NetQoS Enhances Network Performance Management for Community Medical Centers

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To deliver better application performance to its 6,200 employees in 13 healthcare facilities, Community Medical Centers has deployed the NetQoS Performance Center for application performance monitoring and traffic analysis.

With the NetQoS Performance Center, we can now at a glance determine where the problem lies

To help deliver better application performance to its 6,200 employees in 13 healthcare facilities, Community Medical Centers (Community) has deployed the NetQoS Performance Center. Based in Fresno, Calif., Community is the largest and most comprehensive hospital system in the San Joaquin Valley. NetQoS® Inc. is a provider of network performance management products and services for Global 2000 enterprises.

“Our network is like a freeway system: We knew there was a lot of traffic, but until NetQoS, we couldn’t see whether there were big semis or fast, fuel-efficient BMWs or whether it was rush hour or a slow traffic period, or what was causing traffic delays. This information is vital as we shift our network management philosophy away from just managing devices to managing the application for better customer service delivery,” said Richard Cummins, director of the Technology Services Group for Community.

“The NetQoS Performance Center not only shows us the composition and volume of traffic on the LAN and WAN, but also how quickly our applications are being delivered to end users,” Cummins continued. “For the first time, we have a baseline from which to judge our network and application performance and ensure we are delivering optimum service to our end users.”

When troubleshooting application slowness, Community’s network team used to spend hours determining whether the cause was the application servers, the client, or the network infrastructure, according to Tim Allen, senior network communications engineer for Community. “With the NetQoS Performance Center, we can now at a glance determine where the problem lies,” said Allen. “This enables us to implement solutions faster -- whether this means upgrading server or client hardware or even re-engineering traffic flow -- and then quickly verify these solutions are working using the NetQoS Performance Center’s SuperAgent® and ReporterAnalyzer™ modules.”

Community deployed the NetQoS Performance Center’s SuperAgent and ReporterAnalyzer modules for end-to-end application performance monitoring and traffic analysis. Community chose SuperAgent because it analyzes end-to-end application response time without endpoint agents, providing visibility into how well the network infrastructure is delivering applications to end users across the enterprise. SuperAgent isolates the source of response time delays to the network, server, or application and launches automatic investigations into problems, enabling rapid troubleshooting.

SuperAgent also measures the impact of infrastructure changes and reports service level quality. In the future, Community plans to use SuperAgent to provide monthly application performance and availability metrics to internal customers and upper management on applications such as its picture archiving and communications system (PACS), radiology, lab, payroll, and hospital information system.

Community deployed ReporterAnalyzer to obtain complete visibility into network traffic. ReporterAnalyzer captures a rich set of traffic statistics from Cisco IOS® NetFlow or other IPFIX-enabled devices to identify which applications and users are using bandwidth, and when, enabling Community to make informed decisions in troubleshooting and capacity planning. ReporterAnalyzer handles the volume of flow data typical in large networks, providing real-time visibility into enterprise-wide network traffic and access to more than a year’s worth of data. For more information on Cisco NetFlow and IPFIX, visit Cisco NetFlow Information.

According to Eric Rystad, senior network communications engineer at Community, ReporterAnalyzer provided value right out of the box when it showed that remote workstations were using 90 percent of the bandwidth on one WAN link to refresh photos on screen savers (to a file server in the data center). The network team had been getting calls that the network was slow, but did not know the cause until deploying ReporterAnalyzer, which enabled them to see and fix the problem. “The performance improved instantly,” said Rystad.

Viewing SuperAgent and ReporterAnalyzer data together in the NetQoS Performance Center gives the network team an overall view of network performance, enabling them to better predict performance and troubleshoot problems faster. For instance, the NetQoS Performance Center is helping Community monitor PACS, one of its biggest applications. SuperAgent shows how PACS is performing across the WAN, providing response time data and alerts when performance degrades from normal.

ReporterAnalyzer enables the network team to now see all PACs-related traffic, including a view into how much bandwidth PACS is consuming as it is delivered from the data center to remote sites. As Cummins stated, “ReporterAnalyzer has solidified how healthy the network is, because we are able to deliver the bandwidth-intensive PACs traffic with no problem. Going forward, ReporterAnalyzer’s data will enable us to provision the bandwidth more surgically, which could help us save WAN costs by getting rid of unneeded bandwidth.”

“Community understands that focusing on performance -- not solely on device management -- is the key to delivering better network services to its end users,” said Scott Sherwood, vice president of worldwide sales for NetQoS. “With an integrated view into end-to-end application response time and traffic analysis, the NetQoS Performance Center gives Community the key metrics necessary to quantify and optimize the performance of applications running on its network infrastructure.”

For more details on NetQoS network performance management solutions for healthcare organizations, visit NetQoS Healthcare Solutions.

About NetQoS Inc.

NetQoS software and services help large organizations -- including 8 of the Fortune 12 -- improve the delivery of applications over wide area networks by enabling them to monitor application service levels, troubleshoot problems quickly, and plan for change. Representative NetQoS customers include Chevron, Lockheed Martin, American Express, Hilton Hotels, Siemens, Boeing, Deutsche Telekom, NASA, and Barclays Global Investors. For more information, visit http://www.netqos.com or call (877) 835-9575.

NetQoS and SuperAgent are registered trademarks, and ReporterAnalyzer is a trademark of NetQoS Inc. All other trade names, trademarks, and registered trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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