Labyrinth of 371 legacy systems hindered hospital’s IT meltdown recovery


Last summer’s datacenter outage at one of the UK’s largest hospitals took two months to completely rectify because of the complexity associated with 371 legacy IT systems, a new report has found.

Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust suffered an IT outage at the peak of last summer’s heatwave, when temperatures hit 40°C (104°F), causing two linked datacenters to fail simultaneously. Each had been designed as backup for the other.

The failure resulted in most of the clinical IT systems at the trust’s London hospitals and related community services becoming unavailable to users, forcing staff to employ a paper-based system to keep records and find information.

The trust incurred £1.4 million ($1.7 million) in out-of-plan spending on technology services to respond to the incident. This included a cloud-hosted environment to provide resilience for data backups and a third-party specialist recovery service to image and extract data from the corrupted disks damaged during the datacenter failure.

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