Scalable solution for quick and secure data access

When working in the medical field, time is of the essence. Specialists look at large medical files for every patient they see. Their time is expensive, so they need to be able to quickly and securely access large data files.

This specialty medical clinic had a private network installed five years ago that had served them well, however, they had outgrown it. With fifty locations in five states and more to come, their legacy T1-based MPLS network with a centralized firewall at the data center was no longer meeting their needs. Network performance had been slowing down as a result of the amount and type of traffic that was crossing their network. A lack of visibility into this traffic meant the customer had no way to diagnose and fix issues. Their current provider offered to renew and expand the current MPLS, but there were huge costs involved and it didn’t really solve any of their existing problems. The customer approached Nitel to design a scalable solution that would increase bandwidth while improving resiliency and application performance.

Customized WAN architecture and security

Starting with the security and WAN architecture, Nitel worked closely with the customer through a series of design sessions to find a solution that would make the most of their new WAN investment. While their previous centralized network firewall had been a good fit in their MPLS setting, a Nitel SD-WAN solution would allow for that security architecture to be cost-effectively distributed out to the branches, alleviating some network congestion and fixing some of the performance issues they had experienced.

The new solution was made up of dedicated Internet circuits at each of the larger locations, the headquarters and the data center. The branch sites used either dedicated Internet or broadband. At some of the branch sites, the client already had perfectly good broadband connections in place. Nitel incorporated those third-party circuits into the new design and would manage them on an ongoing basis. Nitel’s SD-WAN solutions added intelligence to the network that better leveraged all available bandwidth and prioritized important traffic, while SD-Security services provided the protection and control needed to keep patient information secure and the clinic compliant.

A solution that addresses top priorities

With the new design, the customer received twenty-times the bandwidth they were getting with their previous solution, as well as the ability to fully utilize all of the bandwidth at each of their sites. While this new solution costs about the same as their previous solution, they’re getting more for their money. With the new network in place, the customer achieved the following benefits:

  • Application performance – Through the SD-WAN solution, the customer could establish business rules to ensure important traffic was prioritized.  At the same time, having moved firewall functionality allows Internet-destined traffic to route directly to the Internet before it had the chance to create a bottleneck at the network hub.
  • Greater resiliency and increased bandwidth – With multiple access circuits at every location, not only did the customer have multiple network paths in place for disaster recovery, but they could use both circuits simultaneously, increasing the bandwidth they had available at any given time.
  • Increased visibility – Nitel’s analytics portal provides insight into site, link and application performance at a granular level. These insights allowed the customer to better shape network traffic patterns to suite their business needs.
  • Improved reporting – Also through Nitel’s SD-WAN portal, the customer could create custom reports, which showed trending over time, allowing them to adjust and make further improvements.
  • Simplified network management – With one provider they can hold accountable for this solution, the customer simplified ongoing network maintenance while avoiding the headaches that come with a network that’s scattered across five states with multiple access providers and technology options.

By working with Nitel, the customer was able to leverage the expertise of our engineering team to design a custom, scalable solution that gave them the increased bandwidth, improved resiliency and application performance they were looking for. Seamlessly integrated with an SD-WAN and SD-Security solution managed by a single provider, the customer knew they were in good hands throughout every step of the process.

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