iTnews reports on Sydney Train fun last week


The entire Sydney Trains system went offline last Wednesday, stranding thousands of commuters (like me!) just before the afternoon peak.

Richard Chirgwin reported for iTnews:

The outage halted all trains at stations, because the communications network is critical to communication between drivers, guards, and the rail network’s management centre.

The head of Sydney Trains fronted a press conference to explain:

Transport for NSW believes a failed network switch caused yesterday’s hour-long communications outage, compounded by the system’s failure to automatically switch to a backup network.

“The system has the redundancy to automatically switch across to a backup. That should have occurred immediately … [but] didn’t occur."

Mistakes happen, and automated failovers often aren’t. Disaster recovery strategies are like backups: only tested ones can be considered functional.

Here’s hoping they switch (HAH!) to a better process.

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