Bridging Gaps, Boosting Efficiency: A Success Story in SDWAN Healthcare Transformation
Nov 23, 2023
About the Client
Customer is one of the largest non-profit healthcare providers in New Jersey providing a wide array of healthcare services. Customer serves more than half the state of NJ providing care for health needs including critical patient care services. They are known for providing exceptional patient outcomes, and experiences and are committed to providing the highest quality care.
The customer has started an initiative to transform their WAN connectivity using SDWAN technology. This strategic initiative was the outcome of multiple challenges & and limitations faced by customers with existing WAN architecture (MPLS, P2P, DMVPN) such as inefficient performance, limited scalability, administrative complexities, and higher costs.
We worked with customers to come up with SDWAN architecture providing better performance, optimal routing, enhanced patient care, reduced administrative overhead, better monitoring, and lower costs.
- Network Performance: Customer faced challenges with network performance to support sensitive healthcare applications. The customer wanted to design a WAN infrastructure that can enhance network performance and provide better reliability in supporting critical healthcare applications for all users.
- Scalability: The legacy WAN infrastructure posed a challenge to scale and manage it efficiently which led to increased operational complexities. The customer wanted an SD-WAN solution that could provide scalability to accommodate growth in users, devices, and remote sites. The customer was looking for a solution that can easily adapt to business requirements such as mergers and acquisitions.
- Network Resiliency: One of the major requirements was network resiliency to ensure high network availability using load balancing, link redundancy, and automatic failover mechanisms. Network resiliency is needed to enhance the overall user experience by reducing application downtime and increasing network responsiveness.
- Simplified Management: Legacy WAN infrastructure made it difficult to manage and troubleshoot network issues. The customer wanted a solution that could provide centralized management and simplify configuration, monitoring/visibility, and troubleshooting of network issues.
- Quality of Service: Implement QoS to prioritize critical applications and provide enhanced user experience. The customer wanted to also ensure that real-time applications like voice receive the necessary bandwidth and low latency.
- Cost Reduction: WAN technologies such as MPLS circuits, P2P connections, etc. come with the burden of high bandwidth fees and higher operational cost. The customer was looking to reduce the overall expenditure on costly circuits as well as the operational complexity of managing them.
To address the goals highlighted above, the Customer decided to migrate from their legacy WAN infrastructure (MPLS, P2P, and DMVPN) to a Palo Alto Prisma SDWAN (formerly CloudGenix) solution. SDWAN devices were deployed across all remote locations as well as Data Centers to achieve optimal network connectivity for critical healthcare applications.
The overall deployment of SDWAN infrastructure included below key components:
- Centralized Management and Control: The new SDWAN solution provided a centralized platform to manage and orchestrate network resources across all remote locations providing enhanced visibility and control. This also provided better insights into overall network performance for the respective locations. This also resulted in simplified network administration enabling the team to monitor network performance and respond quickly as well as proactively to any issues.
- Application-Aware Routing: The new SDWAN solution provided the capability to intelligently route traffic based on application requirements. This resulted in optimized performance for remote locations to access critical healthcare applications. This also ensures that critical applications for patient care receive the necessary priority and function optimally thus improving the overall user experience.
- Scalability: SDWAN solution's centralized control and cloud-based management platform made it easier for the Customer to scale their network infrastructure and accommodate the growing needs of their organization. This ensures that Customers can easily adapt to repeated changing demands without the need for major network reconfiguration or additional hardware upgrades.
- Cost Reduction: Migrating from legacy WAN infrastructure to SDWAN architecture leads to significant cost savings by eliminating the need for expensive circuits. This helped the Customer to allocate financial resources more efficiently for other critical healthcare initiatives such as improving patient care, expanding healthcare services, and procuring advanced medical devices which will ultimately benefit the patient as well as the Customer.
- Network Redundancy: SDWAN infrastructure provided load balancing and redundancy features by utilizing all available links which minimized network downtime and provided a robust reliable network. This also ensures uninterrupted healthcare services even during an event of unexpected network failure. The ability of SD-WAN solutions to provide a reliable network with minimum downtime eventually leads to enhanced patient care and trust.
- Enhanced Security: The new SD-WAN solution provides secured connections by utilizing encrypted overlay tunnels to send traffic across locations. It also provides built-in firewall capabilities which helps in improving the overall network security for remote locations.
This case study provides the overall idea of the success of SDWAN in addressing challenges faced by healthcare enterprises and reflects the positive impact of modernizing WAN connectivity on critical healthcare services as well as cost efficiency. As the healthcare industry continues to grow and evolve, the Customer is well-positioned to adapt to new challenges with this SDWAN solution in place.