The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is complex, high performance environment. This nationally ranked educational institution serves 3,000 students, 1,500 teaching staff, and 83,000 patients and offers programs in the biomedical sciences, dentistry, health, medicine, nursing and pharmacy.
“Our faculty, staff and students are extremely demanding users of technology.” -Patrick J. Lazorchak, Network Engineer, MUSC
With a diverse selection of network users all relying on a growing number of IoT devices like smart phones, tablets and even wireless IV pumps, they need a robust network that’s got their back. That being said, efficiency is king. Network engineers rely heavily on automation and network visibility to handle their day to day admin so everyone, users and engineers alike, can focus on getting their jobs done.
“To maintain the reliability of our network and better serve our users, we needed an efficient way to manage, automate and delegate day-to-day network administration tasks.”
In 2011, after their previous provider became obsolete MUSC began their hunt for a new DNS provider. Their network consists of 30,000 IP addresses and 30+ remote sites, and they needed a serious revamp in order to centralize their network to support the diverse needs of their users. As is the case in any environment where human lives are on the line, there is very little room for error (if any) in a medical institution. MUSC needed a way to simplify their IP address management and optimize their current IP space, so an efficient, automated IPAM was crucial. MUSC network users demand a lot from their network and the network engineers need to deliver. They required better control, better visibility and improved automation in order to better delegate tasks. With previous, less-than-ideal experiences with Infoblox, MUSC considered making the switch to VitalQIP and BT Diamond before ultimately choosing BlueCat.
“We chose BlueCat based on its ease of use, track record of reliability, system redundancy… and built-in ability to delegate workflows.”
With their new consolidated DNS, DHCP and IPAM solutions in place, MUSC network engineers find themselves fielding fewer calls resulting in less manual intervention and better resource management. They’re able to push requests faster by automating processes and IP management. With better data coordination, they now leverage the DNS data to their advantage and put their IP space to better use.
With expansive network visibility, they can see everything that’s going on from a single interface. This increased visibility gave them greater insight into their network activity while freeing up tons of time and resources. Migration was a breeze with minimal disruption. However, fast migrations are a dime a dozen, it’s the quality of the migration that was the differentiating factor. MUSC likened their seamless, smooth migration process to “replacing the engine in your car while you’re cruising down the highway.”
What does the future look like?
With their new scalable, future-facing network, MUSC is prepared for growth, whether planned or unplanned. With the inevitable movement towards IPv6 integration, MUSC has a strong infrastructure they can count on thanks to increased network visibility and greater insight.
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