Cloud backup could have prevented Delta's meltdown

I hope you weren’t flying Delta this week. If you were, you know that Delta’s systems experienced an outage, and of course passengers bore the brunt of it in hundreds of canceled and delayed flights.

When Delta performs a postmortem on this outage, it will likely find that the outage was caused by a common occurrence: network failure. However, Delta could not recover or switch to backup systems. As my InfoWorld colleague Andrew C. Oliver wrote, Delta neglected the four pillars of high availability.

Delta’s CEO admitted as much, telling the Wall Street Journal that “it’s not clear the priorities in our investment have been in the right place. It has caused us to ask a lot of questions which candidly we don’t have a lot of answers for.”

Although cloud computing is not always the answer, the absence of effective business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) is normally due to a lack of funds. Traditional backup sites cost many millions of dollars to establish and many more to operate as a hot standby.