Intelligent CIO North America Issue 15 - Page 62

However , as time passed , network services grew , traffic expanded and the Trinzics reached the end of their serviceable life . Anycast deployments exceeded the caching limits of the older appliances , technical issues related to service restarts emerged and network traffic began to be dropped .
U of U Health was growing into an increasingly complex network , complicated by geographically distributed locations , primary , emergent and specialty care , educational applications and expanding services . At the same time , COVID-19 introduced new protocols , policies and challenges that placed even greater demands on application availability , reliability , operational efficiency , automated maintenance , trouble-free software upgrades and streamlined application deployments .
IT team had to perform the upgrade during a highly constrained three-week timeframe over summer break before residents and students returned for the fall term .
Before the upgrade , Infoblox Professional Services provided a DNS health check to identify outdated and vulnerable assets .
They helped streamline processes , implement best practices and deploy the upgrade to ensure high availability and redundancy , and improve overall network performance and efficiency . After the upgrade , even with the increased pandemic demand and remote workers , the network provided the availability and reliability needed to support the quality patient care for which U of U Health is known .
The challenge – steady growth pushes once-stable networking equipment to the limit
U of U Health operates five hospitals including University Hospital , University Orthopedic Center , University Neuropsychiatric Institute and the new Nielsen Rehabilitation Hospital . In addition , it manages a dozen community clinics for routine care , and numerous centers for specialized treatment for cancer , cardiology , diabetes , fertility , genetics , organ transplant , ophthalmology , orthopedics , neurosciences , radiology and over 200 other medical specialties .
The U of U Heath network is managed by 23 engineers and seven students who maintain its mission-critical e-health network services for primary , acute and specialty care . It transitioned to Infoblox in 2014 when network outages from an accumulation of old network and legacy hardware disrupted operations . U of U Health selected Infoblox Trinzic appliances at that time and restored network reliability .
COVID-19 complicates an already complex situation
The U of U Heath team was pleased with Infoblox ’ s historical reliability and existing architecture , but knew it needed to upgrade to Infoblox ’ s next generation data center solutions to meet capacity , performance and efficiency requirements . At the same time , the team had to redirect its focus toward COVID-19 support as testing tents were set up at clinic locations to respond to community needs , even as classes began . COVID-19 slowed normal supply chain processes , pushing refresh plans late into the summer .
By the time the team secured the necessary upgrade approvals , only three weeks remained before students returned for the fall semester . Further , the platform refresh would involve on-site upgrades across distributed locations including a Disaster Recovery facility hundreds of miles away . It was a very demanding , high-pressure situation with high expectations and COVID-impacted lives at stake .
To expedite the upgrade process , U of U Health engaged Infoblox Professional Services to conduct a DNS health check assessment of its existing external DNS infrastructure . The Infoblox team looked for failure points , Disaster Recovery and resilience , name service architecture , firewall , software and platform configuration , security , DNS change control processes and more . It examined and reported on existing processes for securing , upgrading , backing up , modifying and monitoring architecture and provided detailed recommendations for compliance with current DNS architecture best practices .
Ray Carsey , Network Manager , Infoblox , said : “ Performing the health check before the upgrade engagement helped to identify the assets that required
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