Custom Solutions Revisited: UCSF School of Nursing Employs VPN for New Site Launch

You may remember an article from our September issue that provided an overview of our custom solutions. As a follow up, we recently spoke with custom solutions client, James Tran, who is a programmer/analyst with the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Nursing.

This summer, James was tasked with building a reliable and secure solution for the UCSF School of Nursing’s new internal website.

“We wanted to be certain that when our site launched in October of this year, we’d be operating in a fully-protected environment,” said James. “We just couldn’t risk leaving our dedicated server out in the open – firewall protection wasn’t enough to give us the peace of mind we needed.”

Working with the NTS Custom Solutions Team, James ultimately decided a Virtual Private Network (VPN) would be the best solution. Essentially, a VPN provides an encrypted tunnel designed to enable secure communication within a given network, ensuring that only authorized users can access it.

Though not a typical option with our standard dedicated servers, VPN’s are one of the most highly requested services for those with needs that transcend the typical customer’s. This is especially true for organizations operating in highly secure environments, or, as in James’s case, that need to conform to the rather stringent HIPAA regulations.

“Being in the health sciences, we sometimes work with sensitive information that is protected under both federal HIPAA regulations as well as state privacy laws and regulations, so it’s imperative that we take every precaution to protect the data that passes across our network,” said James.  “This is why it was so vital to use VPN technology to protect our communication protocols.”

VPN’s are just one of many services frequently requested by customers with unique needs. Others include custom OS installations, custom hardware configurations, network load balancing and, in one of the more unique requests, hosting of the Google Mini search appliance. However, the sky is the limit.

“Just because customers don’t see a particular service on the website, that doesn’t mean we can’t do it – in fact we’re happy to do it,” said David Frazier, Vice President of Network Operations for Newtek Technology Services. “We never want our customers to feel pigeonholed into a particular plan – they simply exist because they speak to the needs of the majority of customers, while custom solutions speak to virtually everyone.”

For more information about custom dedicated solutions, please contact our sales department at 1-877-323-4678 (local customers may call 602-263-0300) option 3, or visit http://www.crystaltech.com/customsolutions.aspx.

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