Improving the health of IT operations to deliver exceptional membership services

How the Norwegian Medical Association used the Lenovo ThinkAgile MX platform to revitalize its IT operations, ensuring first-class professional services for Norway’s medical community.


The Norwegian Medical Association (NMA) is a professional association and trade union for physicians in Norway. Employing approximately 180 people, NMA works to protect the professional, social, and financial interests of its 37,000 members.

The NMA strives for high professional, scientific, and academic standards in medical education, at university and beyond. The NMA also takes an active part in the development of the healthcare system in Norway and is a trusted advisor to the Ministry of Health and Care Services.

“Although we really liked the capabilities of the S2D software, the underlying hardware left a lot to be desired. So, when the solution came up for renewal, we jumped at the chance to refresh our S2D cluster.”

Hege Knudsen, IT Manager, Norwegian Medical Association


The NMA serves members at every stage of their careers, from medical school to the workplace all the way through to retirement. It organizes professional and social events, helps members access legal assistance, offers training courses, supports applications for educational grants and scholarships, and more.

To deliver its services, the NMA relies on a wide variety of business applications, such as its mission-critical customer relationship management (CRM) system, running reliably. For this, the underlying infrastructure must be stable, deliver high performance, and simple to maintain.

In recent years, the NMA moved from a traditional storage area network (SAN) to a software-defined storage solution. However, the Dell hardware underpinning the Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) solution did not meet the team’s expectations in terms of performance or stability—a potential risk to overall service quality for members.

“We have been using Lenovo laptops exclusively for five years now, and we have always been impressed with the reliability and stability of the hardware. This gave us confidence that the quality of Lenovo’s data centerinfrastructure would be just as high.”

Odd-Magne Kristoffersen, Solution Architect, Norwegian Medical Association

Seamless deployment

The NMA implemented four all-flash Lenovo ThinkAgile MX Certified Nodes at its primary data center, configured as a single software-defined cluster. The organization uses Veeam Backup & Replication to perform regular backups to an additional Lenovo ThinkAgile MX Certified Node hosted at a secondary location.

Based on CTGlobal best practice, the NMA built a new fabric infrastructure using Lenovo ThinkSystem NE10032 RackSwitches, isolating the core production Lenovo ThinkAgile MX platform for higher security.

Tight integration between Lenovo XClarity and Microsoft’s Hyper-V management tool, System Center Virtual Machine Manager, enables seamless management of both the physical infrastructure, and all virtualized compute and storage resources from a single point of control.

“Rarely have I been so relaxed during a major IT project as I was throughout our Lenovo ThinkAgile MX implementation. The CTGlobal team supported us every step of the way.”

Hege Knudsen, IT Manager, Norwegian Medical Association

Why Lenovo? Proven technology backed by an expert partner

Soon after starting its search for a new S2D solution, the NMA found CTGlobal, an IT consultancy and development company focused on cloud, data center, security, and enterprise client management.

A Lenovo Gold Partner and ThinkAgile & Storage Expert Partner, CTGlobal proposed the Lenovo ThinkAgile MX Series—a fully software-defined platform powered by Microsoft Azure Stack HCI that includes Hyper-V virtualization and S2D technology.

Odd-Magne Kristoffersen, Solution Architect at NMA, says: “CTGlobal’s technical expertise and product knowledge were clear right from the beginning. CTGlobal presented the Lenovo ThinkAgile MX Series as a robust, high-performance, all-in-one solution that would solve our challenges, which they backed up with customer testimonials. The CTGlobal team’s proven experience in implementing and supporting ThinkAgile MX solutions helped to seal the deal.”

“The Lenovo ThinkAgileMX platform delivers exactly what was promised: improved performance, enhanced stability, and easier management.” 

Hege Knudsen, IT Manager, Norwegian Medical Association


With its core business applications now running on the Lenovo ThinkAgile MX platform, the NMA has seen a significant increase in reliability and performance. “We noticed an improvement for our critical Microsoft SQL Server and CRM workloads at once,” says Odd-Magne Kristoffersen. “Response times are faster, data loads quicker, and users are happier.”

With the new backup solution from Lenovo and Veeam, the NMA has also dramatically reduced backup windows from 14 hours to just 1 hour—93% faster.

Crucially, with the Lenovo ThinkAgile MX platform, the NMA gains a stable, high-performance, highly available infrastructure it knows it can rely on to support member services.

Hege Knudsen comments: “The Lenovo ThinkAgile MX platform, backed by CTGlobal support services, just works. It’s easy to manage, easy to maintain, and frees my team to focus on delivering value-added services. For example, when COVID-19 restrictions meant that face-to-face meetings could no longer go ahead, we stepped in to provide video conferencing services for members. We’ve hosted thousands of virtual meetings in the months since, some with as many as 16,000 participants.”

“Previously, full backups took 14 hours to complete. In fact, they took so long that we had to be selective about what we backed up. Now full backups take just 1 hour—93% faster than before.”

Odd-Magne Kristoffersen, Solution Architect, Norwegian Medical Association

 Solution components


  • Lenovo ThinkAgile MX Certified Nodes for Azure Stack HCI
  • Lenovo ThinkSystem NE10032 RackSwitch


  • Microsoft Azure Stack HCI
  • Microsoft Hyper-V
  • Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct
  • Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manger
  • Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Datacenter


  • CTGlobal
  • Lenovo Premier Support

About The Norwegian Medical Association

The Norwegian Medical Association (NMA) is a professional association and trade union for Norwegian physicians with 37,000 members. To support membership services, the NMA relies on business applications such as its CRM solution running reliably, but the Dell hardware underpinning its Microsoft Storage Spaces Direct (S2D) solution was unable to deliver the performance or stability required. Working with Lenovo Gold Partner CTGlobal, the NMA implemented the Lenovo ThinkAgile MX platform – a hyperconverged infrastructure solution that boosts application performance, shortens backup windows by 93%, and frees the IT team to focus on delivering value-add services to members.

About CTGlobal

CTGlobal is an IT consultancy and development company focused on cloud, data center, security and enterprise client management. The corporate HQ is in Denmark with offices in Norway, Estonia and the US. CTGlobal is Microsoft Gold Partner in Windows and Devices; Cloud Platform; Cloud Productivity; Datacenter; and Enterprise Mobility Management, and our experts speak and teach at leading international seminars and conferences.

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