San Francisco—April 29, 2015— Riverbed Technology, the leader in application performance infrastructure, today announced that Carilion Clinic is using Riverbed® SteelHead™ to reduce the costs of application delivery while continuing to provide the high level of application performance needed to support fast-paced, need-it-now medical care. With SteelHead, Carilion Clinic was able to switch from high-cost fiber optic network circuits to less expensive circuits and still get the same or better application performance. This has saved nearly $1 million in IT operating costs annually- savings that can be directed toward additional patient care, community outreach, or any one of the non-profit's many patient care programs.
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Carilion Clinic is a non-profit health care organization consisting of seven hospitals along with a number of outpatient care centers. Headquartered in Roanoke, Virginia, the organization provides health care to nearly one million patients throughout southwest Virginia. As a non-profit organization, Carilion Clinic works within the community by investing in charity care, community outreach, research and education. Every dollar received by the organization serves the community, as does every dollar saved by the wise deployment of technology.
Carilion Clinic has primary and secondary data centers in Roanoke, where mission-critical applications such as a picture archiving and communication system from AGFA (used for radiological services) and EPIC (an EMR application delivered via Citrix) are centralized. To provide the level of application performance needed by clinicians during real-time patient care, Carilion Clinic had originally purchased expensive fiber optic network circuits wherever they were available. The non-profit wanted to see if there were savings to be had from WAN optimization. "We had a big push to get the same level of performance we were getting with the OC3s circuits in the fiber optic network, but for a reduced monthly fee," said Ed Eades, a network engineer for Carilion Clinic.
As a healthcare provider, Carilion Clinic must follow the standards set forth in the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). "For HIPAA, we have to log everything, so our transaction logs get long and complex," explained Mike Smith, IT director for Carilion Clinic. Replicating one day's worth of data was taking nearly 24 hours. "We were getting concerned that we were never going to have a complete replication to the secondary data center," said Smith.
That issue led the IT team to investigate WAN optimization, which quickly led them to Riverbed. The Riverbed proof-of-concept for data replication was impressive. "We were getting in the neighborhood of 10 to 15 times the throughput, a significant improvement over what we had been getting," said Smith. A replication that had been taking nearly 24 hours took less than four hours with the SteelHead appliances.
The IT team then deployed Riverbed technology at rural sites where 10-megabit circuits are the upper limit to reduce bandwidth costs and improve performance. "We had the SteelHeads in the data centers for a month and they were doing really well, so we decided to start pushing them out to the remote sites as well," Smith recalled. "Then we started taking our OC3s circuits down to less expensive DS3s."
SteelHead has reduced bandwidth costs significantly while maintaining high end user satisfaction. "Here in rural southwestern Virginia the difference between DS3 and OC3 is significant. An OC3 to one hospital was costing us $12,000 per month. When we put it down to a DS3, it costs about $4,000 per month and that's just one site," said Smith. Overall, the clinic is saving nearly $1 million per year. "In almost all instances, the end users either didn't know we had made a change or, in some instances, commented on how much better things were when we actually took bandwidth away," said Smith.
Carilion Clinic is leveraging the benefits it gets from Riverbed to help stay focused on its goal of delivering quality patient care. "We're a non-profit, so any money we do make we put back into the organization to deliver services to our patients," said Smith. "Riverbed has helped us reduce our operating costs so we can take the money we would have spent on bandwidth and put it back into services for the community."
Riverbed SteelHead and the Riverbed Application Performance Platform
The Riverbed Application Performance Platform™ gives CIOs end-to-end visibility, optimization and control across the enterprise. A key part of the platform, Riverbed SteelHead is the industry's #1 optimization solution for accelerated delivery of all applications across the hybrid enterprise. SteelHead provides increased visibility into application performance and end-user experience and the ability to ensure business performance SLAs through an application-aware approach to hybrid networking based on centralized business intent-based policies.