Weekly Packet: Airplanes, Unplugged; Various States of Infrastructure
by August 12, 2016

Filed under: Industry Insights, Performance Monitoring

This was a big one in the Wide World of Outages this week: Delta Airlines couldn’t get more than 1,500 planes off the ground because of a power outage in Atlanta. Well, that’s what initial reports said, but the Wall Street Journal went into the details about how some critical systems and equipment didn’t switch over to backups after power went down.

This is an IT manager’s worst nightmare, right? I’m betting this kind of equipment or systems failure has happened to many of you (but luckily it likely wasn’t in the news). Passenger airline flights are certainly what we’d call mission-critical, and the fallout in terms of revenue and customer satisfaction will hurt. The Journal story highlights the issues around legacy infrastructures, which are often fashioned in the style of Frankenstein’s monster after business mergers and years of customization. It’s no surprise that a legacy IT infrastructure is complex and patched together—but having that on full public display is pretty tough.

A few studies and surveys came up this week, both from earlier this year and both with lots of interesting data from real-world practitioners. The State of the Cloud Survey from RightScale found that hybrid cloud adoption grew to 71%, compared with 58% the year before. And cloud users are running apps in both private and public clouds, along with experimenting further in clouds, with an average of three different clouds in use. Nearly all respondents (95%) are using cloud in some form.

Meanwhile, over in IDG’s State of the Network Study, 70% of respondents say that cloud computing will add complexity and difficulty for the networking team—but almost as many (67%) say it’ll allow network teams to ultimately become more valuable. There’s definitely a lesson in there about adapting and growing in new circumstances.

To go along with all these numbers, here’s my favorite image this week. As a person with an opinion about just about everything, I do admit that it’s awfully nice when I have data to back me up.

Data science, not just opinions

The Weekly Packet is on vacation next week, but we’ll be back the Friday after that for more news and insights.

In the meantime, how would you make sure Delta’s outages don’t happen again? Where do you start trying to get ahead of possible problems? Tell us in the comments.