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Monitoring PACS performance on Non-Windows OS systems using DICOMetrix P-Series software.

With the increasing awareness of PACS systems performance on the level of Patient care in Hospitals and clinics worldwide, DICOMetrix was developed to directly address monitoring and pro-active administration of PACS system performance. Originally developed for use on Microsoft Windows OS on PACS systems servers, DICOMetrix has been designed to accommodate the increasing use of non-Windows OS with Operating systems like Linux and Solaris. With a Windows OS, the existing generation of DICOMetrix software resides directly on the Windows based image server monitoring it constantly and sending real-time performance directly to a centralized database located on a separate server. See Diagram 1.

Diagram 1


 To meet the needs for PACS system monitoring on the other operating systems, DICOMetrix has been designed to reside and operate promiscuously on a secondary server. In the next diagram (Diagram #2), we show how a Denver based Radiology group has installed the DICOMetrix platform in their Linux based Intellirad PACS environment.  In this design, both incoming modality and outgoing workstation traffic as seen from these master servers, can be monitored from a single location.

This working solution is as shown -
As can be seen, the third server, running a Windows OS, is a physically separate workstation or server monitoring the ‘port spanned’ mirror traffic coming from the upstream switch. That is all traffic going to or coming from either of the master servers is literally electronically copied over to the monitoring port. Port 11 in this example. The switch, whether already in place or added is to be configured for port spanning from the source port through port 11.
Since data to both Master Servers are mirrored on port 11 of the switch, and we can only see that traffic, it can't be used for server administration, thus Port three is the data connection we use to manage the server and get remote access to it. Thus, this server should be configured with two separate Network Interface cards.
The design of the interface is a simple one but be it known that there are many solutions available for selecting servers and NIC’s for them.

In this design, the NIC’s we’re using are Broadcom NetXtreme - PRO/1000 MT Server adapters, based on the Intel 82545 chipset which are integrated in most Dell servers with drivers provided by Microsoft.


Diagram 2.
In the DICOMetrix P-Series or ‘promiscuous’ solution, you can use any Windows OS you wish from XP to Windows 2000, Windows Server 2000 and Windows Server 2003.   1 GB of Ram is recommended minimum.

  One additional note -   Although not optimal for best practices performance,  Workflow and Cost savings can be gained in picking a more robust server with additional RAM ( recommended 3-4 GB), by installing the DICOMetrix P-Series server software, the DICOMetrix database and the Web server on this same server. ( refer to Diagram  2).  If this option is chose, a Windows server OS and a true industrial grade server is highly recommended.

   This design approach offers absolutely no temporal delay to the image flow into or out of the servers being monitored. It also doesn’t impact the OS or vendor software on the image servers as the DICOMetrix software does not touch the servers in any way.  We believe this offers the non- Windows user community the best solution for monitoring their PACS system performance from the server perspective.  Also available is an optional configuration that works in a Linux based system running Windows OS in a VmWare virtual server.  Please contact us if you need information on this method.