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Somerset NHS Foundation Trust – OSA Dark Fibre – Case Study

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Somerset NHS Foundation Trust – OSA Dark Fibre – Case Study

Stream Networks complete 164Gbs dark fibre solution to connect merging NHS Trusts datacentres.

Company Profile

Somerset NHS Foundation Trust is the first NHS trust on the English mainland to provide community, mental health and acute hospital services.

Formed on 1 April 2020 when Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and Taunton and Somerset NHS Foundation Trust merged, they provide community and mental health services across the whole of Somerset and acute hospital services in the north, west and centre of the county and beyond.

Problems to Solve:

  • Connect two datacentres and server infrastructure to the Trusts Storage Area Network
  • Maintain high volume traffic to over 10,000 users
  • Keep within tight budgetary constraints

The Challenge

After the recent merging of Taunton & Somerset NHS Foundation Trust and Somerset Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, there were a significant number of technical challenges for the IT department. The Trust needed to merge the IT infrastructure from two platforms, to one – this involved efficiently connecting two datacentres, server infrastructures and storage area networks together, a process that would require high bandwidth, low latency connectivity.

Due to the high volume of traffic, with servers providing critical applications to over 10,000 users it was determined that a connectivity infrastructure that could support low latency and a reliable transport protocol for the Trusts storage area networks would be required. Previously, the Trust linked their sites together using traditional Point to Point (P2P) Ethernet Access Direct (EAD) circuits, however for a project that was as mission-critical and bandwidth-intensive it was determined that Ethernet Access Direct would not be a commercially or technically viable solution especially when connecting the Trusts Storage Area Networks together.

The Solution

Stream Networks worked with the Trust to install OSA Filter Connect. OSA Filter Connect is a managed Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) dark fibre solution that enabled the Trust to easily scale their connectivity needs by adding additional wavelengths as demand grows.

The solution installed provides a total of 164Gbs of bandwidth encompassing 10x10Gbs Ethernet Wavelengths for standard TCP/IP connectivity, and 8x8Gbs Fibre Channel wavelengths to ensure the Trust’s Storage Area Networks had access to mission-critical, low latency, secure, and almost lossless data transport between datacentres.

The installation also presents the ability to add additional Ethernet Wavelengths and Fibre Channel wavelengths at a very cost-effective rate compared to traditional technology when required without the need for additional work to the underlying infrastructure.

The Result

Mike Isaac, IT Operations Manager of the Trust said; “Merging two networks of this size was a big project that we feared would be complicated and expensive. However, by introducing us to OSA Filter connect, Stream Networks made the process straightforward and most importantly, cost-effective. Implementing OSA presented us with the opportunity to make significant cost savings versus traditional EAD P2P’S and ensured we met every objective we set out for this project. Everyone at Stream Networks quickly understood our aims and could not have been more helpful.”

To find out further information on our range of dark fibre solutions please click here.

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