Post-mortem, One company's response to a network outage

Sean Donelan SEAN at SDG.DRA.COM
Tue Apr 21 19:43:37 UTC 1998

Its been a week since the latest provider-wide network failure, so
here's a bit of post-mortem.

As reported everywhere, the AT&T frame-relay network failed last
Monday, April 13, 1998.  Since then, AT&T has been catching up in
the keeping the customer informed department.  Even recognizing the
substantial penalty because of the slow initial response, I have to
admit that AT&T eventually surpassed most of their competitors in
this area.  Full disclosure, AT&T did offer me some baseball tickets.

The next question is how well will Cisco/StrataCom handle their part
in this incident.  Was it something unique about the AT&T network, or
are other providers who also use cisco/StrataCom frame-relay switches
at risk of experiencing the same problem.  Or had they already experienced
the problem, and updated their switches prior to this event.  This isn't
the first frame-relay network that has collapsed.

And finally, does anyone know why the cloak of secrecy over where the
two initial frame-relay switches that failed?  Even though the New York
Times reported (which doesn't make it true, just highly probable) the
switches were in Albany and Cambridge, the AT&T people seem striken by
apoplexy when you mention the general location.
Sean Donelan, Data Research Associates, Inc, St. Louis, MO
  Affiliation given for identification not representation

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