The stakes are high for data transmissions crossing the network in a healthcare enterprise. Complying with HIPAA regulations while meeting patient expectations for immediate access to medical records is a balancing act, with the added complication of the constant threat of security breach. While multi-protocol label switching (MPLS) is a secure and reliable network pathway, some factors are causing enterprises to require an MPLS alternative.
Although reliable, MPLS becomes more costly as healthcare introduces more Internet of Things (IoT) devices and the data load increases the traffic passing through the network. While MPLS might be a great way to transmit a medical record, it’s not necessarily the right pathway for an employee on break accessing Facebook Live. Some additional considerations when looking for an MPLS alternative:
- Differences in wide area networks (WANs) between providers across a medical campus can make sharing data complicated and inconsistent.
- The requirements for WAN security are high in healthcare, with providers needing an MPLS alternative that’s safe and reliable.
- Many health IT systems, including the WAN, are outdated and unable to handle today’s data loads.
Software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) is increasingly the preferred solution for optimizing the use of MPLS and other pathways. There are several benefits to SD-WAN use in the healthcare industry:
WAN alternatives: By providing access to a variety of network connectivity options, SD-WAN helps ensure that data transmissions are delivered without incident. Manageable failover and faster provisioning on SD-WAN make it a more reliable network infrastructure.
Cloud accessibility: Healthcare organizations are increasing their access of cloud solutions, and SD-WAN provides the best on-ramp for Software as a Service (SaaS) as well as any other type of public or private cloud application.
Better security: Healthcare organizations must prioritize security, and SD-WAN makes it much more manageable. By adding a virtual layer over the physical network, administrators gain a central access point for managing, troubleshooting and configuring the network, as well as a way to identify and isolate any potential security threat. SD-WAN makes it possible to segment traffic so that threats do not affect the entire network.
Lower total cost of ownership: Healthcare enterprises can save on their monthly WAN expenses because SD-WAN, like other cloud technology, is paid for with a subscription. It’s only necessary to pay for exactly the number of users needed, because the solution can easily scale up and down according to the organization’s needs. Better yet, these costs are categorized as operating expenses, rather than requiring a large capital investment for a network solution purchase with hardware.
To find out more about why SD-WAN is the ideal MPLS alternative, contact us at PhoneOne. We look forward to discussing how SD-WAN has improved the performance, cost and management of networks at healthcare organizations.