Network System Failure Cost Southwest Airlines $82M

Network System Failure Cost Southwest Airlines $82M

How Southwest Airlines Could Have Avoided An $82M Disaster

Network system failure is no fun for any business, but it can be especially painful for major airlines. The outage that hit Southwest Airlines on July 20 is a case in point. The disaster caused the cancelation or delay of more than 2,000 flights. The estimated price tag o is pegged between $54 and $82 million in increased costs and lost revenue — and that does not take into account the PR nightmare and loss of goodwill. Worst of all, the disaster could have been avoided had the airline taken crucial precautionary action.

Faulty Router 

Southwest is blaming a faulty router, which it says prompted a widespread network system failure; a technology crash pegged as the worst in the airline’s history. The reservation system was knocked offline, planes were grounded across the nation, and the outage took four full days to resolve.

Fallout included:

  • $25 million: Missed bookings, canceled flights, refunded tickets, vouchers
  • $57 million: Worker overtime, stranded traveler and crew expenses that include meals and hotels
  • Customer dissatisfaction and loss of trust
  • Employee headaches and loss of faith
  • Southwest Airlines Pilot Association disgusted enough to demand the ousting of Southwest CEO Gary Kelly and COO Mike Van de Ven

The Solution

A major complaint from the pilot association and mechanics union was the airline’s spending too much of its record-breaking profits on buying back shares and not enough on updating technology. And technology is exactly where the solution lies, specifically with DRaaS, or disaster recovery as a service.

While your company may not be on the same scale as Southwest Airlines, an outage within your enterprise would be equally crippling and expensive to daily operations. Companies that invest in DRaaS can enjoy the industry leading Veeam Backup and Replication solution that delivers powerful, affordable and easy-to-use data protection for Hyper-V and VMware. Benefits include rapid image-based backups, integrated offsite replication of images to secure data centers, flexible and fast recoveries, tested, zero point RTO – and protection against disasters such as the one suffered by Southwest.

Are your customers, employees and peace of mind worth the investment? Protect your company with Global Data Vault.


Even Tornados are No Match for a Disaster Recovery Solution like Global Data Vault

Even Tornados are No Match for a Disaster Recovery Solution like Global Data Vault

Why Rug Doctor Calls GDV the Real Disaster Recovery Solution


“… within 2 hours they had all four servers set up in a virtual environment.”

Tornado season is coming to a close for most of the country, but it hasn’t been without event. We never like to hear of a major tornado affecting any of our clients, but when it does, we’re happy that we can help them maintain their business operations with little to no interruption.

This video features one of our customers, Rug Doctor, a national leader in hot water extraction carpet-cleaning machines and supporting products. Rug Doctor has a major plant facility in the heart of Tornado Alley, in Fenton, Missouri, plus they have 35 warehouse distribution points and service centers around the US. Additionally, their international operations include a manufacturing facility in the UK and warehouse distribution in Canada, Puerto Rico, Australian and 20 other countries. All of those locations rely on connectivity to the main office to keep their operations running smoothly.

In 2013, a tornado went directly over Fenton causing considerable damage to Rug Doctor infrastructure there. With 30 servers running in their server environment and handling over 3 million transactions a year it is easy to understand the commercial devastation that could have been caused when the May 18–21, 2013 tornado outbreak resulted in the destruction of the warehouse and lossof their computer room. Luckily Rug Doctor has been a Global Data Vault since 2010. Watch this one minute video to hear Bill Ellis, Manager of IT Infrastructure for Rug Doctor, explain what happened that day and just why he calls Global Data Vault the ‘real disaster recovery solution’.

Chase Outage Outrage

Chase Outage Outrage

16 Million users are unable to get to their bank accounts online. Chase is telling us they are doing scheduled maintenance – that’s clearly not true. Speculation is that scheduled maintenance went horribly wrong leading to database corruption and tape restores were required. See Jacob Jegher’s insightful blog post.

If you rely on tape, you risk lengthy outages. Having a true disaster recovery solution in place which provides a fast failover capability is the best approach to protect your business. Global Data Vault offers Cloud Disaster Recovery as an economical option for businesses to achieve the reliability their customers demand.

H1N1 Virus and Continuity Planning

H1N1 Virus and Continuity Planning

The New England Journal of Medicine has provided a map which shows confirmed cases of Swine Flu, as well as confirmed deaths from the virus from both formal and informal sources.

The map below shows the reported confirmed deaths from official sources in the United States from April 1 – September 9.


Now compare that to the map below, which shows the confirmed deaths reported from informal sources within the same time frame.


The number of confirmed cases of the H1N1 virus has increased over the past couple of months.  The next map pinpoints the cases that have been confirmed and reported by official sources (such as the CDC) between April 1 and September 9.


There is a significant increase in the number of confirmed cases of Swine Flu reported from informal sources (shown below).


A side-by-side comparison of the reported findings from both official sources and informal (media) sources makes for an interesting debate.  Which map(s) are most effective in regards to:
• showing the H1N1 virus’ progress through certain geographic locations?
• broadening the number of possibilities that could interrupt a business and its operations?
• motivating businesses to create and/or undertake revisions to their continuity planning in order to be properly prepared?

Business Pandemic Plan – Are You Prepared?

Business Pandemic Plan – Are You Prepared?

On June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization (WHO) raised the worldwide pandemic alert level to Phase 6 due to the spread of the H1N1 virus.  The virus, also known as Swine Flu, has rapidly established itself and will continue to persist in the coming months as the virus continues to move through susceptible populations.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has released a guidance report which recommends actions that employers should take now to decrease the spread of seasonal flu and 2009 H1N1 flu in the workplace and to help maintain business continuity during the 2009-2010 flu season.  The document states that employers who have developed pandemic plans should revise their plans in light of the current 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak to take into account the extent and severity of disease in their community.  CDC anticipates that more communities may be affected than were in the spring/summer 2009, and/or more severely affected reflecting wider transmission and possibly greater impact. (more…)

Tropical Storm Tests Business Continuity Plans

Tropical Storm Tests Business Continuity Plans

New England residents are being warned to prepare for the possibility of heavy rains and flooding this weekend as Tropical Storm Danny is forecasted to strengthen over the next couple of days.  The five-day forecast shows Danny passing near the Carolinas late Friday and New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts the day after.  The National Weather Service said that the storm could develop into a Category 1 hurricane Friday.  The combination of heavy rains and flooding brings about the likelihood of power outages in these locations as well.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) created checklists so that individuals can be prepared for such weather conditions.

Residents and businesses in the Northeast can and should take appropriate actions to make sure that they have business backup solutions in hand and ensure that business operations will continue if these predictions do, in fact, occur.  Like any weather-related event, (the success of) business continuity plans will be put to the test.  Such instances make business executives start asking questions similar to, “Will my business be able to bounce back from an unplanned event?” or “how long will it take to recover my company’s data?”  Global Data Vault specializes in providing backup solutions to such dilemmas that companies face everyday.  A business continuity plan is not complete without a backup solution.