Major cloud providers are able to achieve impressive uptime by distributing the load across a large number of commodity servers. There’s no single master server that can fail and bring down the entire infrastructure. It’s not surprising then that so many healthcare networks are already relying on major cloud providers to run electronic medical records (EMR) and imaging applications and store patient data. So doesn’t it make sense to adopt the same approach for the network?
Healthcare networks face a unique challenge that many other networks don’t: how do you grow your network quickly and reliably while remaining compliant? As patient data grows, this tension between growth and compliance is increasing. Healthcare networks are feeling the pressure to move data faster, and this often requires adding more connections and switches, which entails routing and other configuration changes. These continual and rapid changes come at the cost of long, sometimes unplanned, outages. Planned outages are to be expected, but unexpected outages are a nightmare. Consequently, many healthcare networks have understandably opted for slower network growth to maintain a stable, reliable network.