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Active-Active Network Heals Hospital Network

Organizations are under pressure to reduce costs as well as downtime for their IT services. Active/active computing is enabling some IT organizations to eliminate IT service downtime altogether.

Wenzhou Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital provides traditional services as well teaching, research, and training. It is affiliated with Zhejiang Chinese Medical University. Wenzhou Hospital’s guiding principle is “Patient-Centered and Quality-Based,” and has built a strong reputation among the public. As the hospital grew in size, its range of medical services increased rapidly, putting pressure on its existing information systems.

The challenge for Wenzhou Hospital was to build a reliable, future-oriented data center network that would help them improve medical service quality and enhance their competitiveness. Administrators realized that it could improve the performance of traditional networks through virtualization, the cloud, and High Availability (HA) technologies. The hospital’s external network included a portal website, online appointment, and emergency system services. The hospital’s internal network carried office services and key service systems (HIS, LIS, PACS, and ERM).

  • The internal network needed to interconnect with networks of the Wenzhou Social Security Bureau and Wenzhou Health Bureau. Therefore, the hospital’s network must be highly reliable, with no single-point failures in the network topology, and allow for uninterrupted operations 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
  • The hospital needed to invest more to buy devices to meet requirements for new and growing services. However, the usage rate of its existing servers was low, wasting valuable resources.
  • Virtualization of application servers in its two nearby data centers was required to improve server resource usage and reduce costs. The network also needed to support cloud computing and be able to migrate virtual servers from one data center to another.

Active-Active Data Center Network Schematic

Huawei proposed that the medical center build a reliable, future-oriented network based on a cloud platform architecture. High-performance switches were required for the core platform that needed to support service development for the next 5 to 10 years.

Huawei proposed CE12800 data center switches. They have large switching capacity, versatile network interfaces, and comprehensive virtualization performance. CE12800 switches provide high-density cards and support easy network expansion for the next 10 years, maximizing the hospital’s ROI.

  • Cluster Switch System (CSS) technology to virtualize the two core switches into one logical switch; an independent control plane would simplify network operation and management.
  • Huawei access switches would be connected to the core switches by link aggregation to create a two-layer network.
  • The Transparent Interconnection of Lots of Links (TRILL) protocol would build a loop-free Layer 2 network between access and core switches, improving link bandwidth usage.

Huawei’s new Ethernet Virtual Network (EVN) technology would implement Layer 2 interconnection between data centers, enabling virtual servers to automatically migrate from one data center to another.

Huawei’s active-active data center solution would enable the server source pool to be shared by the hospital’s two data centers, further improving server resource usage, service continuity, and network access traffic. Huawei reconstructed the Wenzhou Traditional Chinese Medicine Hospital network and built efficient, reliable, and scalable modern data centers that are easy to manage and can provide uninterrupted services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. As a result, the network is “always on,” for users. What’s more, the hospital administration expects that new information technologies will help its staff make important breakthroughs in traditional Chinese medicine.

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