COVID-19: A lesson in being Grateful?
avatar

Problem to Solve: The COVID-19 virus has affected much of our lives. What can I do to help?
While the very serious COVID-19 outbreak has seemingly been non-stop bad news and affecting lives everywhere, it has taught me something very valuable. I know this sounds incredibly “cheesy”, but I cannot remember a time in my work or personal life where I have felt more grateful. We have food, water, electricity, faith, Internet and homes while we wait this virus out. Our workers in healthcare, first responders, trucking and supply chains, grocery stores, food delivery, teachers, etc., just to name a few have all stepped up to the plate during this crisis. (Thank you all by the way….
 
Many industries have had to do a dramatic “quick change” to allow people working remotely, which has put quite a strain on the underlying technology platforms. As the extra load for remote access to business services has greatly increased, I have seen IT, network, application, voice and video collaboration, cyber-security, and remote access teams all step up to the plate during this stressful time.
  • The first reality of this situation is that we are all more dependent on technology, the Internet, communications and applications. 
  • The second reality is that sometimes, technology gets overwhelmed and does not work as intended. 

From a Work Perspective

I have been incredibly humbled and so very grateful for my customers that have reached out for our help with their technology challenges. Quite simply, it just “feels good” to partner with customers to reconfigure, reuse, redeploy their existing equipment to help them address the various technology glitches. We have also seen an incredible uptick from executives requesting information (dashboards & reports) for many of their critical business services as they make command decisions. It is fulfilling to know that we have been able to do our small part to help during this crisis. I will not name specific customers but will list some of the unique use cases that have come up where we could assist.

Use Cases

  • COVID-19 Patient Hotline — Voice over IP errors have caused service degradation and call failures for patients calling into a Hospital
  • Remote Access Overloaded — multiple customers serving up remote access by various technologies (IP-Sec VPN, Citrix, VDI, etc.) having to deal with MAJOR increases in traffic and subsequent application slow downs
  • Telemedicine Demand – dramatic increase in load for virtual Doctor visits via Video platforms has caused issues with access, service degradation and video quality issues
  • Remote Access Efficiency – at a time when VPN related services are at an absolute premium, it is not a happy day when you find “unnecessary” or “non-business related” traffic (i.e. Netflix, iTunes, etc.) consuming part of the precious bandwidth 
  • CEO Reports & War Rooms – requests for detailed information on network bandwidth, application usage, and VPN session counts
  • Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) Attacks – this item is hard to believe during the current circumstances, but we are seeing an increase in organizations getting attacked. Here is a link to a recent attack against the department of Health and Human Services (HHS.GOV)

    https://www.securityweek.com/hhs-says-ddos-attack-failed-cause-disruption

  • Internet and Web Site Testing – running synthetic tests against various VPN concentrators and critical web sites to ensure that they are up, functional, and performing optimally for their audience (i.e. customers, patients, end users, etc.).

Gratitude !!!

This is the time for all of us to pull together, “step up” and help in our own unique way during the current COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
To my Customers — I am simply just grateful that you allow us to continue to partner with you to solve your most challenging business problems. Thank you for allowing us to help and for placing your trust in us.
 
To my teammates @NETSCOUT that work with me day to day —  it is such a pleasure to work alongside such quality people that share in the common goal of helping customers with their actions, not just in their words.

Best wishes to everyone for health and safety to you and your families.

4 Steps to Demonstrate Value on your PCPM Odyssey
avatar

In this last blog post of the PCPM series we are going to address several steps to ensure the success of your APM/NPM deployment in your patient care environment. 99.9% of these steps can be utilized by other business verticals as … Continue reading

Applying Advanced APM to Healthcare, Part 4
avatar

Throughout our Patient Care Performance Management (PCPM) series, we have reviewed individual performance management categories. When I consider the notion of “Advanced APM”, I see it as APM (based in traffic flow data) combined with a “service based” mentality. This leverages APM+ metrics … Continue reading

Applying APM to Healthcare; a PCPM Odyssey (Part 3)
avatar

In the first article in this series, we reviewed how NPM statistics will provide details of the operation and performance of internal network super highways. The second article introduced the role of service enablers and how their poor performance can drastically … Continue reading

Applying Advance NPM (aka NPM+) to Healthcare; a PCPM Odyssey (Part 2)
avatar

While traffic utilization and link error rates (NPM) have their place and uses, we must look deeper to truly impact patient care. Service enablers for example are services which are often overlooked and neglected, yet have the most widespread impact to … Continue reading

Applying NPM to Healthcare; a PCPM Odyssey (Part 1)
avatar

Network Performance Management’s (NPM) roots date back to the early 90s with emergence of SNMP, MIBII, and NetFlow. Quickly every IT shop, small and large, had various toolsets graphing all sorts of network metrics. Many of Network Managers lived and … Continue reading

A Patient Care Performance Management (PCPM) Odyssey
avatar

When I refer to Patient Care Performance Management (PCPM), I am referring to applying Application Performance Management (APM) and Network Performance Management (NPM) strategies in a healthcare environment. (While this is directly applicable to healthcare, these can also be applied to other … Continue reading

Need a Dr. when your EMR gets sick ??
avatar

Problem to Solve – My healthcare organization is deploying an Electronic Medical Records (EMR) solution as per federal regulation.   What can I do if there are performance issues with it? Ah, the Affordable Health Care Act.   What a fun, enjoyable … Continue reading