Carnegie Tri-County Municipal Hospital, a 21-bed facility in rural Oklahoma, was experiencing growing demand for wireless networking from their staff and patients. The hospital, which houses several clinics, offices and offers a variety of outpatient services, would benefit from a mobile Wi-Fi network improving staff productivity and patient experience. So leadership formulated a plan to upgrade its existing network with enhanced wireless access throughout the facility, as well as increase security and simplify management.
They approached Carnegie Telephone, the hospital’s telephone service provider, with the goal of obtaining a managed solution that met these requirements:
- High-performance wireless network that could be segmented in to three mutually isolated networks – one for employees, one for patients and their families and the last for equipment like scanners, printers and other Wi-Fi enabled medical equipment
- The network had to be easily and remotely manageable by Carnegie, ensuring quick deployment and trouble shooting for maximum uptime
- Implementation on a limited budget for capital investment
Carnegie Telephone has been serving Oklahoma since 1903. It is been on the forefront of offering digital communications, HDTV and fiber broadband. To meet Carnegie Tri-County Municipal Hospital’s demands, Carnegie Telephone required a security appliance with features including content filtering, as well as Ethernet switches and high-performance wireless access points (APs).
In their product selection for the Carnegie Tri-County Municipal Hospital’s wireless network, Carnegie Telephone discovered a wireless APs. These APs had all the important enterprise features like multiple SSIDs and VLAN support to build multiple virtual wireless networks for the hospital. But the real kicker was a built-in controller that could be used to control up to 24 other Aps, from provider ZyXEL.
Therefore Carnegie Telephone could deploy several APs with one assigned as controller, and all the rest as managed clients. This set-up offered unique advantages including:
- No need to configure all the APs individually as the controller pushed configuration information to all the managed APs. The same technique will work for future upgrades and configuration changes
- Dynamic channel selection eliminates the labor-intensive channel planning process, simplifying deployment
- Easy guest network set-up, authentication and management anywhere on the network
- Better security since authentication and access policies are enforced from a single point
The APs could be powered over Ethernet (PoE) so they could be conveniently installed anywhere without requiring a power outlet.
Carnegie Telephone installed ZyXEL’s Security Gateway at the edge, managed Ethernet switches with PoE and a combination of APs for the hospital’s wireless network as follows: