The United States Air Force has provided over forty of its military hospitals all over the country with the new OmniSwitch, delivered by Xylan Corporation, a major campus switching vendor. The upgrades will intensify both the throughput and flexibility of the networks which at the same time have been made year 2000 compliant. The OmniSwitch allows the hospital manager to introduce network segmentation by specific medical application on a personal basis. Services relating to telemedicine and teleradiology will be enhanced via the one-platform-integration of asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) transmission and local area network (LAN) switching.
The new switches have been installed by TIMPO, the Tri-Services Infrastructure Management Programme Office, in conjunction with the U.S. Army, SAIC and Force3. Network users will experience general performance improvement whereas the innovative OmniSwitch equally features the ability to segment the networks on the basis of layer-two or layer-three addresses. In this way, access can be granted to various applications and networks on an individual basis, in full independence of the person's physical location. As a result, roaming users are able to access all of their required resources from anywhere on the network.
Henceforth, every hospital network designer has the opportunity to set up virtual local area networks (vLANs) for each application server according to Xylan's policy-based management capabilities. If a particular user requires full access to one of the applications, this person simply will be added to the corresponding vLAN. Each newly installed switch supports 10/100 Ethernet connections to hubs which are linked to end users. At the same time, every OmniSwitch is provided with OC-3c ATM at a speed of 155 Mbps in case of future migration to a service-wide ATM wide area network (WAN), under the control of the Defence Information Systems Agency.
According to Mr. Alan Amrod, Xylan's director of North American strategic markets, the OmniSwitch can meet the considerable demand for bandwidth in the military health care facilities which face special requirements. These are specifically related with the connection of heterogeneous and disparate information systems, the implementation of clinical data repositories, as well as the compliance with urgent data security issues and the delivery of the Department of Defence's high speed services, which enable applications such as telemedicine and teleradiology. The final implementation of the network upgrade has been successfully completed by the United States Army Medical Information Systems Agency.