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Computer crashes halt flights at two US Airports


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Windows maybe? :)

 

I'm in Toronto, lost 14 pieces, found 10 this morning...traveled on BOTH affected airlines yesterday - American & US Airways....

 

Story

 

http://www.cnn.com/2004/TRAVEL/08/01/airlines.glitch/index.html

 

CNN) -- An airline computer system that clears aircraft for takeoff failed Sunday morning, grounding at least two carriers at all U.S. airports for more than two hours, a spokesman for American Airlines said.

 

Spokesman Tim Wagner said the problem had been corrected, but it had affected "hundreds of flights, thousands of passengers," and "rolling delays" could be expected throughout the day.

 

"Customers won't necessarily miss their connections," he said, "because everything was stopped."

 

Wagner said a database malfunctioned that "basically runs every aspect of our client operations -- aircraft dispatch, crew scheduling (and) reporting weight, passenger load, balance."

 

The ground stop, ordered at 6:45 a.m. ET, affected American Airlines, US Airways and other airlines that share the system, he said.

 

A US Airways spokeswoman confirmed the problem.

 

The system was back online at 9 a.m. ET, Wagner said, and flights were slowly getting back in the air.

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Originally posted by Ani:

Seems to me that a company with information THAT VITAL in keeping operations fluent should have constant backup systems. God only knows, they make enough money off of ticket prices.

I'm sure they do, but when the database itself goes down, backup systems become useless. In this case it took 2 hours and 15 minutes to restore the entire system - that's actually not too bad at all.
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Originally posted by Programgirl:

Originally posted by Ani:

Seems to me that a company with information THAT VITAL in keeping operations fluent should have constant backup systems. God only knows, they make enough money off of ticket prices.

I'm sure they do, but when the database itself goes down, backup systems become useless. In this case it took 2 hours and 15 minutes to restore the entire system - that's actually not too bad at all.
Not exactly technically true.

 

A true "safety" backup is where not only the data is copied somewhere (ie to tape, disc etc), but where the ENTIRE system that hosts and runs the database is a fully and completely "mirrored", with the capability of automatically (or manually) switching over in the event of failure.

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Originally posted by NYC Drew:

Not exactly technically true.

 

A true "safety" backup is where not only the data is copied somewhere (ie to tape, disc etc), but where the ENTIRE system that hosts and runs the database is a fully and completely "mirrored", with the capability of automatically (or manually) switching over in the event of failure.

Ok, I'll give you that. Assuming they have a mirror of their primary db in a virtual medium(which is pricy to maintain), you have to consider the number of transactions that have taken place between backups to that repository. 'Real-time' data transfer minimizes performance, so it's possible they are only backing up in daily or semi-daily intervals - maybe they weren't 'current enough' to simply switch over. Or maybe it wasn't economically feasible for them to host a secondary system. I don't know....

 

I still think 2.25 hours isn't bad. I've had to restore smaller systems that have taken that long (or longer) to bring back up.

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The USPS runs dual DB systems on all operations and also has emergency electrical back up systems. The price of our facility's equipment alone was in the $80 Million range. I work for the Sectional Center which processes the majority of all mail within a two state area.

 

Being that we process millions of pieces of mail daily, the systems have to be maintain and images of letters are stored for up to 30 days. People do not realize the sophisticated technology of the Good Ole Post Office and they think of it in terms of the Pony Express. Lockheed Martin and Siemens, and several other highly profile electronics companies hold the contracts for equipment with the USPS and other Federal agencies.

 

To lose a database, without a backup for us would be a complete nightmare in reprocessing the mails and meeting on time delivery standards.

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