IT and business grow side by side at Flemish Social Protection


Instead of spending IT budget on the up-front investment in a new physical server environment, Vlaamse Zorgkas decided to migrate to Oracle Virtual Machine. Hestia, in the role of the organization’s external infrastructure and hosting partner, combined the project with an upgrade to Oracle Database 12c.


The Flemish Social Protection (Vlaamse sociale Bescherming / VSB) is in charge of policies and management of social protection in Flanders. The Flemish Social Protection Fund acts as the coordinating body, managing the accreditation, subsidies and control of the Flemish care insurance providers. Flemish Care Insurance (Vlaamse Zorgkas / VZK) is one of six Flemish care insurance schemes. It is the only one managed by the Flemish government.

VZK is responsible for handling the daily operations of the Flemish care insurance for its members. The insurance offers an allowance for non-medical costs, assigned to persons in need of care, at home or in a residential care facility. Among other things, VZK manages the membership of 400.000 persons, the contributions, the requests for allowances and the monthly payment of allowances to some 9.000 members. About 50 employees work at the VZK office in Brussels.


Not only does the organization require secure management of its members’ confidential data, it also needs a well-functioning environment to run applications for both VSB and VZK. This will ensure the timely payment of the monthly allowances to the members. Years after the implementation of a new physical server, the server reached the end of its life cycle and further capacity expansion didn’t seem to be an option. 

VZK wanted a highly available and scalable environment to assure its business continuity and growth. As VZK was running Oracle Database Server Enterprise Edition on its physical server, Monin suggested to stay with Oracle and virtualize on its Oracle Virtual Machine (VM) platform, combined with an upgrade to Oracle Database 12c. This allowed VZK to keep using their current licenses for the physical environment without any additional investment. 


All parties worked closely together with VZK; Cronos for the applications, Hestia for the management of the server and Hestia’s database division Monin for the database environment.  The configuration and testing took place about a month before the actual migration, which clearly paid off and resulted in a shorter migration.

The users noticed a significantly shorter turnaround time for batch processes. VZK gains scalability which allows growing data volumes. The organization doesn’t have to deal with the burden of up-front hardware investment anymore. The new set-up offers a higher degree of independence, which allows any change in the technological environment. The virtual world eliminates the former limitation of the life cycle of hardware during a similar relocation. This way, the new environment offers VZK the flexibility to improve its services to the members of the organization.


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