Mist AI Cures Network Ailments


Structured and Juniper collaborate with the IT team at an Alaska Native healthcare organization to reinvigorate an aging network architecture in time for the opening of a brand-new clinic.

In the 24/7 world of healthcare services, even a brief network outage can mean the difference between success and failure in patient care. A stable, secure network infrastructure is non-negotiable in a healthcare setting. This goes beyond best practice. The network literally serves as the lifeline ensuring patient data integrity, continuity of care, and the preservation of cooperation and positive outcomes between patients and their providers.

With construction of a new clinic well underway, a large and established Alaska Native healthcare organization required a new network infrastructure. However, instead of using the same multivendor hardware, software and installation process that was implemented at other locations, they wanted something updated and streamlined. They wanted a method for the future that would alleviate stress on their IT staff and provide one less obstacle in providing optimum patient care.

What they wanted was a cohesive, single-vendor architecture with a cloud-based network management system for their entire wired and wireless infrastructure. What they chose was Juniper Networks with its market-leading switches, Mist access points (APs), and Mist AI management platform — plus help from Structured for the initial configuration.

The Right Prescription

Until this project, the customer was utilizing a multivendor solution that included Juniper Networks switches and another vendor’s wireless controllers and APs. While this configuration generally worked well enough, it introduced a level of complexity that was more difficult than necessary for the IT team to manage. Simplification was key.

While the IT team was comfortable with Juniper’s JUNOS platform inherent in its switching product line, they were not familiar with Mist’s Wi-Fi and total network management capabilities. To ensure the team would be as comfortable with Juniper’s Mist technology as they were with JUNOS, a product demonstration was arranged.

Impressed by the technology, the customer decided to deploy Mist APs at the new clinic and integrate their trusted and well-liked Juniper switches into the Mist AI management system.

The Mist AI platform immediately presented itself as a strong asset for consolidating and managing network infrastructure. Mist AI leverages artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science to offer:

  • deep visibility for network administrators,
  • optimized end-user experiences, and
  • simplified operations across the enterprise.

The technology can ingest data from multiple sources across the network, including switches, APs, firewalls, and routers. Armed with this information, the platform can provide network administrators with alerts, automated event correlation, and root cause identification to assist with troubleshooting, triage, and even full remediation.

And while Mist AI is a central repository for a lot of critical but potentially obscure network data, its user-friendly dashboards were built with humans in mind. These dashboards offer at-a-glance views for deployment, management, monitoring, and troubleshooting of both wired and wireless infrastructure.

A Healthy Start

Though quite capable and technically savvy, the customer knew that the best course of action for establishing a strong foundation with the new Juniper Mist technology was to work closely with Structured and its deeply experienced engineers.

First, the Structured team worked with the customer’s IT team to create a Mist organization account. This let them configure administrators, associate subscriptions, and add APs and switches to the inventory. From there, Structured worked with the customer to create the initial wireless local area network (WLAN) and switch templates that replicated their current configuration requirements. This step included integrating the customer’s Aruba ClearPass network access control (NAC) environment as the RADIUS server for the corporate service set identifier (SSID), as well as including an external captive portal for the Guest SSID.

Once established, special attention was given to training the customer’s IT staff on how to properly configure and deploy both the switches and APs in this new environment. This knowledge exchange was especially crucial because the customer wanted to be self-reliant for the majority of this phase in the project — which included the implementation of more than 80 Juniper EX4400 switches and more than 100 Mist AP43 APs. Plus, understanding best practices for future deployments and ongoing management was essential for their long-term planning.

Once the customer had the switches and APs in place, Structured ensured both the wired and wireless infrastructure was completely online before performing a WLAN site survey. Survey results were used to fine-tune the WLAN infrastructure as needed. Once finished, final survey results were provided to the customer.

Together, Structured and the customer were able to successfully deploy the Mist AI environment, including all APs and switches. The customer was pleased to report very few issues upon roll-out, all of which were quickly resolved.

Results

By implementing a single-vendor Juniper/Mist solution and leveraging the power of the Mist AI platform, the customer established a cohesive cloud-based network management system that encapsulates the entirety of both their wired and wireless infrastructure. They were able to reduce network complexity while increasing visibility and end-user satisfaction across the enterprise.

With a great first example to reference, the customer has continued to deploy additional Juniper switches and Mist APs at other sites while managing them with Mist AI. Utilizing the WLAN and switch templates created by Structured, the customer quickly expanded the technology to other locations, successfully showcasing how scalable the Juniper/Mist solution is in practice.

Conclusion

With such factors as the digitization of medical records, the rise in patients utilizing telemedicine, and an increased reliance on internet of medical things (IoMT) devices and sensors, a secure and functional network infrastructure is essential in modern day healthcare.

Thanks to Structured, Juniper and Mist, a network ailment has been cured for a vital Alaska Native healthcare organization and the community they serve.

Are you an Alaska Native or healthcare organization in need of a trusted partner to provide some critical care for your wired or wireless IT infrastructure? Contact your Structured account manager or email info@structured.com today!