back to article JetBlue blames Verizon after data center outage cripples flights

US discount airline JetBlue is warning of delays and cancellations to flights after a number of its systems were knocked offline Thursday. The airline blamed the logistics nightmare on a Verizon data center outage, claiming the disruption had cut service to its website and online check-in and booking systems, as well as the …

  1. LB45

    Cloudy virtual remote outsourced data

    What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cloudy virtual remote outsourced data

      Where does it mention cloud or virtual or even outsourced?

      Are you saying anything not in your own building is cloud?

      Sounds like a totally traditional data centre operation to me with no DR/failover plan. Would probably have been better off in a cloudy virtual setup.

      Very poor that (in fact pretty unbelievable) they base their whole operation at one DC.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10

    It will be so incredibly funny if their next series of flight outages is due to their database servers being auto-"updated" to Win 10... and then not working.

    Kind of hoping that happens, just to watch the fallout. :D

    1. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

      Re: Windows 10: It will be so incredibly funny...

      Except that when you are at the receiving end of such a situation, as a paying customer, will you be annoyed? Doesn't have to be flight-related, this could happen with ATM's, paying for goods at the supermarket, getting trapped in a lift, appointments system at your Doctor, Dentist, Hospital conks out, loss of electricity to your home, etc.

      Technology is a dangerous thing, people are seduced by the benefits that they totally ignore the things that can go wrong. Bye Bye Risk Analysis. Technology is the 21st Century $DEITY, worshipped 24/7.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows 10: It will be so incredibly funny...

        Except that when you are at the receiving end of such a situation, as a paying customer, will you be annoyed?

        Of course. And I'll berate the fools for using MS tech in the first place. We've seen them pull dumb crap in the past, and some people haven't learned from it. Massive amounts of "annoyed" customers will help to fix that. ;

      2. Bruno de Florence

        Re: Windows 10: It will be so incredibly funny...

        This idea of "solutionism" by "THE Deity" is explored in depth in an interesting book: To Save Everything Click Here, Evgeny Morozov, Public Affairs (Perseus Books Group), New York, 2013.

    2. ZenaB

      Re: Windows 10

      Why would a server OS upgrade to a desktop OS?

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Windows 10

        Why would a server OS upgrade to a desktop OS?

        Who said anything about a server OS? Wouldn't be the first time a large-ish corp has running mission critical software on something it really, really shouldn't have.

  3. Wilhelm Lindt


    More than one engineer at JetBlue must have said, "Hey, let's not put all our critical operational infrastructure into one data center."

    But the beancounters won.

    Not really Verizon's fault, in the end.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Beancounters

      Yes it is :) their dc should not be so easily taken offline. The blame should be shared by both companies. Jet blue also just learned a valuable lesson about carrier neutral vs carrier dc's.

      Taking out a well designed dc requires a fluff up of epic proportions. Ev1's Houston dc got taken offline because an electrician dropped a spanner into the main power switched cabinet in exactly the wrong position. Not only did Murphy do a little dance but it took out a significant amount of their power switching equipment and pdu's. Maybe Verizon hired the same tech?

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Beancounters and incompetence

      "Not really Verizon's fault, in the end."


      It is easy to say "not Verizon's fault" until you have done business with them. Incompetence is an absolute GIVEN and i've said this before

      Verizon is doing everything it can to F#KC UP and ignore all infrastructure except:

      1) wireless

      2) where market / money has been definitively lost, thereby trying to make up lost ground

      So Verizon cloud going TITSUP? "Logistics nightmare" is Verizon's modus operandi when it comes to land services, it is why I left and why I tell every business I can to leave. Just this past Wednesday I told another one of my customers to leave Verizon and go cable VoIP; their fax telephone line was down...due to a Verizon service outage.

      1. Tom 13

        Re: Beancounters and incompetence

        I'm with Squirrel on this one. Both Jet Blue AND Verizon deserve the full fury of everyone affected by the outage.

