What We’ve Learned from the Delta Air Lines Outage

Remember the JetBlue data center power outage we mentioned way back when? No big deal. Only hordes of angry customers waiting in line to check into their flights. Well, now Delta Air Lines has followed suit. Tens of thousands of people were stranded on Monday, August 8 after Delta Air Lines experienced a system outage.

By 3:40 PM ET, Delta said 2,340 flights of about 6,000 scheduled took off, and it canceled more than 650 flights or 10% of its daily total. That means a lot of impatient customers hanging around the airport reading paperback romances, nabbing Pokémon, and snacking on Cinnabon. It also means headaches galore for Delta employees.

How did this even happen?

In this modern day and age, these types of technological hiccups should be easily avoided, right? If only. Delta’s COO, Giles West, said the reason for the expensive outage was the little backup system that couldn’t.

“Monday morning a critical power control module at our Technology Command Center malfunctioned, causing a surge to the transformer and a loss of power,” West said. “When this happened, critical systems and network equipment didn’t switch over to backups. Other systems did. And now we’re seeing instability in these systems.”*

In simple terms, a power surge resulting from one malfunctioning piece of equipment tripped the transformer and killed the power. A backup system should have kicked in, avoiding this whole messy situation, but a full encompassing strategy was not in place.

And to make a bad situation even worse, Delta had no way of alerting passengers of service interruptions via its apps or airline flight information displays. Not to mention, Delta’s automated check-in kiosks were offline (double whammy), meaning agents had to manually check-in some passengers. Makes you feel nostalgic for a time before computers were invented, doesn’t it?

Not really.

Where does this leave Delta Air Lines? The outage will likely cost Delta millions of dollars in lost revenue. And, if that wasn’t enough, it will also deliver a hard hit to their reputation as one of the most reliable carriers among the major U.S. airlines. Ouch.

What does this have to do with me?

You may be thinking, how does this affect me? You probably don’t work for an airline, and you, hopefully, weren’t one of the passengers waiting for a delayed Delta flight.

Businesses of all types and sizes can learn a valuable lesson from Delta’s power outage. You may think you’re immune to a power outage, but are you really? If you’re still using legacy computing systems and not backing up your data on a regular basis, you could be hemorrhaging a ton of money if your equipment malfunctions or a tornado hits your town.

Disaster can strike at any time. How can you prevent costly downtime or data loss? If you want to avoid the messy aftermath of a power outage like Delta’s, update your technology and implement a backup and recovery solution customized to your company’s requirements.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) isn’t one size fits all. You can develop a solution tailored to your unique needs. Backup and recovery solutions protect your critical business data and services so you can maintain productivity around the clock. You’ll ensure your data remains safe and secure no matter what happens and maintain exceptional customer service.

Not convinced a disaster recovery solution is for you? Learn how a nationally recognized insurance firm secured uptime of their custom quotation system after a hardware failure by downloading our case study.

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