SD-WANs Heal Ailing Healthcare Networks 

SD-WANs heal ailing healthcare networks

Healthcare is arguably the world’s most technology-dependent industry sector. However, many of the wide-area networks (WANs) supporting those technologies are in critical condition. Software-defined WANs (SD-WANs) have what it takes to heal ailing healthcare networks. 

Traditional WANs cannot adequately support the data requirements of today’s essential healthcare technologies. Electronic health records, telehealth initiatives, computer-assisted surgeries, digital imaging systems, diagnostics applications and more require networks that can reliably and securely move huge files and vast amounts of data in near real time. 

Router-based WAN architectures designed long before the cloud era aren’t built to move that much data efficiently. Manual management requirements, inefficient routing schemes and poor visibility create bottlenecks that can negatively impact patient care. In one survey of IT decision-makers, 90 percent agreed that legacy WAN infrastructure cannot keep up with modern demands. 

Reliable Network Connections 

SD-WAN solutions eliminate these constraints by reducing reliance on hardware and using software to control and orchestrate services. That allows organizations to blend multiple transport types such as MPLS, broadband Internet, cellular and satellite. This blend meets the connectivity requirements of delay-sensitive healthcare applications. 

In a recent post, we discussed how Aruba’s next-generation EdgeConnect SD-WAN platform supports simplified management, bandwidth optimization and traffic prioritization with a “business-first” networking approach. That architecture helps healthcare organizations make reliable connections with the bandwidth necessary to transfer large data sets in near real time. 

A traditional WAN steers traffic according to predefined rules. If a path fails, traffic can be dynamically redirected to different links. However, that process can take a few seconds, often creating latency or application performance issues. In the business-first approach, EdgeConnect steers traffic based on business intent and changing network conditions, enabling sub-second failovers that have no perceptible impact on application performance. 

EdgeConnect uses business intent overlays (BIOs) to automatically direct how applications are delivered across the WAN. Administrators can use the Aruba Orchestrator dashboard to create BIOs with policies customized for specific application and network requirements. Policies can control things such as WAN ports, failover prioritization, routing changes, performance thresholds, security controls and more. 

Automatic Adjustments Let the Healing Begin 

EdgeConnect continuously monitors network conditions and immediately responds to failed links or other changes to network conditions with automatic adjustments to maintain application performance and availability. It utilizes all available WAN transports to accelerate the transmission of large medical imaging files. This includes X-rays, MRIs, CT scans and ultrasound images. 

With centralized management through Orchestrator, EdgeConnect provides complete visibility into the entire SD-WAN environment from a single pane of glass. This capability streamlines troubleshooting and helps ensure continuous delivery of healthcare services. Additionally, centralized orchestration of network functions via Orchestrator enables fast provisioning of services and applications. 

Time is of the essence in many patient care situations. Aruba EdgeConnect helps ensure the timely dissemination of critical information among physicians, nurses, pharmacists, case managers and other members of the patient care team.

How PKA Tech Can Help

As an HPE Enterprise Platinum Partner, we are uniquely qualified to help you build the right solution for your business. Contact us to learn more about using EdgeConnect to heal your organization’s ailing network.