The installation of a PC based network has enabled the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in London to slash system downtime from unacceptable levels.
Before the rollout, outages took up around three days every month, but have subsequently been reduced to what the hospital's IT manager, Richard Dryden, described as "a much more realistic level". The project was spurred by the need to replace legacy non compliant hardware and software.
The hospital's 10 year old Unix Mips server supporting line of business applications and 40 dumb terminals was binned in favour of a Compaq Alpha 5300 data server running Microsoft SQL 7 and two Compaq 1600 departmental servers with Windows NT Terminal Server Edition feeding to thin client PCs.
The legacy administration software was replaced with the iSoft2000 patient and hospital management system.
Although he rejected a Unix based system running Oracle after a cost and risk assessment, Dryden expressed concern over the relatively immature SQL 7 database.
"I acknowledge there are risks with being an early adopter, but there are also privileges. Everything in the garden is still rosy - it's too early to say what issues we may face," he said.
Dryden questioned Microsoft's recent u-turn over the millennium compliance status of NT. Having stated that NT4 was compliant with Service Pack 3 (SP3), the software giant then changed its mind and told customers that they needed SP4.
For more stories see 3 March issue of Network News
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