British Airways Goes into an IT Meltdown

by Lauren Ascroft on 08 Jun 2017

British Airways

On Saturday 27th May British Airways (BA) had a power surge that collapsed its IT systems affecting check-in, baggage sorting and reservations worldwide, leading to travel chaos as BA cancelled all Saturday and Sunday afternoon and evening departures from Heathrow and Gatwick.

The bank holiday’s weekend outage could cost BA £82 million ($146 million), according to Goodbody Stockbrokers.

What went wrong for British Airways?

A failure of the uninterruptible UPS power supply in one of the two BA data centres in London caused one of BA’s UK data centres to incur an exceptional power surge causing physical damage to BA’s infrastructure. As a result of this the IT system on which its entire network depends on failed. Although some parts of the airline’s operation can be handled manually, a lot of their systems reply on computers communicating with each other.

The source of the power surge remains vague as the National Grid appear to have no record of anything unusual on their network, promoting BA to claim the power surge was “internal”. Instead of a gradual restore, all power was restored at once causing the network hardware to fail and sever hardware was damaged. A power surge can be caused by a number of causes. For example human error, engineer mistake or high-power electrical devices can cause a spike in electrical current.

British Airways is a very big business with a very complicated IT set up. But whatever your size testing your back up, replication service or disaster recovery (DR) plan is an essential part of IT planning.  Equally it is important to ensure your data centre has invested in the latest technologies.

Why have a Disaster Recovery (DR) Plan?

A disaster recovery system is one of the most important investments a business can make, but many don’t realise they need it until it’s too late. Server downtime for instance will strike all businesses in some form, and it can not only have damaging financial implications, it could also impact its reputation and stakeholders too.

Below Rockford IT have listed their top 5 reasons why your business should have a DR plan.

  • Machines and hardware fail
  • Your business can’t afford downtime
  • Losing business critical data could cause huge implications
  • Customers expect perfection – want access 24/7/365
  • Nature is unpredictable

Disaster Recovery experts Rockford IT offer a range of disaster recovery solutions including; Cloud Backup, Realtime Replication and Test Restore to protect from downtime and data loss! Rockford IT’s Mirrornet solutions provide real-time comprehensive backup and restore solution for physical and virtual environments. Using mirroring technology to safely replicate data, coupled with robust testing systems, businesses and organisations  can rest assured their data is secure and accessible in the event of a disaster.

If you would like more information please contact the Disaster Recovery experts Rockford IT on 0333 101 6000 or email

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