Server outage disrupted Hobart traffic system

By Dylan Bushell-Embling
Thursday, 20 October, 2016

Server outage disrupted Hobart traffic system

A power outage at the TMD data centre in Tasmania hosting IT servers for a number of government agencies caused disruptions for the state's traffic control systems in Hobart and a number of health department systems.

The outage was triggered by a fire alarm, which was itself triggered by a fault in an air-conditioning unit, Tasmania's Minister for IT and Innovation Michael Ferguson announced.

The TMD data centre houses the IT networking and servers for a number of government agencies, including the Department of Police, Fire & Emergency Management, the Department Health and Human Services (DHHS), the Tasmanian Health Service (THS) and the Department of State Growth.

DHHS and THS have revealed that a number of systems were temporarily lost as a result of the outages, prompting the initiation of Code Yellow protocols at the Royal Hobart Hospital.

But patient safety was not impacted, and Ambulance Tasmania was able to switch to manual dispatching during the outage, so no emergency calls were impacted.

The outage also disrupted communications systems between the central traffic signals control system (SCATS) and traffic lights in the Hobart area, meaning that during the outage, the Department of State Growth was unable to optimise traffic signal timing to traffic volumes.

The lights instead fell back to operating independently on default timings — a completely safe mode of operation.

The outage occurred at before 4 am on Wednesday and the system was back to normal operation later that morning.

Image courtesy of Michael Coghlan under CC

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