Healthcare Disaster Recovery

The Project At a Glance:
A large healthcare client was under a mandate to implement a disaster recovery site.

Project requirements:

  • Secure, scalable fiber connectivity
  • Almost two dozen cabinets of dedicated colocation space
  • ~200 kW of power
  • Total cost of ownership needed to be considered in the scope of the project at the outset

NEF delivered:

  • 20% savings over their initial budgetary estimates
  • Complete redundancy using diverse entrances and separate fiber routes
  • Fast turn-around: 60 days from start to finish for the research and procurement process

Background & Business Challenge
Illness and injuries happen every day, and healthcare IT networks must be built to be accessible and responsive in any circumstance. When one of the nation’s largest teaching hospitals was considering their mission critical infrastructure and disaster recovery options, they turned to NEF for expertise in planning, designing and implementing their robust fiber network and BC/DR data center. NEF helped the hospital navigate a complex deal by evaluating multiple telecom carriers and colocation facilities and managing the procurement process to maximize budget and performance.

Business Challenge
The client, a major medical center in the northeast, was looking to bolster their BC/DR infrastructure to ensure all their networks, data and applications were immune to catastrophe. Implementing a sound business continuity and disaster recovery strategy can be onerous for larger and compliance-driven organizations like this hospital client. In addition to the operational and procedural complexities, there is a high level of expertise required to map and plan the network, perform due diligence, and select the right solution providers. NEF was a unique fit for this project because of their knowledge, research acumen and deep understanding of the participating vendors.

The client was under a mandate to implement a DR site to augment their primary service. They had an IT consultant involved, but it was clear that the consultant was not versed in fiber connectivity and was unfamiliar with the data center landscape in the client’s areas of interest. Fortunately, the client and consultant learned that NEF could provide them with an objective analysis of their options and assist them in looking at both the fiber options for connectivity as well as the best data center sites to consider for their DR site. They were both very receptive and engaged NEF to perform the analysis.

Armed with the client’s requirements and an understanding of their end goals, NEF researched and evaluated a number of different data centers along with fiber options into each data center. From that research, NEF analyzed the strengths and put together deliverables including a needs analysis, summary of findings and vendor recommendations. The client commented that it was very enlightening to look at the combined costs when reviewing the complete analysis and how valuable that was to them in making their final decisions.

Based on NEF’s analysis and recommendations, the client narrowed their selection down to five data centers. From there, NEF scheduled data center tours with the top choices and, in collaboration with the client, issued an RFP for both the colocation component and the associated fiber network. When the customer looked at the cost of fiber connectivity at the different data centers under consideration, it quickly became clear that the network pricing was a major factor in their total cost of ownership and final site selection. NEF was there from start to finish to gather RFP responses, answer vendor inquiries, and facilitate responses from the optimal providers. In the end, NEF was able to secure competitive pricing, with lower than direct rates, for the client on both their colocation and fiber connectivity while preserving favorable terms and offering soup to nuts management of the procurement process.

Related Resources


I was highly impressed with the level of detail and analysis as well as the expertise demonstrated in the Connectivity Report. We are using it to help us make a major budget decision, and the information and maps were illuminating on many levels. Well worth the spend to get the data.

Cushman & Wakefield