Cloud-Network Convergence: Migrating Hospitals to Cloud

ByGao Xuegang

February 25, 2022

Gao Xuegang

Collaboration and innovation in the intelligent cloud-network field have propelled operators and Huawei to make outstanding achievements in the area of cloud migration.

In this post, we look at case in the health sector and how transformation for a large hospital was achieved through collaboration with China Mobile Shanxi and Huawei.

Strict requirements

In 2021, a cloud-network convergence solution developed jointly by China Mobile Shanxi and Huawei helped the largest tertiary grade-A hospital in southern Shanxi to migrate all its services to cloud, developing a roadmap that can be replicated in other industries.

Hospital services have strict requirements on reliability and data security, with Grade-A tertiary hospitals required to pass the highest-level of security protection certification: level 3.

The Shanxi hospital found that it was unable reconstruct its networks to achieve level-3 with its legacy architecture using traditional construction modes. As well as purchasing a large number of security authentication devices, it would have needed to expand its equipment room capacity and reconstruct the power supply system.

Traditional network construction requires a huge investment and a long delivery period, affecting the development and planning of future services. Given this, the hospital teamed up with China Mobile Shanxi to migrate all its service systems to cloud, build hospital intelligence, and drive up quality of experience with data-driven services.

Traditional network construction requires a huge investment and a long delivery period, affecting the development and planning of future services.

After the operator took on the project, it worked with the hospital and Huawei to produce a roadmap for cloudifying all the hospital’s services, including two key challenges:

  • Connecting intra-hospital service systems connect to mobile cloud while ensuring that various service systems continue to run normally.
  • Ensuring the user experience of core hospital services such as the hospital information system (HIS), electronic medical record (EMR), and picture archiving and communication system (PACS).

The team found that PACS services could only be ensured when the bandwidth was at least 300 M/bits, two-way latency no higher than 7 ms, and the packet loss rate no higher than 0.07%.

At the same time, they found that HIS/EMR services are subject to many issues, including concurrent connections, reconnection upon timeout, and reconnection upon packet loss.

So, increasing bandwidth wasn’t enough – indicators like service latency, jitter, and packet loss rate also had to be optimized.

E2E Slicing

Based on the converged cloud-network architecture of the mobile cloud, government and enterprise cloud, and cloud private network, the team developed a high-reliability “two-site, three-center” solution. Sufficient to meet level-3 graded security protection, each service is subject to graded protection immediately after it is migrated to cloud. Network slicing technology ensures user experience post-migration, and the tenant-level slice with 1 G/bits bandwidth ensures that bandwidth-intensive PACS image services are smooth. The service-level slice with 100 M/bits bandwidth meets the deterministic two-way latency requirements of core HIS/EMR services, ensuring the low latency of service systems.

This was achieved without the hospital needing to either reconstruct the infrastructure and power supply of data-center equipment rooms, or purchase, deploy, and maintain a large number of complex security products.

China Mobile Shanxi’s successful experience in the healthcare industry is also applicable to other 2B scenarios. Based on this solution, China Mobile Shanxi has launched various cloud and network products, including luxury, intelligent, premium, and express cloud private lines and high-speed inter-cloud interconnection, to meet the differentiated cloud-access requirements of various customers

Four main benefits

Multi-cloud and multi-network interconnection: “2+3+10+X” DCs can be planned to form a computing power layout featuring cloud-edge collaboration. Network coverage can be continuously extended to enable fast nearby access for customers. And third-party clouds can be introduced to deploy intra-provincial cloud private networks and implement multi-cloud and multi-network pre-connection, enterprise access over one network, and multi-cloud accessibility.

Tenant-level and service-level slicing: Tenant-level and service-level slicing can be provided based on the mobile transport network to build the unique competitiveness of Metro Transport Network (MTN) in compliance with international standards.

E-commerce-like service: Customers can log in to the government and enterprise portal of China Mobile Shanxi to flexibly subscribe to cloud and network products in a one-stop manner on demand. After a customer places an order, the service provisioning process is automated, and the provisioning time is shortened from weeks to days.

Customized security services: Value-added security services can be flexibly customized. Moreover, “multi-city and multi-center” remote disaster recovery services are provided to further ensure service security.

Looking to the future, the operator will continue to work with Huawei to promote the new connection+computing power+capability infrastructure and build an information communication network that’s high-speed, ubiquitous, intelligent, open, green, and secure based on cloud-network convergence. Computing power will transform into a service that can be used immediately after it’s accessed from one point, just like water and electricity, to underpin intelligent data-driven transformation and enables industries.

Learn more about cloud-network convergence and IPv6 at MWC 2022.

Disclaimer: Any views and/or opinions expressed in this post by individual authors or contributors are their personal views and/or opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views and/or opinions of Huawei Technologies.

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Gao Xuegang

Senior Marketing Manager, Router Marketing Support Group, Data Communication Product Line, Huawei Technologies

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