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Proceedings Paper

Fault tolerant high-performance PACS network design and implementation
Author(s): William J. Chimiak; Johannes M. Boehme
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Paper Abstract

The Wake Forest University School of Medicine and the Wake Forest University/Baptist Medical Center (WFUBMC) are implementing a second generation PACS. The first generation PACS provided helpful information about the functional and temporal requirements of the system. It highlighted the importance of image retrieval speed, system availability, RIS/HIS integration, the ability to rapidly view images on any PACS workstation, network bandwidth, equipment redundancy, and the ability for the system to evolve using standards-based components. This paper deals with the network design and implementation of the PACS. The physical layout of the hospital areas served by the PACS, the choice of network equipment and installation issues encountered are addressed. Efforts to optimize fault tolerance are discussed. The PACS network is a gigabit, mixed-media network based on LAN emulation over ATM (LANE) with a rapid migration from LANE to Multiple Protocols Over ATM (MPOA) planned. Two fault-tolerant backbone ATM switches serve to distribute network accesses with two load-balancing 622 megabit per second (Mbps) OC-12 interconnections. The switch was sized to be upgradable to provide a 2.54 Gbps OC-48 interconnection with an OC-12 interconnection as a load-balancing backup. Modalities connect with legacy network interface cards to a switched-ethernet device. This device has two 155 Mbps OC-3 load-balancing uplinks to each of the backbone ATM switches of the PACS. This provides a fault-tolerant logical connection to the modality servers which pass verified DICOM images to the PACS servers and proper PACS diagnostic workstations. Where fiber pulls were prohibitively expensive, edge ATM switches were installed with an OC-12 uplink to a backbone ATM switches. The PACS and data base servers are fault-tolerant, hot-swappable Sun Enterprise Servers with an OC-12 connection to a backbone ATM switch and a fast-ethernet connection to a back-up network. The workstations come with 10/100 BASET autosense cards. A redundant switched-ethernet network will be installed to provide yet another degree of network fault-tolerance. The switched-ethernet devices are connected to each of the backbone ATM switches with two-load-balancing OC-3 connections to provide fault-tolerant connectivity in the event of a primary network failure.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 July 1998
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3339, Medical Imaging 1998: PACS Design and Evaluation: Engineering and Clinical Issues, (13 July 1998); doi: 10.1117/12.319758
Show Author Affiliations
William J. Chimiak, Wake Forest Univ. School of Medicine (United States)
Johannes M. Boehme, Wake Forest Univ. School of Medicine (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3339:
Medical Imaging 1998: PACS Design and Evaluation: Engineering and Clinical Issues
Steven C. Horii; G. James Blaine, Editor(s)

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