Originally Posted March 2019

The lawsuit over the 2017 operational failure that grounded hundreds of flights and left 75,000 UK passengers stranded has finally been settled out of court for an undisclosed sum.

When you think of a business like British Airways (BA), and a location like Heathrow Airport, the last think on your mind is that the combination of the two is susceptible to a major service outage. Surely these two operations understand the need to be highly available and the potential impact should they not. Millions of dollars have been spent on a state of the art data center that services 123K customers daily.

But the outage in 2017 demonstrates that a series of unfortunate events can take down a giant like BA.  Attributed to a power outage and then an “unorderly” turning back on of the power causing a power surge, taking out both primary and secondary sets of systems which resided on-premises. The damage was estimated at £80 Million, or approximately $140 Million.

This outage is a reminder that organizations relying solely on on-premises redundancy are still vulnerable to operational downtime. BA had operational redundancy at Heathrow, but power turned out to be the real killer.

Organizations leveraging offsite enterprise-caliber private cloud infrastructure for their operational redundancy eliminate the risk of data center power failure taking out operations. Regardless of the size of organization, businesses that highly rely on technology as part of their operations can take advantage of cost-effective cloud-based disaster recovery or on-going cloud-based replication to ensure an ability to either recover or automatically failover offsite.