    3. Commswonk Silver badge

      Re: Beancounters

      Wilhelm Lindt wrote: More than one engineer at JetBlue must have said...

      That rather assumes that JetBlue has more than one engineer. If the beancounters won they probably don't have any.

      1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge

        DC disaster scenarios 101

        "Taking out a well designed dc requires a fluff up of epic proportions."

        I am aware of one particular 'DC outage' that involved a dump truck taking out the corner of the building. The subsequent daisy chain of events took the DC offline for days.

        You see, as it collided with the building, it also took out some form of water main, which was now jetting up towards the underside of the truck (which is now forming an inclined plane pointing into the hole in the wall since the front of the truck was on top of the rubble.

        All the water was basically hosed into the DC.

        Try factoring that into a risk analysis report and see what the beancounters say :)

  4. Rampant Spaniel

    What kind of DC gets taken out like that? There should have been a UPS covering it until the generators spin up.

    Plus the whole point of the cloud is multiple locations for redundancy.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Plus the whole point of the cloud is multiple locations for redundancy.

      If the cloud were as the marketing types paint it... that would be true. But this was a data center...not the "cloud". Which, if we look behind the marketbabble... is theoretically a redundant data center.

  5. TaabuTheCat

    And their DR plan???

    I would love to see an auditor's statement that evaluated the effectiveness of their DR plan. I swear most of these companies just write down anything to pass an audit with zero chance of the "plan" ever working. And then they pray, or when something like this does happen, decide the risk of failing over is much greater than just waiting for the power to come back on because, you know, they've never actually TESTED a full failover and fail back.

  6. raving angry loony

    Poor design

    As usual, poor design. Probably because some accountants decided that nah, they didn't need the extra cost of real disaster proofing.

    That said, they might be right. With the limited to zero liability companies like JetBlue have when it comes to not delivering services, they might not have a financial need for anything resembling resiliency. So long as these corporations are allowed to put all the risk onto the consumer, and not assume ANY financial risk themselves if they don't deliver services, this will continue to happen, and nothing will change.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not everyone ignores the DR plan

    One of our customers raises a ticket every three months for us to fail-over one of their systems to the DRC site and back again - and the ticket isn't closed until all three machines have gone both ways without problems - at the same time.

    For their operations centre, they have two of them, both staffed 24/7. They take week about as being the 'duty' centre, but the off-duty one is always shadowing and watching what the other is doing so they can take over in a matter of minutes.

    While it is more complicated doing stuff on their network, it is nice to have at least one customer for whom cost comes after reliability and resilience.

    1. Rampant Spaniel

      Re: Not everyone ignores the DR plan

      Not to mention that many dc's get paid by their utility to switch to generator power at times of extreme demand on the grid. The dc gets to test it's generators for free and the utility gets a significant drop in demand. Iirc super bowel Sunday is an example of one of those times.

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: Not everyone ignores the DR plan

        "super bowel Sunday"

        I'm glad I don't live in your house...

  8. NeverMint

    DR, what's for?

    As a profession we keep pushing for DR systems and plans. Yet we all know that only a small minority of systems have well designed well rehearsed DR. Just like primitive farmers wishing for more rain.

    Isn't it time that we come up with something feasible.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    SOP really

    Working in the Air Transportation Industry, I see this only too often.

    "You don't need that DR site. It costs too much and is never used" says the beancounters

    "ok kill the DR site"

    two weeks later the remaining DC goes 'Phut'

    The airline and/or the airport basically stops working thus losing millions.

    Beancounters are nowhere to be found.

    I know of a 'Tier 1' airport with NO DR location or even a DR plan. Not gonna fly there again.

  10. walter.bishop Silver badge

    Verizon data center power outage

    Why didn't the UPS kick in and then the diesel backup generators. Why didn't these defects show up in the last power out test. They did test the backup power systems were functioning.

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