HITInfrastructure

Networking News

Successful Network Management Requires Visibility, Automation

Extreme Network's latest release focuses on visibility and automation for network management.

network management

Source: Thinkstock

By Elizabeth O'Dowd

- Healthcare organizations are introducing more devices and solutions into their health IT infrastructure architecture, which makes network management, visibility, and automation more important than ever.

Extreme Networks announced the release of its Extreme Automated Campus, which combines Extreme’s technology with its recent acquisition, Avaya, to automate and simplify network management.

The solution aims to provide organizations with end-to-end coverage over large campuses including healthcare campuses.

Extreme Automated Campus integrates Extreme Networks’ technology with Avaya’s Fabric Connect, which helps the solution reduce human error and network outages. Extreme wired and wireless edge products are also integrated into the solution so organizations can freely integrate edge devices onto the network.

Extreme Automated Campus Connect includes security through hyper-segments, which protects critical applications on a large scale.

The solution offers network visibility for users, devices, and applications with context and scale through integrated management. It also includes a policy-based, fabric-enabled architecture across the network offering automated features.

"Traditional networks are often very complex to manage and can waste the already constrained time and resources of IT and network managers and operations staff,” Concord Hospital CTO Mark Starry said in a statement.

Visibility and automation are two features that can significantly improve network management for healthcare organizations. Connectivity and security can both be improved with better visibility and automation.

So many connected devices and applications depend on their ability to successfully exchange data with the network. The network needs to work everywhere so coverage is important. Organizations need to know how their facility or campus is covered to ensure that clinicians can communicate with the network and access tools wherever they are.

IT infrastructure solutions include cloud infrastructure as well which can become more complex to manage as they expand. A tool that allows organizations to be able to view their entire network letting them to see where connectivity issues may arise or what parts of the network may be vulnerable to cyberattacks.

Automation also helps organizations gain more control over their network. The more complex networks are to manage, the more time IT staff needs to spend working on the network.

Introducing automation into network management lets organizations automate mundane tasks that are simple, but take up time. This will allow network administrators to use their time on projects that take more expertise and also saves organizations money on staff.

Automation is being used throughout health IT infrastructure as a way to utilize IT staff to their full potential. It eliminates human error for data intensive tasks and also helps organizations maintain reliable and correct backup and recovery solutions, as well as cloud.

Last year, a 451 Research survey found that IT departments are struggling to manage their increasingly complex cloud environments.  

“IT departments being tasked with transformation to cloud-based infrastructure are struggling with the challenges and complexity of managing multiple environments, and our research shows that a majority of the platform providers they turn to today are falling short in supporting that transformation,” 451 Research Vice President William Fellows said in a statement.

“As enterprises continue along the cloud maturity curve, we anticipate a sharp demand for cloud automation, self-service and provisioning capabilities as they seek to increase efficiency, flexibility, spend, and agility,” Fellows added.

Deploying network automation on top of other automation tools can streamline processes, free up time, and allow IT staff to focus on improving their network instead of just maintaining it.

Automation and visibility are two features healthcare organizations seek as they continue to digitize their health IT infrastructures. Automating processes takes strain off employees, reduces human error, and lets clinicians spend more time interacting with their patients. Visibility gives organizations an easier way to control their network environment and detect threats.