Medical Provider Restores Clogged WAN Arteries with Scrutinizer’s Bandwidth Diagnosis
Sanford, Maine — May 17, 2012 — Plixer International, Inc., a leading provider of NetFlow-based network traffic reporting, today announced Arizona based Banner Health as the company’s latest customer success story. The healthcare provider has selected Plixer’s award-winning Scrutinizer NetFlow, sFlow network analyzer tool to prioritize the transfer of critical PACS (Picture Archiving and Communication System) images, x-rays, and other vital medical data traveling over its Wide Area Network (WAN) to more than 100 clinics and hospitals.
As one of the nation’s largest non-profit healthcare providers with over 100 sites, Banner Health prides itself on making a difference in people’s lives through excellent patient care. However, due to expansion of electronic medical information into Banner’s three primary regions of Alaska, Phoenix, and Colorado, along with four other states, Banner Health’s WAN links to more than 100 clinics and hospitals experienced congested connections and slow application performance.
“With thousands of personnel relying on our network for sending and receiving PACS images ranging between 10MB to 5GB in size, our WAN connections were now impacting the speed of patient care across all our healthcare centers,” said Jamie Eklund, one of Banner Health’s network administrators. “Critical healthcare applications such as Cerner and NextGen as well as VoIP calls must have high network traffic priority and can’t be slowed down due to network congestion.”
To address congestion issues, Banner Health selected Plixer’s Scrutinizer. A one hundred percent web-based tool, Scrutinizer provides detailed network utilization reports showing the applications and users generating network traffic. Leveraging the software’s domain utilization report, even sites with secured connections that use encrypted traffic can’t hide from the insight provided by NetFlow and IPFIX collection and reporting. Scrutinizer is designed to peer deep into bandwidth traffic and enable the network administrator to easily see who is consuming bandwidth, what they are using it for and — immediately restore precious bandwidth for work-related needs.
Upon Scrutinizer’s initial trial, the network analyzer helped Banner Health discover that their three-hour data backup, assumingly scheduled after hours, significantly impacted WAN performance for remote clinics located in different time zones. In addition, network traffic forensics on VoIP data uncovered an extremely long call consuming bandwidth, which was labeled as a “system error.”
“Right from the start, the intelligence we obtained from Scrutinizer prompted us to immediately re-schedule our backups, and our voice team was able to remove a system error that helped us recover needed bandwidth for our VoIP calls and other priority healthcare applications,” Eklund added.
Eklund and a team of nearly 40 IT staff can now easily monitor and manage WAN bandwidth throughput. “Doctors need the PACS to be available on demand – they don’t have time to wait for downloads to complete. With the addition of Scrutinizer, we can now quickly view the cause of network congestion and pinpoint top talkers and top protocols. The network traffic reporting available with NetFlow allows us to ensure that critical medical applications receive accurate Differentiated Services Code Point (DSCP) priority values and ToS markings,” Eklund concluded.
More at http://www.plixer.com