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The network of the future for Jan Yperman Hospital

by ‎07-02-2012 05:23 AM - edited ‎07-02-2012 06:06 AM

This is a guest blog post. Views expressed in this post are original thoughts posted by Wim De Smet, Operations Manager at Securelink. These views are his own and in no way do they represent the views of the company he works for.

Today I will give you an insight on how we secured our first QFabric deal in Belgium, Europe with Jan Yperman Hospital.


The Jan Yperman Hospital isn’t the biggest hospital in Belgium, but it is highly focused on innovation. They have:


  • 105 doctors
  • over 1000 employees of which 750 are full time employees
  • 500  beds hospitalisation    
    Surgery – Internal medicine – Geriatric – Intensive care
    Maternity – Pediatric – Revalidation
  •  88 one day care beds
  • Operating theatre: 9 fully digital equipped operating rooms

Based on the first meeting we had with the customer; Jan Yperman Hospital, we initially proposed an EX8216 design within the core and within the data centre we opted for the EX4500. After some more extensive talks with the customer we got a better view on the requirements and the fact that there was a need for a network of the future. Topics like EVB, VLXAN, FCoE were also discussed. This was not an easy win as we were up against strong competition for the deployment. Cisco proposed the Nexus 7000/5000 and Nexus 2000 as ToR switches.We were confident in our proposal against our competition and had confidence in QFabric’s features and functionality.


We all know that more and more traffic in the data centre is East – West traffic and that this has an impact on how you need to build the network. But with this particular customer being a hospital there was also a need for high speed connection to the access layer, which added further complexity to the deployment by requiring North – South traffic too.


The example below shows you that the hospital not only needed East – West traffic, but also has a high demand of North – South traffic.


  •  They have new scanners that will make a full 3D body scan, which consists of many small slices. These images and movies needs to be sent to the backend servers/storage. This is East – West traffic in the data centre.
  •  Of course doctors need to consult images and movies, replaying these images and movies in real time. This is the North – South traffic.


Because of this high demand the Nexus solution wasn’t the best solution for East – West and North – South traffic. The one big disadvantage of the Nexus 2000 solution is the bandwidth you have for East - West and North – South traffic.


We all know that the Nexus 2000 is a network extender, which doesn’t do LOCAL Switching; this means that ALL traffic (even traffic between two ports on the same 2000 switch) needs to be sent up to the parent switch (5000/7000). If you then know that you only have 80 Gbps for ALL this traffic, this then creates a bottleneck.


Another problem with the Nexus deployment is that you have to manage all switches separately and that the configuration is complex compared to the VC (Virtual chassis) concept of Juniper Networks. From this you can see why QFabric was chosen over the Nexus.


Benefits of QFabric

Because all the above mentioned requirements we knew that we had to choose another direction. Jan Yperman Hospital was the perfect match for “The New Network” and we talked and showed them “The network of the Future” …. QFabric.


  • QFabric has a big advantage with the same low latency between every port (5µ seconds max) L3/L2 and even Multicast! (Multicast is used a lot in hospitals because of the digital operation rooms)
  • QFabric does local switching between its own ports (latency 1µ sec)
  • QFabric is one switch with +6000 ports
  • QFabric can be used for FCoE

 All these things including high speed, low latency, scalability and not forgetting the future proof design made it very clear to Jan Yperman that this was the correct way to go.


At SecureLink we are very proud to be the first in Northern Europe to sell not one but two QFabrics, which will be deployed in both data centres at Jan Yperman Hospital.


Below shows the design of core and data centre:




And here’s what Francky Deleu, ICT manager, Jan Yperman Hospital said, “Jan Yperman Hospital has a reputation for excellent patient care and research, so we really value innovative technology that can enable new working methods, clinical practices and patient services. QFabric is an ideal solution for our data centre because it delivers radical capabilities, outstanding performance and also provides a future-proof path for scalability and cost control.


Of course, reliability, simplicity and stability are also key concerns for a hospital’s network, all of which QFabric delivers. We were particularly impressed by its low latency.”


Once the full implementation has been completed I’ll be writing a follow up blog, so watch this space!

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