Enterprise All-Star awards LANs and routers case studies

BNSF Logistics

Building an open-source foundation.

An annual growth rate of 110% began to overwhelm the infrastructure of BNSF Logistics, a logistics and supply-chain solutions provider in Springdale, Ark., (and a sister company of BNSF Railway, another All-Star winner).

Following a series of acquisitions, the company had 14 operating locations, two hosting locations, two data centers and one business-continuity site. Led by Gregg Robbins, systems architect, the project team used off-the-shelf hardware to connect all the locations redundantly and kept each device's total deployment cost to less than $300.

The team designed and implemented a network foundation using an open source firewall, which includes an IPSec VPN, Open Shortest Path First routing, intrusion detection and content filtering. The deployment took fewer than 90 days and came in under the $20,000 budget, Robbins says.

"With our [open source] approach, we can deploy a remote office firewall/router/content filter to a location for under $60 if we reuse equipment or for about $300 with new appliance-like hardware."

- gregg robbins, systems architect, bnsf logistics

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

New data-center net for healthier recoveries.

A new optical and storage network let hospital personnel at 10 primary care and remote sites access a centralized Picture Archival Computer System and quickly download medical records and images, thus streamlining diagnosis. In some cases, diagnosis time has been cut in half, says Bob DelCampo, an IT manager at the hospital.

The additional bandwidth also is enabling new money-saving applications, such as videoconferencing and remote upgrade of desktops. Also, a new point-to-point data center network supports synchronous data replication, significantly improving recovery time. Tier 1 applications now can be recovered in two hours or less. The project is expected to save the hospital $8 million over four years.

Community Health Network

Private net, big savings.

Community Health Network, Indianapolis, built an optical network using technology from Cisco, IBM and CentrePath.

After a capital investment estimated at $1.5 million, the new network provides more flexible storage, the ability to interconnect multiple sites and more bandwidth (the digitization of medical records was increasing bandwidth by more than 400% annually) than its previous, carrier-based network, says Rick Copple, CTO for Community Health Network. The organization estimates it will save more than $11 million over 13 years.

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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