In order for NHS to satisfy its requirement to transmit large medical imaging files in a timely and secure manner, they must be able to subscribe to circuits of the appropriate bandwidth at each remote office to address the local needs. Unfortunately, the remoteness of some of these locations have resulted in the limitation of network connectivity options. Therefore, the cost-effective alternative to expensive, high-bandwidth internet circuits is to use a WAN optimization solution.
A WAN optimization solution consists of a network appliance at each location that focuses on increasing network performance. It accomplishes this through the use of a combination of data compression, content and object-caching, data deduplication and protocol optimization. A WAN optimization appliance works in conjunction with the available bandwidth at a location. The host site would have an appliance that would build ‘acceleration tunnels’ to each of the appliances located at the remote sites. The appliances at the remote sites would be sized based upon the number of users and the available bandwidth at that location.
This solution has a number of advantages. It is a very cost-effective approach. Higher bandwidth circuits in remote areas tend to be expensive. The purchase of network appliances are normally a capital expenditure that can be amortized over the life of the product. This timeframe is normally 3 to 5 years. On the other hand, the addition of larger circuits is an operational expenditure that incurs a higher recurring cost on a monthly basis. Secondly, these appliances are transparent to the end user. They do not require additional software on the users’ computers, or require any special setup on a per-user basis.
NHS would very likely fall into the Early Adopters category in the Technological Acceptance Curve for this solution (Rogers, 2003). These individuals quickly buy into an idea when the possibility of real benefits have been established. They are primarily concerned with finding a strong match between their needs and the expected benefits (Moore, 1999). The use of WAN optimization appliances would be an excellent fit for NHS and would be easily accepted by NHS management due to the ability to provide an optimal, technical and cost-effective resolution to the issue they are facing at the remote locations. This solution would allow them the means to meet their requirement to transmit large data files.
Rogers, Everett (2003). Diffusion of Innovations (5th Edition). New York, NY: Free
Moore, Geoffrey (1999). Crossing the Chasm. United States: Harper Business