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View Full Version : iPods crash NHS IT system


MacBytes
May 5, 2006, 11:08 PM
http://www.macbytes.com/images/bytessig.gif (http://www.macbytes.com)

Category: Apple Hardware
Link: iPods crash NHS IT system (http://www.macbytes.com/link.php?sid=20060506000844)
Description:: A hospitalís IT system has been offline for two days after NHS staff overwhelmed it by downloading music for their iPods.

Posted on MacBytes.com (http://www.macbytes.com)
Approved by Mudbug

bluebomberman
May 5, 2006, 11:19 PM
I don't understand how this is possible. Can someone explain this to me? Loading iPods with music shouldn't stress the central server. There's gotta be more to the story.

Verto
May 5, 2006, 11:22 PM
It wasn't loading the music onto the iPod that caused it. It was the fact that so many people were downloading files.

bluebomberman
May 5, 2006, 11:28 PM
It wasn't loading the music onto the iPod that caused it. It was the fact that so many people were downloading files.

Ah, ok.

Sounds like some heads should roll.

CanadaRAM
May 5, 2006, 11:42 PM
It wasn't loading the music onto the iPod that caused it. It was the fact that so many people were downloading files.
Which has what to do with iPods? Could be for any player. It's just sexier to say "iPods Crash Medical System. Bad iPod!"

"Computers at Kentís Queen Mother Hospital were used to store songs, films, games and photos"

What you have here is a basic breakdown in IT policies, firewalls and procedure enforcement. The headline should have been "IT manager of local hospital permits medical system to crash due to lack of controls on critical network resources.
- Manager chased down the halls by irate patients and beaten senseless with bedpans"

But nooooo...

bluebomberman
May 5, 2006, 11:46 PM
Which has what to do with iPods?

And what does that have to do with sending iPods to trapped miners? (see bottom of article)

Some really bad journalism from down under...

thejadedmonkey
May 5, 2006, 11:52 PM
No, it crashed the servers because they ran out of room for files on the drives...

CanadaRAM
May 5, 2006, 11:59 PM
No, it crashed the servers because they ran out of room for files on the drives...
Which is just frackin' unbelieveable -- where were the network managers? They should know on a daily basis - if not hourly - what their resource utilization is. They should have been able to kill user accounts and free up space in, like, 30 seconds.

Not mentioning where the limits were set to on user account profiles, where the firewalls were that blocked P2P traffic (I hope nobody's going to claim that this was PURCHASED material from iTunes Music Store), where the alarms were for excessive incoming traffic patterns, the alarms for low disk space, where the nightly logs were and who didn't read them...

Someone's gotta be fired over this...

Some really bad journalism from down under...

Yup. I have a suggestion for tomorrows headline:
"Price increase of Rolex watches and BMWs cause huge increase in break and enters and robberies"

Scarlet Fever
May 6, 2006, 12:37 AM
This system crash has nothing to do with iPods directly; its just a shoddy server.

And it also has nothing to do with the iPods that were sent to the two miners who about 2 weeks ago were trapped about a kilometre underground in a metal cage barely high enough to stand up in after the mine colapsed on them. They were thought to be dead but they found that they were alive five days after the mine colapsed. This is one bad jouno; Australia has many who are much better.

solvs
May 6, 2006, 01:05 AM
This would never happen at our hospitals, and some of our admins aren't even that bright. This has absolutely nothing to do with iPods, but why else would anyone want to read the story? Not surprised by the shoddy journalism. Seems to be the norm lately.

winmacguy
May 6, 2006, 01:39 AM
I don't understand how this is possible. Can someone explain this to me? Loading iPods with music shouldn't stress the central server. There's gotta be more to the story.
It is easier to purchase and download music from the iTunes music store than from anyother store online and since everybody who works for the NHS owns an iPod and would rather download music than help sick and needy patients because of their poor british work ethic and because they are not the ones paying for the bandwidth it caused a problem on the NHS IT system ;) ;) :D So the resulting drain on bandwidth and overloading of the network kinda put a spanner in the works...:rolleyes:

gnasher729
May 6, 2006, 05:59 AM
This system crash has nothing to do with iPods directly; its just a shoddy server.

We don't even know if there were any iPods involved at all. Journalists are usually idiots who were too stupid to find any other job; if confronted with any portable music player, they are likely to call it an iPod no matter which brand it really is.

gnasher729
May 6, 2006, 06:03 AM
It is easier to purchase and download music from the iTunes music store than from anyother store online and since everybody who works for the NHS owns an iPod and would rather download music than help sick and needy patients because of their poor british work ethic and because they are not the ones paying for the bandwidth it caused a problem on the NHS IT system ;) ;) :D So the resulting drain on bandwidth and overloading of the network kinda put a spanner in the works...:rolleyes:

I don't think that people working for the NHS can afford to spend so much money on the iTunes Music Store that the downloads would affect any server much. And downloading from iTMS (where you pay £0.79 per song) to a server at work is an outright stupid thing to do, as you might lose the music and your money any moment.

pth-webdev
May 6, 2006, 09:46 AM
The article should read something like this:

Workers at the NHS hospital wrecked their IT infrastucture when trying to live in the digital age. The Windows based server environment proved not yet to be ready to cope with digital content and this probably won't change until the Vista version of Microsoft servers will be released, which isn't for another 12 months.

In the mean time, Apple OSX servers have been serving digital content for the iTunes Music Store (iTMS) to users in the digital age from *all over the world* for the past three years. There has not been any sign of degradation in performance while the use is ever increasing.

IT staff replies by saying that it isn't their fault: "We can't help that Microsoft is delaying their next OS. Besides, it isn't like there are lives at stake here. It's just computers".

funkychunkz
May 6, 2006, 03:21 PM
More over.... Why is this even on macrumors? It doesn't pertain to rumours, or really to ipods OR apple.... Looks like something I'd submit to FARK.com

shamino
May 6, 2006, 05:50 PM
They are clearly not using a well-designed network.

First off, critical medical systems should not be attached to the internet. They should be on a separate LAN, with access to the rest of the world gated through password-protected proxies (if there is to be any such access.) It should not be possible for life-saving systems to be affected by internet traffic, whether it originates internally or externally.

Second, internet access itself should all go through routers that can impose quality-of-service restrictions. Web traffic (which includes most music download services) should always run at a lower priority than work-related traffic (like video conferencing and file transfers to other hospitals.) If web traffic is needed for business purposes, then something more intelligent (like a proxy server that prioritizes traffic based on destination address, so access to medical sites will preempt generic web surfing.)

Third, all server storage should have quotas. It should never ever be possible for users to fill a server to the point that the system goes down. If a user fills up his quota, then let him ask the IT department for space. If they see that it's full of music files, they should have the ability to deny the request.

And if this doesn't work, then you need something more draconian - like requiring all traffic to go through VPN-like proxies (so you can keep out any computer not pre-registered with the network) and with auditing software to keep unauthorized applications from being installed. Nobody likes to use a network like this, but if it is a choice between this and being unable to conduct business, then you don't have much of an option.

These features have all been around for years, and the equipment needed to make it work is not terribly expensive anymore. The days when a company can simply slap together a network by leasing bandwidth, buying a router, and attaching all their computers are pretty much dead and gone. Unless, of course, you vastly overprovision the network in order to accommodate the massive amounts of non-business traffic that will result otherwise - and that is an expensive proposition.

mikes63737
May 6, 2006, 05:56 PM
Lol... when I first read this i thought it was talking about my school ! (NHS)

Seriously, I doubt that iPods caused this. Someone's not doing their job right!