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WakeMed Increases Network Capacity to Enable New Digital Healthcare Services

Ciena® Corporation, the network specialist, recently announced that Raleigh, NC-based WakeMed Health & Hospitals has upgraded its backbone network leveraging Ciena's packet networking solutions. Using principles of Ciena's OPn architecture, WakeMed's network is now more scalable and programmable, ensuring the network will support high-performance applications of the future. The enhanced network equips WakeMed's hospitals, clinics and data centers with greater capacity to support high-bandwidth clinical and business applications. Since deploying Ciena's solutions, WakeMed has reduced network real estate and power consumption expenses by roughly 70 percent, which has resulted in approximately 60 percent reduction of the total operating cost for its network.

To improve network availability and expand the total capacity of its aging backbone network, WakeMed deployed Ciena's 5150 Service Aggregation Switch. The upgraded network has quadrupled the healthcare system's bandwidth capacity, and provided carrier-grade resiliency and reliability to ensure rapid delivery of critical healthcare applications and services, such as picture archiving and communications system, e-ICU, electronic health records and administrative applications.

WakeMed leveraged Ciena's packet networking technology to segment its application traffic into three types of virtual local area networks (VLANs): a VOIP signaling network with high quality of service priority; router-to-router backbone connectivity using resilient G.8032 Ethernet rings; and a data network for other business and healthcare applications.

The 5150's built-in operational efficiencies, including service-aware operating system and advanced operations, administration and maintenance suite, as well as its space-saving, two rack unit footprint, allowed WakeMed to reduce operational and capital expenses. WakeMed now operates its network using less rack space, and with reduced management and maintenance costs.

Ciena Specialist Services provided installation, turn-up and testing. Ronco Communications, a Ciena BizConnect Diamond partner, provided design assistance, technical resources and project management services.

"For a regional healthcare provider like WakeMed that operates multiple facilities in disparate locations, it is essential to have a reliable network that can connect its facilities to each other, and to data centers, instantly," said Chad Whalen, vice president and general manager, North America Field Operations, Ciena. ". . . WakeMed now boasts a reliable, flexible backbone network that can scale to meet a growing array of digital healthcare services."

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