MCI outages down ATMs, data transfer and futures marketsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread
Fair use--Educational AP breaking News
8/10/99 -- 4:12 PM
MCI network problem cripples some ATMs, data services
CHICAGO (AP) - A glitch in MCI WorldCom Inc.'s data transmission network has partially disabled thousands of automated teller machines and restricted financial market trading of corn, soybeans and U.S. Treasury bonds.
The problem at the No. 2 U.S. long-distance carrier began late last week during a system upgrade and has disrupted high-speed data service for nearly 30 percent of MCI's global data network customers, spokeswoman Linda Laughlin said Tuesday.
``Our technicians are still investigating what caused the problem and are working to identify all the service interruptions,'' Laughlin said, adding that she did not know when service would return to normal.
MCI was upgrading network software from Lucent Technologies Inc., a former AT&T Corp. subsidiary, when the system began experiencing problems in large cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
As a result, ATMs nationwide - and in some cases outside the United States - have had intermittent trouble dispensing money because the bank machines couldn't communicate with each other, making it impossible to determine the customer's balance.
ATM networks have not been able to determine the number of machines affected because many of the disruptions are only short-term, said Kate Coleman, a spokeswoman for Chicago-based Cash Station, which operates ATMs mainly in the Midwest.
Chicago Board of Trade president Thomas Donovan issued a stinging rebuke of MCI after the disruption shut down electronic trading terminals across the globe.
Days before the outage, Donovan said he had met with executives from the communications company to complain about the quality of service and said he'd been promised things would improve.
``Despite these assurances, we began experiencing a catastrophic outage because of MCI WorldCom just two days later,'' Donovan said in a letter sent Tuesday to members of the world's largest futures exchange.
The CBOT's Project A electronic trading platform allows members to trade futures contracts linked to U.S. Treasuries, the Dow Jones industrial average, grains and other commodities. The exchange, which also maintains open outcry trading pits, was able to keep terminals inside the building running through a local network.
The exchange later said Project A trading would be restored by late Tuesday, and that it would add more terminals in the building Wednesday if the disruptions continue.
MCI's problems come at a time the company is launching a $100 million program to build data centers and expand its existing facilities in an attempt to lure more customers to its burgeoning data and Internet businesses.
The problem is reminiscent of an outage in AT&T Corp.'s network last April, which affected thousands of corporate customers nationwide. AT&T blamed the outage on problems that occurred during a similar software upgrade.
MCI's stock fell $2.31 1/4 to $75.12 1/2 in trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
-- boomlet (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 10, 1999
According to Maria the telecommunications industry is 100% compliant.
-- ~~~~~ (~~~~@~~~.com), August 10, 1999.
"Days before the outage, Donovan said he had met with executives from the communications company to complain about the quality of service and said he'd been promised things would improve."
``Despite these assurances, we began experiencing a catastrophic outage because of MCI WorldCom just two days later,'' Donovan said in a letter ..."
Hahahahahahahahahaha! Righto! Welcome to the GI World.
Lotsa phrases in that article frameable.
-- Ashton & Leska in Cascadia (email@example.com), August 10, 1999.
Where does it say this is a Y2K problem? Anyone verify this is a Y2K problem? I think not. This kind of thing happens when software is upgraded. Maybe Maria IS right! :)
-- lurker (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 10, 1999.
When systems fail it's always because of a systems software upgrade. One can only surmise what happened, especially when we are 4-1/2 months away from the big 2000! From here on out when a computer system fails, it will be the computers fault not mans and will have nothing to do with Y2K.
-- de surmeiser (de surmiser@de surmeiser.com), August 10, 1999.
Do you think any companies or governments are going to stand up and say "yes we have MAJOR y2k problems"??
-- Ray (email@example.com), August 10, 1999.
All I know is that it screwed AOL up bigtime for me here in NYC.
-- Mara Wayne (MaraWayne@aol.com), August 10, 1999.
Based on experiences we have seen to date, I'm sure that even if MCI openly stated that the upgrade was for Y2K, they would nevertheless still contend that THE ACTUAL PROBLEM PER SE was due to SOME OTHER reason. Just cooincidence, you know. Like computers coincidentally causing sewage spills during Y2K tests. Or nuclear plants coincidentally encountering "human errors" during Y2K tests. Or people not getting paid at the World Bank .... Or.... Or....
-- King of Spain (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 10, 1999.
King King of Spain - can't call you a sir cause you're already promoted....
Did you notice this in the explanation: <
The updated software had been tested in several tests - as pointed out by the Dear troll Maria several times. But as I replied - the lab test can only go so far. Eventually (this time ?) it must be installed in the real world in the real computers that run real data.
And this was about the time they said the istallations needed to be done to finsih in time. The big Bell Labs that have reported all the glowing y2k compliance stories so far have only been lab tests and company-company back-to-back simulators.
Granted we don't know all the details - they probably will never get released. (If MCI were to say they installed a bad y2k-fix, that would imply Bell Labs (etc.) was having problems and released buggy software .... and everybody who uses a telephone for anything (read banks, ATM's, power, water, all reporting systems and satellites) was going to have problems.
Even if Bell Labs (generically) wanted that publicized, nobody in the y2k business of informing the public wants it publicized.
