Service Provider Networks Design and Architecture Perspective: Challenges, Solutions, and Trends
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Service Provider Networks Design and Architecture Perspective pdf online
Prior to the advent of cloud services such as Microsoft 365, end-user Internet connectivity as a design factor in network architecture was relatively simple. When Internet services and web sites are distributed around the globe, latency between corporate egress points and any given destination endpoint is largely a function of geographical distance.
In a traditional network architecture, all outbound Internet connections traverse the corporate network, and egress from a central location. As Microsoft's cloud offerings have matured, a distributed Internet-facing network architecture has become critical for supporting latency-sensitive cloud services. The Microsoft Global Network was designed to accommodate latency requirements with the Distributed Service Front Door infrastructure, a dynamic fabric of global entry points that routes incoming cloud service connections to the closest entry point. This is intended to reduce the length of the "last mile" for Microsoft cloud customers by effectively shortening the route between the customer and the cloud.
The healthcare industry is characterized by intensive, never-ending change occurring on a multitude of fronts. Success in such tumultuous environments requires healthcare providers to be proficient in myriad areas, including the manner in which they organize and deliver services. Less efficient designs drain precious resources and hamper efforts to deliver the best care possible to patients, making it imperative that optimal pathways are identified and pursued. One particular avenue that offers great potential for serving patients efficiently and effectively is known as the hub-and-spoke organization design.
Successfully navigating such tumultuous environments requires that healthcare providers be proficient in myriad areas, including the manner in which they organize and deliver services. Less efficient designs drain precious resources and hamper efforts to provide the best care possible to patients, making it imperative that optimal pathways are identified and pursued. One particular avenue that offers great potential for serving patients well is known as the hub-and-spoke organization design [3, 4].
Through strategic centralization of the most advanced medical services at a single site and distribution of basic services via secondary sites, the hub-and-spoke model affords unique opportunities to maximize efficiencies and effectiveness. A well-designed hub-and-spoke network satisfies patient care needs fully, yet does so in a manner that fosters resource conservation, return on investment, service excellence, and enhanced market coverage [4,5,6,7]. Benefits abound, but in order to capitalize fully on the hub-and-spoke organization design, healthcare providers must assemble their service delivery networks with great care and attention.
Formally defined, the hub-and-spoke organization design is a model which arranges service delivery assets into a network consisting of an anchor establishment (hub) which offers a full array of services, complemented by secondary establishments (spokes) which offer more limited service arrays, routing patients needing more intensive services to the hub for treatment [3, 7]. The hub-and-spoke model yields a healthcare network consisting of a main campus and one or more satellite campuses. It is much more efficient than organization designs which replicate operations across multiple sites [5, 7, 8]. Hub-and-spoke networks are highly scalable, with satellites being added as needed or desired [6, 7]. When geographic distance makes satellite-to-hub access impractical, an additional hub can be created, yielding a multi-hub network [4, 5, 9].
Hub-and-spoke healthcare delivery networks, by their very nature, are reliant on transportation systems, with linkages between hubs and satellites being critical for patients to realize the entire continuum of care offered by providers [27, 29, 30]. Common options for satellite-to-hub access include personal transportation, patient transport vans, and emergency vehicles and aircraft. These modes of transportation, of course, rely on transit networks and their accessibility. Municipal road construction projects, bridge closures, bad weather, and the like can create significant service delivery obstacles, as can vehicle breakdowns, traffic accidents, insufficient patient transportation systems, and so forth. Some of these are beyond the control of healthcare institutions (e.g., severe weather which grounds air ambulances), but others (e.g., assembly of proper patient transportation systems) can be managed with concerted effort and attention.
Formulating a hub-and-spoke network ultimately requires that healthcare providers acquire an understanding of the tenets of the associated organization design and then direct careful thoughts and actions toward structuring healthcare delivery, accordingly. Similar to the pathway followed by Willis-Knighton Health System to realize its own hub-and-spoke network, a growth-minded healthcare institution would simply designate a hub of operation, often its current establishment, and plan to concentrate the bulk of attributes and abilities at this main campus. Growth then is pursued by building or otherwise acquiring spokes, with these satellite facilities offering a limited selection of healthcare services, routing cases requiring more intensive medical interventions to the main campus or hub for treatment.
Significant effort must be directed toward structuring relationships between and among network establishments. Service arrays, reporting relationships, and other operational protocols should be defined very clearly. Further, healthcare providers must take great care to ensure that operations are designed and managed effectively to prevent hub congestion, avoid spoke overextensions, facilitate system-wide staff cohesion, and foster expeditious access via productive transportation systems. Notably, hub-and-spoke networks are highly adaptable, permitting most any enterprising healthcare establishment, regardless of its size or mission, to make use of the model to enjoy its many benefits. Realization ultimately is a matter of properly designing, structuring, and maintaining organizational relationships.
There are many ways to approach network architecture design, which depend on the purpose and size of the network. Wide area networks (WAN), for example, refer to a group of interconnected networks often spanning large distances. Its network architecture will be vastly different from that of a local area network (LAN) of a smaller office branch.
The architecture of web service interacts among three roles: service provider, service requester, and service registry. The interaction involves the three operations: publish, find, and bind. These operations and roles act upon the web services artifacts. The web service artifacts are the web service software module and its description.
PaaS architectures keep their underlying infrastructure hidden from developers and other users. As a result, the model is similar to serverless computing and function-as-a-service architectures -- meaning the cloud service provider manages and runs the server, as well as controlling the distribution of resources.
In an open-architecture network, the individual networks may be separately designed and developed and each may have its own unique interface which it may offer to users and/or other providers. including other Internet providers. Each network can be designed in accordance with the specific environment and user requirements of that network. There are generally no constraints on the types of network that can be included or on their geographic scope, although certain pragmatic considerations will dictate what makes sense to offer.
Current Radio access networks (RAN) require significant upgrades to keep up with increasing data demand. Operators will be compelled to evaluate new RAN technology from various technology providers. The OpenRAN project group was created to focus on developing a vendor-neutral hardware and software-defined technology based on open interfaces and community-developed standards. Unlike traditional RAN, OpenRAN decouples hardware and software. This gives operators more flexibility to deploy and upgrade their network architecture in various deployment scenarios and geographies.
The microservices architecture uses several design patterns: Aggregator pattern, API gateway design pattern, chain of responsibility pattern, branch pattern, and asynchronous messaging design pattern. Each approach provides a method to manipulate data to produce services.
In the client-server architecture patterns, there are two main components: The client, which is the service requester, and the server, which is the service provider. Although both client and server may be located within the same system, they often communicate over a network on separate hardware.
The client component initiates certain interactions with the server to generate the services needed. While the client components have ports that describe the needed services, the servers have ports that describe the services they provide. Both components are linked by request/reply connectors. A classic example of this architecture pattern is the World Wide Web. The client-server pattern is also used for online applications such as file sharing and email.