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FHVI Case Study

Simplifying Health System Management By Consolidating Data Repositories

Project Objectives

Replace the existing manual system for managing IP addresses
Management of multi-vendor DNS/ DHCP servers (Microsoft)
Overcome the technical limitations of the DHCPs
Create a “single source of truth” IP data repository, accessible from all sites

Key Benefits

Better traceability (user authentication)
High availability of two data centers
Commissioning and implementing workflow
Time savings due to simplified IP lifecycle management
Strengthened security
Optimized cost by leveraging existing Microsoft investments

FHVI is the IT department of the Federation of Vaudois Hospitals (Fédération des Hôpitaux Vaudois (FHV)), which includes privately managed hospitals recognized by the State in Switzerland, as well as certain partners in the public-private sector (EMS, health networks). Roughly 100 FHVI employees manage around 7,000 workstations on behalf of a 12,000 person hospital staff. Their role is to develop, implement and operate their members’ IS, which are spread throughout the canton of Vaud. Their network architecture is highly distributed, and therefore involves significant constraints. In this context, FHVI launched a call for tenders at the end of 2017, with the aim of implementing a true DDI (DNS-DHCP-IPAM) solution.

We can now manage all of our DHCP and DNS servers via the SOLIDserver DDI interface, which greatly facilitates our day-to-day management. Everything is manageable through a centralized interface that meets our needs and serves as a single source for all of our IP data.
Philippe Vuagniaux, Infrastructure Project Manager

Situation & Challenges Faced

FHVI used different systems to manage its IP addresses, including an IPAM solution from Microsoft and another portion via Excel files. Part of its inventory of addresses was known by heart by certain members of staff, but not recorded anywhere. This manual organization created a lack of visibility and wasted time and efficiency, especially during operations such as migrations, for which FHVI were very dependent on the skills of certain individuals. Microsoft DNS was also an integral part of the project as it posed security concerns since sensitive data could be more exposed.

It became essential that the existing repositories be consolidated in order to simplify the management of IP addresses by all employees and the various sites, so as to grant them a degree of autonomy. The challenge was to consolidate all of the different repositories before making the planned changes. Router modifications were also necessary because the DHCP was referenced in much of the equipment. Overall, the aim was to limit the impact of the migration.

Project Overview

FHVI prepared an invitation to tender and short-listed several potential solutions. EfficientIP, proposed by tebicom, scored more highly than its competitors for its technical features, in particular thanks to the modularity of the IPAM solution; it also had lower recurring costs. The tebicom teams’ technical qualifications confirmed the choice of the EfficientIP solution.

We relied too much on different individual technical skills; this justified our call for tenders. The solution proposed by EfficientIP went beyond our simple technical requests. In particular, we were reassured that the solutions we chose implemented tools to manage the life-cycle of the various IP addresses and would be supported by tebicom from a local perspective. The teams were very responsive and always came up with solutions to our problems.

Transition Process/Main Results

FVHI was able to benefit from the excellent combined support approach provided by tebicom working together with the EfficientIP team.
“We wanted to keep Microsoft DNS and this created some inconsistencies, but the technical support and regular monitoring provided by the tebicom and EfficientIP teams were key during these migration phases”, said Vuagniaux. The fact that the solution was all-encompassing and modular was very important for FHVI. They particularly liked the user interface because of its intuitive nature- customized to what is needed for their internal visibility and optioned to have more data when required. The other major and most decisive criterion was the solution’s stability.

We can now manage all of our DHCP and DNS servers via the SOLIDserver DDI interface, which greatly facilitates our day-to-day management.

“Everything is manageable through a centralized interface that meets our needs and serves as a single source for all of our IP data. Our employees can request pools of IP addresses depending on their needs and carry out their day-to-day management tasks independently- this lightens our workload while allowing us to keep a consolidated view of the resources allocated to the different sites,” Vuagniaux explained.

Future Plans

Initially, FVHI wanted the internal DNS to remain on Microsoft servers, currently only driven by SOLIDserver. But today, seeing the stability of the solution, they plan to move forward by performing a full migration to EfficientIP, once again relying on the support of tebicom teams. Eventually, they will use only one solution and everything will be centralized. As soon as the situation permits, internal training will be organized to develop expertise in SOLIDserver.

Key Resources

Metax Integrated Circuits
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Super-Pharm: Improving Revenue Protection by Replacing Microsoft DHCP With SOLIDserver
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Société Générale: Ensuring Business Continuity and Efficiency with Proven DDI, APIs and Automation
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Universidad del País Vasco: Optimizing Network Services Management
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STMicroelectronics – DDI Solutions For Enabling NetSecOps Collaboration
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STMicroelectronics – Centralization of DNS-DHCP Services Management
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Software AG: Transparent and Central User Management

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