Amsterdam hospitals choose SARA for the management of their shared dark fiber ring

Amsterdam 25 January 2005At the start of December 2004 a high-speed dark fiber network has been implemented between nine hospitals in the region of Amsterdam, The Netherlands, called the MANza network. MANza stands for Metropolitan Area Network Ziekenhuizen (Hospitals) Amsterdam. As an experienced party in the area of large dark fiber networks SARA Computing & Networking Services has been selected by the nine hospitals as their operational network manager. Using the new network the hospitals will be able to communicate in a faster way with each other electronically in a proprietary secured network environment.


With a transmission speed of 1 Gbps this network offers a low-cost continuous high-quality connection. For the participating hospitals the network means a large step in their mutual collaboration in the ICT area. The hospitals that are linked to the MANza network are Academisch Medisch Centrum, VU Medisch Centrum, Sint Lucas Andreas Ziekenhuis, Slotervaart Ziekenhuis, Onze Lieve Vrouwe Gasthuis, BovenIJ Ziekenhuis, Jan van Breemen Instituut, Revalidatie Centrum Amsterdam and Ziekenhuis Amstelveen.

The implementation of the MANza network is part of the GigaMAN project, initiated by SURFnet. SURFnet provides the high-speed broadband network for universities and research institutions in The Netherlands. GigaMAN involves a request file made by non-profit organisations in order to acquire their own dark fiber networks. The Regional Information Network Foundation for Healthcare Provision in Amsterdam (Foundation RING Amsterdam) has a co-ordinating role with regard to the implementation of the MANza network.

SARA Computing & Networking Services is an advanced knowledge centre that since over 30 years provides a complete package of services and products in the area of high performance computing, high performance networking and infrastructure services. SARA customers are science and academic institutions, government and industry. SARA is an independent organisation with offices in Amsterdam and Almere, and has collaborative agreements with many partners. Since the start of the SURFnet IP network in 1989, SARA is responsible for the technical and operational management of this broadband network for Dutch universities, research centres and academic institutions. SARA's location is part of the "core", the heart of the SURFnet network.

The Regional Information Network Foundation for Healthcare Provision in Amsterdam is a collaborative network of a large number of institutions and professional organisations for the health care provider sector in Amsterdam. The mission of RING Amsterdam is to enhance the quality and efficiency of health care by optimizing the electronical information exchange. The main items in the ICT programme are the development and implementation of a regional medication record, the improvement and extension of the electronical information exchange between general practitioners and specialists and the realisation of common services for secure communication.

With regard to the MANza network, RING Amsterdam acts as the representative and contracting party for the participating hospitals. In the RING union hospitals are working together to develop new applications for the new broadband dark fiber network.

Leslie Versweyveld

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