Delta's Outage Stretches for 3 Days

The other day, I wrote about an outage with Delta that was caused by a power failure. At the time, when the issue was first starting, it appeared to be a problem with the power provider in Atlanta. As the CEO of Delta takes responsibility now, the outage seems to not only be Delta's fault, but has become a huge problem for the last 3 days.

Problems began Monday very early when a power problem occurred with a transformer at the data center that also caused a fire. This should have triggered backup systems to kick on, but that was not the case here. Further failures caused the Delta IT teams to completely take down the controlling systems and bring them back up. As Delta did so, more issues came up while trying to bring the system back online.

This is a major black eye for Delta. The company has been spending significant resources to upgrade IT infrastructure and keep things moving forward with new technology trends. The upgrades should have allowed the systems to easily handle such an interruption, but instead has caused days of delays and cancellations. Over the 3 days we've seen issues at Delta, the company has had to cancel 2100 flights. For a company that has just set a new internal record for number of days without a single cancelled flight, this is a huge slap in the face.

Further more, these events seem to be happening more and more often. A very similar situation took down United a short time ago. Backup systems that didn't properly come online causing a day of delays and cancellations.

This is not much of a surprise. I've long followed the technology world. One thing that is very common is for companies to ignore IT and for those (CTO's) running the IT departments to have little to no knowledge of the systems they are helping to run. Money often is funneled to the wrong things, IT administrators suggestions are often overlooked or completely ignored. In turn, the money that is used, is put toward the wrong items.

Delta seems to be no different and is admitting to that now in the wake of these problems. They are questioning if the investment they've been making has been in the right places. Let's hope Delta learns some lessons here and changes their behavior a bit.