NEW ORLEANS, LA--(Marketwire - Mar 4, 2013) - Healthcare providers rely on efficient and reliable networks for the secure transfer of patient data. With patient care and privacy regulations top-of-mind for healthcare organizations today, the secure delivery of this information is of utmost concern, especially against the backdrop of a disaster recovery situation. After having weathered Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Singing River Health System has made a concerted effort to strengthen its business continuity and disaster recovery systems with Brocade® (
Singing River Health System maintains two hospitals, each with its own data center, and multiple medical parks on the Mississippi gulf coast where it supports 2,600 employees and more than 300 physicians. Over the last several years, as its operations have grown, so has its data center infrastructure. That infrastructure supported just 25 servers several years ago but must support more than 700 servers today. Singing River Health System has also implemented new technologies, such as state-of-the-art electronic switching, to optimize the secure delivery of patient records.
The data network at Singing River Health System is very robust with two main networks to support essential applications. The first network powers the organization's data storage operation where the organization has implemented Brocade SAN solutions, while Brocade FCX switches support the production side, delivering applications to end users. Through the use of a high-performance network, the organization is able to efficiently provide the necessary services and applications to end users who need the critical information at their fingertips to provide high-quality healthcare and wellness services.
"The objectives for our uptime are pretty stringent, so we need the reliable, fast network we currently have. In addition, we were able to beat the industry standard of 15 seconds for login time by more than 50 percent, by reaching seven seconds after leveraging Brocade VCS® Fabric technology. We can provide a business continuity and disaster recovery setup that has a failover time in the range of seconds," said Aaron Marsden, network and database administrator, Singing River Health System. "It's been fantastic working with Brocade and we're very pleased."
Singing River Health System's many years of success with Brocade SAN solutions is what led the organization to evaluate the Brocade Ethernet fabric solutions based on VCS Fabric technology. Ultimately, the healthcare organization chose Brocade VDX switches for the non-blocking architecture that enables the organization to scale the fabric one switch at a time. By using Brocade VDX switches on both sides of the network, the organization is able to provide end users with low latency and maximum availability. The result is faster application performance and a better end user experience.
"Between the redundancy that the switches provide at a physical level to the performance levels that we see at the edge -- on both the Ethernet and the SAN sides, we're more than happy with the performance of the Brocade solutions," said Marsden. "We live in a hurricane-prone environment, so we've designed our network infrastructure to accommodate a natural disaster recovery scenario by utilizing two separate data centers and replicating our data where appropriate. Brocade plays a significant part of that infrastructure."
After Hurricane Katrina, when Singing River Health System's network had limited connectivity for four hours, the organization began building in redundant capabilities at all levels of the data center to include the networking, storage and server infrastructures all the way to the desktop.
The organization's network now provides a highly redundant, maximum efficiency, high-performance connectivity and presentation engine for key medical applications, so that clinicians have fast access to the information they need. The less time they spend at the computer, the more time they can spend delivering care to their patients.
Singing River Health System has also implemented Brocade Network Advisor to provide end-to-end visibility across its entire network through a seamless and unified user experience. Brocade Network Advisor is the industry's first unified network management solution for data, storage, application delivery, wireless and converged networks. It supports Fibre Channel SANs, FCoE, IP switching and routing (including Ethernet fabrics), and MPLS networks.
"Once we installed Brocade into our core infrastructure, we saw a marked improvement in application response times. The ability to move data in a non-blocking, fast way to the desktop was key to our success," said Marsden.
Singing River Health System is a governmental entity organized and existing pursuant to the community hospital statutes of the State of Mississippi operating as a not-for-profit organization. In 2012, Singing River Health System achieved the following:
- 106,130 visits to the Emergency Rooms were recorded.
- 18,622 surgery cases were performed, including heart surgery and bariatric surgery.
- 81,000 visits to SRHS Clinics helped increase access to primary care.
- 1,611 people met charity care guidelines and received care at participating hospitals.
- 6,324 people in need of mental health assistance found help through outpatient programs.
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