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Healthcare IT Reveals Network Rx

Healthcare IT Reveals Network Rx

IT Heroes: A Prescription for Network Health

Each and every day, the bold men and women of IT risk it all to deliver critical applications and services. Their stories are unique. Their triumphs inspire. For the first time ever, the IT Heroes Series offers a revealing glimpse into the secrets and strategies that have won accolades for network teams around the world – and could do the same for you.

Initial Symptoms

Located in South West England, the Northern Devon National Health Service (NHS) trust serves a population of just under half a million. Operating across 1,300 square miles and providing vital IT services to a large district medical center and 17 community hospitals is serious business.

When the network slowed to a crawl, Network Technology Specialist, Peter Lee and his team were motivated to provide a fast diagnosis.

Tools of the Trade

Viavi Managing Healthcare IT

Since many life-saving tests and medical information are communicated via the healthcare network, it was critical for the team to get everything back on track fast. After receiving complaints about the “slow network,” Lee tested it out for himself. Like end users, he also experienced a series of timed-out sessions.

"I used Observer® GigaStor™ Retrospective Network Analysis to rewind the data, putting a filter on the machine. All that was coming back was SOPHOS," says Lee, regarding the popular security software. "I widened the search to the subnet. It was an 11 minute capture with 25,000 hits on SOPHOSXL.net."

Lee and his team had a hunch that the traffic from the SOPHOS application was abnormally high and hogging valuable network resources. But how could they prove it?

"I went back to a previous capture that I had run last February," says Lee, referring to an ad hoc baseline established months before. "In some 20 minutes, the average was only 3,000 hits."

With the previous network snapshot from GigaStor, the team was able to prove that the application traffic had drastically increased and was undoubtedly the cause of the slow network.

An Rx for a Network Fix

"We've got a call open with the SOPHOS senior team looking into this," says Lee. "It works out to between 33 to 50 percent of all our DNS traffic is going out to SOPHOS. Without the GigaStor, I would have never known about the problem. It's simple, it's easy, and it's fantastic."

Find out how this IT Hero found the hardware issue that brought the network to its knees, and how his team uses Wireshark to troubleshoot on the go. Download the full Northern Devon NHS Case Study now.

Thanks to VIAVI for the article.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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