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Re: Spanning tree melt down ?
- From: Marshall Eubanks
- Date: Fri Nov 29 12:42:58 2002
Radia Pearlman lives only a few miles away - they could have asked her
for a quote :)
However, I would not be too harsh towards Dr. John - it is common
practice in specialty organizations to put a member of the club in
charge of every department, even if most of the decisions are actually
made by the staff, as he or she is supposed to better understand the
needs (and lingo) of the organization.
In the military, for example, an Officer is always in charge of an
literally the CO - even if he and his aide are the _only_ military
personnel stationed there - which happens sometimes with highly
So I would not assume that the good Doctor is actually the one
configuring the network.
I wonder if Cisco will be moving them from an enormous flat Layer 2
a more sensible Layer 3 IP network.
On Friday, November 29, 2002, at 12:22 PM, Daniel Golding wrote:
"It was Dr. John Halamka, the former emergency-room physician who runs
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center's gigantic computer network"
It appears what really happened is that they put an emergency room
in charge of a critical system in which he, in all likelyhood, had
limited training. In the medical system, he was trusted because of he
a doctor. The sad thing about this is that there seems to be no
realization that having experienced networking folks in this job might
have averted a situation that could have been (almost certainly
was?) deleterious to patient care.
We all know folks who are unemployed thanks to the telecom meltdown, so
its not like this institution couldn't have hired a competant network
engineer on the cheap.
Sorry for the rant - I just hate to see the newspaper missing the point,
here. They didn't have one quote from an actual networking expert. It
look like Cisco took the oportunity to sell them some stuff - looks like
someone got something out of this - too bad it wasn't the patients :)
On Wed, 27 Nov 2002, Marshall Eubanks wrote:
Anyone have any idea what really happened :
It was too late. Somewhere in the web of copper wires and glass fibers
connects the hospital's two campuses and satellite offices, the data
in an endless loop. Halamka's technicians shut down part of the
contain it, but that created a cascade of new problems.
The entire system crashed, freezing the massive stream of information -
prescriptions, lab tests, patient histories, Medicare bills - that
through the hospital's electronic arteries every day, touching every
care for hundreds of patients.
The crisis had nothing to do with the particular software the
using. The problem had to do with a system called ''spanning tree
which finds the most efficient way to move information through the
blocks alternate routes to prevent data from getting stuck in a loop.
volume of data the researcher was uploading happened to be the last
made the network overflow.