Virginia Hospital

Virginia Hospital Center needed a more sound disaster recovery strategy to ensure availability of essential patient-care systems.



In 2006, the Hospital recognized the need for a more sound disaster recovery strategy. This was primarily to ensure continuous availability, as well as to meet Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act requirements.

The Hospital's existing network consisted of multiple point-to-point DS-3 circuits with numerous hops—which increased latency and decreased reliability. The network also lacked bandwidth, scalability and carrier diversity.

The Hospital IT team decided to relocate its primary computing environment to a data center about 30 miles away. The challenge was to deploy a network with the necessary bandwidth and reliability between the two sites. Unfortunately, their existing provider lacked the expertise to design the new network.


Only OnFiber, a subsidiary of Qwest®, could deliver the diverse, multi-service network that supported all of Virginia Hospital Center's communications needs. And with the support of OnFiber, IT effectively demonstrated to the Hospital's Board of Directors how the solution would improve patient care, help the Hospital be more competitive and use resources more effectively.

The solution consolidated the Hospital's applications onto one highly reliable platform, securely transporting data between its main facility and the data center across protected SONET OC-48 managed services. The network is fully diverse from the Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier, and supports storage area network replication, voice circuits to alternate providers and Internet gateway connections.

OnFiber leveraged its award-winning AdaptiveBuild® process, enabling the Hospital to go live with its disaster recovery infrastructure in just four months. This compared to 12-18 months required by other solutions providers. Start to finish, OnFiber project management enabled Hospital IT staff to focus on their core responsibilities.

"In our short-staffed Hospital environment, OnFiber's well´┐Żorchestrated project management was a very important piece. We were in a total hands-off environment," says Mark Rein, director of information technology.

Benefits and Results

The OnFiber custom-built network solution delivered the following benefits to support the Hospital's current and future needs:

Increased Capacity Without Increased Costs
The Hospital effectively achieved a 10-to-1 capacity increase at a much better cost per megabit.

Full Diversity
The network enabled logical and physical diversity, giving the Hospital exceptional reliability and security. The dedicated network is backed by a true 99.999% service level agreement.

Reduced Manpower Costs
The Hospital experienced an annual cost savings of approximately $160,000 in full-time employee costs. This allowed it to reclaim the IT staff resources which were formerly spent on managing its previous network provider.

Greater Control And Flexibility
The OnFiber metro network gives the Hospital the control and flexibility to easily interconnect with other service providers. For example, the Hospital was able to pick up another IP service provider and easily port phone numbers to a new voice service provider.

With a network designed to scale up to OC-192, the Hospital has the flexibility and capacity to support current and future applications. This is critical as the Hospital upgrades its health information system platform.

Company Profile

Virginia Hospital Center (Hospital) began as a small women's community service project in Arlington, Virginia, more than 60 years ago. Today, it is a sprawling medical campus with multiple buildings. The facility and staff provide world-class medical treatment for those needing health care in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. The Hospital is the recipient of the prestigious InfoWorld 100 award, demonstrating that it not only values innovation in IT, but also practices it.

The Hospital has dozens of IT systems and services to support patient care, from patient and donor databases to billing systems. The urgent nature of health care demands 24/7 availability of the hospital IT systems.