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Cook Children’s Healthcare System Improves Application Experience Using Network Intelligence

Case Studies


• Cook Children’s Healthcare is a nationally recognized, notfor-profit pediatric healthcare organization



• End users’ perception of network “slowness”

• Performance problems not identified until customers call with complaints

• Root cause analysis sometimes taking days

• Difficulty obtaining information on network performance



• Keysight Vision 5288 and 5236 network packet brokers

• Riverbed AppResponse appliance for application performance analysis



• Detailed network intelligence for use in application performance analysis

• Increased monitoring efficiency through packet deduplication

• Proactive monitoring of medical records applications to avoid impact on users

• Ability to identify source of Outlook / Exchange problems


Pioneer in Pediatric Care


Cook Children’s Healthcare is a nationally recognized, not-for-profit pediatric healthcare organization. It operates a medical center, physician network, hospital, pediatric surgery center, and health plan. Founded in 1918 and based in Fort Worth, Texas, the integrated system has more than 60 primary and specialty care offices throughout North Texas.


The Challenges: Network Complexity Affected Performance


Fast access to applications, such as electronic medical records (EMR) and electronic health records, is vital for Cook Children’s to provide outstanding service to its patients and physicians. Application performance issues began to surface as the organization’s network grew more complex. Data began coming in from various wireless medical devices and wearables, as well as remotely hosted applications. The network manager was dealing with a range of problems, which included slow user experience, difficulty monitoring the network end to end, and an inability to proactively identify potential performance issues.


The Solution: Joint Performance Monitoring Solution


The company wanted a solution that would see deep inside its network and provide intelligence it could use to improve application performance for users delivering primary care to patients. After a careful search, the company implemented an Keysight Vision Series network packet broker (NPB) between key network access points to provide it with detailed packet information. The company chose Riverbed AppResponse from Riverbed to meet its application performance monitoring (APM) requirements. Specific details included the following:


• Packet aggregation and manipulation: The network management team implemented the Ixia Vision NPB to aggregate packet traffic from multiple 10G SPAN ports, deduplicate it, and direct it to the AppResponse appliance.


• APM: The team chose Riverbed AppResponse solution for its 24x7 application transaction monitoring, packet storage, and performance analysis. AppResponse provides optional modules for web transaction, database, VoIP/video, and Citrix analysis. AppResponse also tightly integrates with Riverbed flow and infrastructure monitoring, which provide dependency mapping, SNMP, WMI, synthetic testing and more.

“The Keysight packet broker makes it extremely easy and efficient to provide our APM system all the traffic it needs from anywhere in our data center,” said Ross Jones, network manager at Cook Children’s. “Removing unneeded duplicate packets was a huge benefit.”


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