Podcast – SD-WAN: A shiny, new acronym or a solution that will stick?


In this podcast Q & A, garrick sobeski citrix headshotA2U interviews Garrick Sobeski, sales engineer at Citrix on the real impacts of downtime, the problems hospitals in particular face with their computing infrastructure and all the benefits of SD-WAN.

Garrick Sobeski, Citrix


Q: Some refer to SD-WAN as the “future of enterprise WAN.” What do you think – is it a shiny new acronym or buzz word, or is this a solution that will stick?

A: It’s a lot more than a shiny new buzz word we need to learn. It’s more than the movie of the week. NetScaler SD-WAN technology and the strategy around it – I know it’s on many network engineer and infrastructure management radars, as well as top of mind for CIOs and CFOs because of the cost benefits and operational benefits associated with it.

After 20 years in the industry as a routing and WAN infrastructure guy – I can tell you we’ve been waiting a long time for this technology to emerge. WAN routing and program design really hadn’t changed much over the years and now we can do things that aren’t just possible with traditional methods such as, sub-second failover, lossless connectivity and active/active WAN paths instead of paying for two circuits and one sitting there doing nothing. We can be more efficient and have visibility into performance – in both upstream and downstream paths, not just with one direction. These were things that were challenging in the past. NetScaler SD-WAN makes these things possible – these were things that were challenging in the past.

Q: What are some of the problems hospitals in particular, face with their computing infrastructure and how does NetScaler SD-WAN specifically address those issues?

A: The healthcare industry is unique when it comes to connectivity and infrastructure requirements. In recent years, we’ve seen a transition to electronic medical records (EMRs) and doctors and staff need access to the EMR application anywhere they are located and provide care. That can be hospitals out of homes, community-based practices and urgent care clinics. Many different locations and bandwidth is a concern at certain locations. There’s a need for high resolution imaging and x-ray technology. Each site needs to have high performance and ample bandwidth for doctors and staff to properly do their jobs. In the medical field, zero downtime is essential. You can’t walk up to the window and say, “Sorry, our systems are down right now…unexpected outages in the infrastructure.”

You have mobility between facilities. Healthcare staff moves from site to site, room to room and the user experience is expected to be consistent across the board. NetScaler SD-WAN provides that always-on connectivity that healthcare facilities require. When you combine application and desktop virtualization and enterprise mobility solutions – this solves many of those unique challenges in healthcare IT. Citrix provides end-to-end technology solutions.

Q: Network performance and uptime are critical to a doctor’s productivity and efficiency – but what are the real impacts of those two things if the staff can’t get fast access to data?

A: Most importantly, overall quality of patient care just decreases. A lot of data they need to access is critical and we have to make sure that’s available all the time. Realistically, impacts of network outages mean longer wait times –whether it’s a delay at registration, a delay in the diagnosis in the treatment process – or just, simple delays in things like getting your prescription electronically delivered to the pharmacy. These are things that patients expect these days when visiting a healthcare provider. It can be frustrating to the patient when systems are down or network outages are impacting the efficiency of the staff. We need physicians and staff to have access to systems 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.


Are you interested in learning more about NetScaler SD-WAN or other IT solutions? Call the A2U sales team directly at (412) 612-0883 or register for our upcoming Kennywood event on August 26th where you can connect with the A2U team and software partners such as, Citrix. There will be a partner program between 2 p.m. – 4 p.m. geared toward IT professionals, followed by a complimentary evening of games, food and rides for our IT guests and their families from 4:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m. This is an exclusive event for A2U customers, friends and partners only. Please email marketingteam@a2u.net for more information.