A couple of weeks ago 75,000 British Airways passengers’ plans were ruined by a company-wide computer system outage.
Since the incident, BA has stated that the outage was caused by “human error”. This is a catch-all term however and can mean numerous different things. British Airways clarified what they meant and claimed the power went off at their data centre at Heathrow. When powered back on, this apparently caused a power surge that caused damage to the servers the airline uses to run its online check-in, baggage handling and customer contact systems, resulting in flights from Heathrow and Gatwick being grounded for two days.
Despite British Airways claiming a power surge makes it a power failure not an IT failure, this isn’t the case. Companies should have redundancies in place to mitigate incidents like this, namely a geographic redundancy system.
Geo-redundancy is simply having a mirrored system at a different data centre some distance away from the original data centre. Essentially two copies of your system so that applications can switch between the sites seamlessly. In case of a catostrophic failure of one system, the other would still be live and business could continue as normal. We don’t know if British Airways had geo-redundancy in place and it somehow failed as well, but evidence points to either a poor redundancy plan or no plan at all.
IT infrastructure is critical to all businesses, do not let a power outage ground your business to a halt. Give us a call on 01925 873500 to discuss your IT needs.