Case Study

Healthcare Assures Visibility for Performance and Security in New Data Center

Healthcare Assures Visibility


The Challenge
  • Building new data center that would require visibility for performance and availability of healthcare services
  • Existing solutions had become costprohibitive and lacked features and flexibility to meet IT goals & objectives
The Solution
  • Certified nGenius® 5010 Packet Flow Switches
The Results
  • Visibility for new data center with a cost-effective, flexible, technically superior solution
  • Reduce complexity and costs of vendor management as single provider for visibility and decryption technology

Customer Profile

Leveraging state-of-the-art technology and treatment protocols, this healthcare organization delivers clinical innovation across its in-patient services, level 1 trauma center, specialty health centers, physician offices, virtual care offerings and health plan programs. This hospital network is noted for their excellence in education as a teaching hospital, their innovations based on extensive research capabilities, and their humanitarianism in clinical care of thousands of hospitalized and out-patient annually. It is no surprise then that they're more than 10,000 doctors, nurses, clinicians and staff depend heavily on their application services for patient information, scheduling, diagnostic tests and overall hospital operations.

The Challenge

Driven by the healthcare’s commitment to innovation, the IT organization was in the middle of a data center transformation that included a completely new data center to host their mission critical, patient impacting applications and networking infrastructure that included VMware NSX-T technology. The seasoned network team at the hospital outlined, early in the project, provisions to gain the visibility necessary to assure both performance and availability to these essential services. Preparation to deal with risks associated with network and application degradations or from nefarious security threats was a priority for the team.

The first step of this process was to build in access to the network traffic that would flow through the new data center. In selecting their packet broker technology, the team identified several key requirements including:

  • Ability to monitor packet streams in 100GB network segments for distribution and aggregation to downstream performance monitoring and security tools
  • Both passive and in-line (active) monitoring options
  • Packet de-duplication functionality
  • Flexible deployment options with software or hardware appliances
  • Ability to address decryption requirements, heavily used in the healthcare environment, to optimize security incident response

The healthcare had used several other tools in their existing data center environment, however had concluded that excessive costs, absence of key advanced features, and lack of investment and development in software-based appliance alternatives made them poor alternative for the new data center.

Solution in Action

Following a rigorous evaluation, the network team at this healthcare concluded that NETSCOUT® offered the best solutions to address the essential goals of their new data center project. They selected the nGenius 5100 series Packet Flow Switch for network visibility and the nGenius 4800 series Decryption Appliance to deploy in their new data center.

The key capabilities that satisfied the current needs of the healthcare staff included:

  • Ability to connect to 10GB, 40GB, or 100GB network segments in the new data center to feed performance monitoring and security tools
  • Leverage proven de-duplication capabilities to optimize performance of security analysis tools
  • Single vendor for both packet flow switch and decryption to streamline vendor management and technology interoperability
  • Flexible, custom-off-the-shelf (COTS) based PFS and decryption appliances for cost-effective deployment

One of the other benefits to the nGenius 5100 PFS was that it provided a level of future-proofing not found in competitive alternatives with the ability to be upgraded should the need arise to support security deployments.

The Results

The IT team and finance department would identify cost-effective, software-based nGenius PFS 5100s and nGenius Decryption Appliances as benefits to implementing the NETSCOUT solution. The purchasing department found vendor management simpler, with NETSCOUT’s ability to deliver visibility to the packet stream in the network, along with decryption capability as necessary, for use with downstream performance and security tools.

For a healthcare organization known for its investments in research and innovations in patient care, the network team could accept nothing less than NETSCOUT’s innovative solutions for performance and security visibility in their new, technically advanced data center.