire industries and markets. Red Hat Innovators in the Open proudly showcases how our customers use enterprise open source solutions to solve their toughest business challenges. Want to share your story? Learn more.