Running ToxiCALL® 4 In A Virtual Environment

Occasionally we receive questions regarding toxiCALL® running in a virtual environment such as Citrix, VMware, Microsoft Terminal Services, etc. Running applications in a virtual environment can offer many benefits but introduces a new level of workstation and resource management beyond that of a typical workstation deployment in client environments.

Some benefits of a virtual environment include:
· Ability to provide secure access for remote agents.
· Streamline the support efforts for individual workstation configuration and deployment.
· Minimize the cost expenditure by reducing workstation upgrades and focus resources on the virtual server.
· Can often provide faster, more direct, access to your SQL Server database.

While there are many benefits for consideration each client environment must take into consideration their own needs and resources in which to implement any solution.

Each client environment can vary significantly and requires special technical knowledge in order to properly implement and maintain your virtual environment. Given the complexities of these environments toxiCALL® support does not include support of your virtual environment because this is outside the scope of the toxiCALL® application. However, we can provide general toxiCALL® based guidance to ensure the best level of success based on our experience and feedback from other clients.

We are happy to report that toxiCALL® has been successfully installed in a variety of virtual environments. However, it will be important to ensure that each instance of your workstation environment is isolated, thus NOT sharing files between users. You must run an isolated instance for each concurrent toxiCALL® user which includes memory, operating system, local files, etc. This is due to the nature of some of the toxiCALL® internal features as well as connectivity requirements with third-party databases such as Micromedex®.

It is important to ensure that each concurrent user instance running toxiCALL® has a unique workstation name. Virtual environments which do not provide a unique workstation name can cause problems when locking cases and other background tasks which are workstation dependent.

It is also not recommended to dynamically build the virtual environment on demand. If a workstation environment is destroyed and rebuilt from a base image with each user instance there is the potential to lose data. This is especially true if cases are downloaded to the local workstation and the virtual instance is terminated thus destroyed. All changes to the case on the local database can be lost. While some of this can be avoided by using the ByPass Local mode in toxiCALL® there are still log files on the local environment which aid with troubleshooting issues.

As with any implementation in a unique environment we strongly suggest you test your specific implementation based on your needs. There are many unique factors between client environments such as workstation OS, hardware, servers, network connectivity, firewalls, and other security configurations to list a few. Each environment can place special restrictions on your implementation which should be taken into consideration.

We would like to open this discussion forum to all users to engage in dialog and information sharing. If your center has implemented a solution to meet your specific needs you may wish to share your findings. Other centers may wish to ask questions and propose solutions based on their specific needs, budget, and research.

Batch File for Non-Isolated Environments

Upon request, we can make a batch file available which helps isolate specific toxiCALL® files. This can help with environments which are not isolated by starting toxiCALL® with special parameters, and isolating files which may be needed concurrently.

As a reminder toxiCALL® is licensed to poison centers. We do consider the use of poison center employee remote access to be within this license, however, allowing other agencies to access toxiCALL® is not within the toxiCALL® license agreement. We offer toxiTRACK® which can allow external agencies to work with a similar functionality as is provided with toxiCALL®. Other agencies include your department of health and external agencies which may desire access to your data through a toxiCALL® or toxiTRACK® interface.

We look forward to your feedback in this discussion thread and welcome you to open a new discussion thread if you wish to explore specific areas on any facet of toxiCALL®.

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