British Airways Sues CBRE For Major Data Centre Outage
British Airways is suing data centre management firm CBRE Managed Services for allegedly causing the IT outage which left tens of thousands of passengers stranded in May 2017. The Mail on Sunday says the airline is taking action against the US-headquartered firm in London’s High Court.
The cost of the outage reached almost £60m, and was blamed on a “power surge” at a main data centre in Heathrow by BA, as a result of a contractor not properly operating power and backup systems, it alleges. CBRE previously confirmed it was helping BA with its enquiries, but did not take responsibility for the problem.
At the time, there were questions as to why the airline’s backup data centres did not kick-in to save the data of the airline’s operations and deliver business continuity.
A leaked email to the Press Association last year stated: “Bill Francis, head of group IT at BA’s owner International Airlines Group (IAG), has sent an email to staff saying an investigation so far had found that an uninterruptible power supply to a core data centre at Heathrow was over-ridden on Saturday morning.
“’He said: ‘This resulted in the total immediate loss of power to the facility, bypassing the backup generators and batteries. This in turn meant that the controlled contingency migration to other facilities could not be applied. After a few minutes of this shutdown of power, it was turned back on in an unplanned and uncontrolled fashion, which created physical damage to the system, and significantly exacerbated the problem.’”
BA’s investigation into the problem and its conclusions have still not been made public. Nor BA or CBRE have commented on the reported legal action.
The outage is said to have affected 75,000 passengers who were able to claim for delayed and cancelled flights, along with expenses accrued as a result of their inconvenience.
British Airways has since said it has invested in new data centre capacity to help avoid similar problems.
The amount of cash BA is after has not been disclosed but it will be significant considering the damage to its data centre and the thousands of passenger compensation claims that rolled in.
Industry: Data Centre News
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