Oh, I'm sorry, only the preparation community has a economic interest in the year 2000 .... everybody else only has the public's best interst at heart. Silly me.
-- Robert A. Cook, PE (Kennesaw, GA) (email@example.com), August 10, 1999.
Maybe they took Troll Maria's advice and didn't have Independant Verification done to save money?
I hope Independant Verification cost bazilions, cause this is gonna cost MCI at least mazilons...
-- Chris (%$^&^@pond.com), August 11, 1999.
I posted the article, y2k or not, because at this late date, ANY computer problem in the huge systems we depend upon is indicative of the sort of problems we may encounter come year 2000. Upgrades, enhancements or remediation: it's irrelevant. It's new code introducing new errors. Some will occur now, some later. This one may get fixed, though MCIs' statement of confusion isn't really comforting is it?
Now, to the important stuff:
Who wants to mudwrestle?
-- boomlet (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 11, 1999.
Contrary to what you may believe, this is not Y2K related. Also contrary to your beliefs, this is not the first time MCI had trouble with its systems, just a part of real life. Get over it. You continue to speculate with no evidence on your speculations. You continue to believe what you will. Nothing I or any one from MCI can say that will change what you believe. I can't educate you on my twenty five years experience in IT; I don't have the time or the energy.
I once posted a very brief high level summary about satellites (communications in particular) and no one (not one) reply. It's just too much over your heads. *sigh* just another case in point on how clueless doomers are when it comes to IT systems.
-- Maria (email@example.com), August 11, 1999.
I agree with you Boomlet. We discussed many times since last fall that disruptions like this one at MCI would happen more and more when companies would enter the "implementation" phase of their remediations.
It's almost the end of the summer and we haven't seen many such disruptions (that I'm aware of anyway). This is either a good sign that most companies in the implementation phase are doing well, or a bad sign that they haven't even entered that phase yet. MCI at least still has a very good chance of being completely ready by December. Wether the upgrade was Y2K related or not doesn't make a difference, a system upgrade is a system upgrade.
-- Chris (%$^&^@pond.com), August 11, 1999.
And its amazing to start to see what Infomagic wrote in his "Charlotte's Web" masterpiece come alive. Our entire society is very much like a spider's web, and the breaking of a few strands can be tolerated -- the web will stay up, the broken strands can be repaired, life indeed goes on as Maria so aptly notes. TODAY.
But as these failures become more and more frequent as we head into the year 2000, the number of broken strands will increase dramatically, and in a very short period of time. They will overwhelm, the web will fall.
Chris, do you like to mudwrestle?
-- King of Spain (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 11, 1999.
I see the headline, but don't see anywhere in the body of the report where they deny the problems are due to Y2K. If they are truly "still investigating the cause", how would they even know?
BTW...I recall Lucent being involved in a Y2K lawsuit awhile back. Can anyone recall the details?
MCI bug isn't Y2K; clients still left wondering why
A glitch in the company's data network affects ATM machines and the world's largest futures exchange.
From Wire Reports
CHICAGO -- A glitch in MCI WorldCom's data transmission network has partially disabled thousands of automated teller machines and restricted market trading of corn, soybeans and financial futures. The problem, which began late last week, has caused extensive delays to nearly 30 percent of MCI WorldCom's global data network customers worldwide, spokeswoman Linda Laughlin said Tuesday. "Our network did not go down, but in some large metropolitan areas, customers couldn't get their traffic into a particular switch," Laughlin said. "Our technicians are still investigating what caused the problem and are working to identify all the service interruptions." Laughlin said she did not know when service would be returned to normal. The problems did not affect MCI WorldCom's long-distance telephone service. MCI WorldCom was upgrading network software from Lucent Technologies on Thursday night when network customers began experiencing problems in cities including New York, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, Laughlin said. MCI WorldCom employs about 2,000 engineers, software programmers and computer technicians at its operation in Cary, which maintains computer networks for big clients, including the Nasdaq stock market and the U.S. Post Office. Local officials did not return calls seeking comment on whether the problems were related to the Cary operation. ATMs nationwide -- and some outside the United States -- had intermittent trouble dispensing money because the disruption prevented the machines from communicating and determining a customer's balance. Some Internet services also became backlogged. At the Chicago Board of Trade, the world's largest futures exchange, electronic trading terminals known as Project A shut down in Paris, Tokyo, London and the United States. The Project A electronic trading platform allows members to trade futures contracts linked to U.S. Treasuries, the Dow Jones industrial average, grains and other commodities. The Chicago Board of Trade said the system would reopen Tuesday, five days after it was crippled. The problem didn't affect the exchange's auction-style trading pits, where traders buy and sell futures contracts face to face, and the Board of Trade kept Project A terminals inside its Chicago offices running. Trading on Project A represents about 5 percent of the exchange's activity. The exchange declined to comment on any financial losses caused by the system failure, although some traders said they've been hurt. Board of Trade President Thomas Donovan on Tuesday issued a stinging rebuke of MCI WorldCom, saying company executives had assured him service would improve just two days before the disruption crippled Project A. A similar disruption occurred in an AT&T data network in April when that company attempted to upgrade its system. AT&T blamed software flaws for the disruption, which affected thousands of corporate customers nationwide. MCI WorldCom's stock fell $2.375 to $75.063 Tuesday.
-- Roland (email@example.com), August 11, 1999.