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Load Balancing IBM Watson Health Imaging Solutions – iConnect® Enterprise Access, iConnect® Archive and Merge PACS™

Watson Health Imaging, a segment of IBM Watson Health, is a leading provider of innovative artificial intelligence, enterprise imaging and interoperability solutions that seek to advance healthcare. Its Merge branded enterprise imaging solutions facilitate the management, sharing and storage of billions of patient medical images.

Today’s healthcare facilities face systemic challenges, including the ever-growing number of images to read, the management of fragmented IT systems and the critical core mission to deliver high quality patient care. To address these challenges, providers are seeking out solutions to scale their enterprise, simplify workflows and share data efficiently. Watson Health is committed to helping organizations achieve these objectives with a comprehensive set of modular offerings that can meet their critical enterprise imaging needs today — and prepare them for the challenges of tomorrow.

For high availability and scalability, IBM Watson Health recommend that multiple iConnect Enterprise Access, iConnect Archive & MergePACS servers (key components of the Watson Health Interoperability Solution Suite) are deployed in a load balanced Cluster. Loadbalancer.org are the only IBM Watson Health partner whose load balancer offerings have been fully tested with these key solutions. In an industry where uptime saves lives, having the right technology partners is essential. Loadbalancer.org are specialists in delivering ultra-reliable, scalable medical imaging applications. The company’s extensive enterprise imaging experience means they are able to design unbreakable solutions for the healthcare industry’s unique challenges.

Deployment Overview

The following sections gives an overview of how to deploy load balancing for Watson Health Imaging Solutions. For a more detailed description of the deployment please see the links below in the Useful Resources section.

Load Balancing iConnect Enterprise Archive and/or MergePACS

For high availability, IBM Watson Health recommend that a load balancer is used to enable administrators to rapidly failover to the secondary iConnect Enterprise Cluster / MergePACS Cluster should the Primary Cluster become unavailable.

Port Requirements

The following table shows the ports used by iConnect Enterprise Access, iConnect Archive & MergePACS. The load balancer must be configured to listen on the same ports.

Port Protocols System Use
12000 TCP VNA DICOM
12100 TCP VNA DICOM Proxy
12200 TCP VNA DICOM Work List
12300 & 12301 TCP VNA VNA Admin
12950 TCP VNA VNA Stream
12800 TCP VNA VNA HL7
104 TCP PACS DICOM
80,8080,443,8443 TCP PACS HTTP & HTTPS
5222 TCP PACS Instant Messenger
1001 TCP PACS PACS HL7

Deployment Concept

iConnect Enterprise Archive & MergePACS

When iConnect Enterprise Archive and/or MergePACS, are deployed with a load balancer, clients connect to the Virtual Services (VIPs) on the load balancer rather than connecting directly to one of the iConnect Enterprise Archive clusters. These connections are then forwarded to the primary cluster. Should the Primary Cluster become unavailable, the administrator must manually trigger a failover to the Secondary Cluster using the 'Halt' feature in the appliance (load balancer) Web User Interface (WebUI).

iConnect Enterprise Archive

MergePACS

Note: To provide load balancing and HA for iConnect Enterprise Archive & MergePACS, 2 VIPs are required as depicted in the diagrams above, 1 multiport VIP for iConnect Enterprise Archive and 1 multiport VIP for MergePACS. Conversely when MergePACS is deployed in standalone configuration, only a single VIP (VIP1) is required (not shown in diagram).

Load Balancing iConnect Enterprise Access

For high availability and scalability, IBM Watson Health recommend that multiple iConnect Access Servers are deployed in a load balanced cluster.

Load Balanced Ports

The following table shows the ports/services that are load balanced:

Port Protocols Use
80 & 443 TCP HTTP & HTTPS
4444 TCP DICOM

Deployment Concept

iConnect Enterprise Access

When iConnect Access is deployed with the load balancer, clients connect to the Virtual Services (VIPs) on the load balancer rather than connecting directly to one of the iConnect Access Servers. These connections are then load balanced across the iConnect Access Servers to distribute the load according to the load balancing algorithm selected.

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