When designing a network, organizations must cater to users’ diverse needs. Tom Hull, CTO at the Moffitt Cancer Center (MCC), described how the hospital designed a network that allowed collaboration and freedom among its users, but also remained secure.

The MCC, which is connected to the University of South Florida’s medical school, has to meet the needs of surgeons, administrators, researchers, and physicians. These groups all need the ability to collaborate amongst themselves, their peers, and other research institutions. We needed to both secure the internet, but at the same time provide academic freedom, Hull said.

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One way MCC did that was by implementing multiple ISPs. They also had to be aware of the collaboration tools used on the network such as video conferencing, social media, and other instant messaging applications. “When you’re bringing data that are files that are going to being transferred from your partner, or your other institution, into your environment, you have to make sure that you’re scanning, [and] you’re protecting those files,” Hull said.

The more we can virtualize from a physical to a virtual environment using modern data center architecture, the more we can control where those files are coming to and from, he added.

“So far, we’ve got a really good design,” he said. “We’re looking at continuing to provide that freedom, but again making sure we’ve got a secure environment for everybody to be comfortable with.”

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