Pennsylvania Healthcare Provider UPMC Upgrading Infrastructure based on Alcatel-Lucent 7950 XRS

Next Generation Communications Blog

Pennsylvania Healthcare Provider UPMC Upgrading Infrastructure based on Alcatel-Lucent 7950 XRS

By Susan J. Campbell

The need for better business intelligence is the driving force behind the momentum in businesses around the world to look at adoption of “big data” solutions.  However, not all big data solutions are the same, and their applications in various markets must be customized since data capture and management in areas like healthcare must adhere to strict rules and regulations.

With this as context of its consideration of how best move to next generation communications capabilities, UPMC, a Western Pennsylvania healthcare provider, turned to Alcatel-Lucent to upgrade its IP and optical networking capabilities, starting at its core, so it could better accommodate and leverage the large data sets that are gathered on a regular basis.  And, at the HIMSS event in the U.S., the annual conference and exposition for healthcare information technology professionals and their suppliers, UPMC’s selection of Alcatel-Lucent to better enable critical communications services to doctors’ offices, hospitals and other sites throughout Western Pennsylvania was announced.

A key component of the new network will be Alcatel-Lucent’s
7950 Extensible Routing System (XRS). This solution is positioned by the company as the most powerful IP core router on the global market. In working with UPMC, Alcatel-Lucent will also provide advanced 100G fiber-optic technology to support the needs of the organization’s network. 

“Here at UPMC we see our network as a vital tool to support our mission – providing our patients with world-class healthcare,” said William Hanna, Vice President, Technical Services, Information Services Division of UPMC. “Our ongoing network modernization is ensuring that we remain at the forefront of healthcare innovation. This new project with Alcatel-Lucent, the latest step in our long-standing collaboration, will enable us to not only increase the capacity of our network, but to make our entire enterprise smarter and more efficient, and ultimately improve patient care throughout the UPMC system.”

This new 7950 XRS core router is based on the 400G FP3 chipset, providing a significant boost in efficiency, capacity and flexibility within IP networks. At the same time, the technology reduces power consumption and increases operational efficiency. Telefonica and Belgacom both recently deployed the 7950 XRS and are enjoying the increased capacity. And, in a recent Alcatel-Lucent blog,
Alcatel-Lucent’s new core router – Off to a BIG start!", the company shares the early enthusiasm for the 7950 XRS which has more than 20 trials either underway or complete and also has six service providers confirmed as wanting to evolve their core networks using this technology.

Michel Emelianoff, President of Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise said: “The ‘big data’ needs of large-scale enterprises such as UPMC are breaking down the barriers between traditional IT systems and communications networks. This project with UPMC offers a great example of how advanced IP and fiber optic technologies can enhance the operations of enterprises in a wide array of fields. We are particularly thrilled to play such a critical role in bringing improved healthcare services to the communities that UPMC serves.” 

According to Alcatel-Lucent, a majority of its 7950 XRS wins are IP core network transformations that are driving away from 10G into the era of 100G or even beyond. As cloud service, video and the proliferations of wireless devices continue to change the dynamics of the network, changes have to be made to support the demand today and into the future.

Given all of the government mandates surrounding data storage, retention and access management, the explosion of data in general, and the need for enterprises of all sizes to able to share the value of structured and unstructured data and derive actionable insights that can drive more efficient performance and sustainable business advantage, we are going to see more and more enterprises upgrading their entire network infrastructures.  It starts with rethinking the core and includes a healthy dose of fiber.

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