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Release It!, 2nd Edition by Michael T. Nygard

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The Outage

At about 2:30 a.m., all the check-in kiosks went red on the monitoring console. Every single one, everywhere in the country, stopped servicing requests at the same time. A few minutes later, the IVR servers went red too. Not exactly panic time, but pretty close, because 2:30 a.m. Pacific time is 5:30 a.m. Eastern time, which is prime time for commuter flight check-in on the Eastern seaboard. The operations center immediately opened a Severity 1 case and got the local team on a conference call.

In any incident, my first priority is always to restore service. Restoring service takes precedence over investigation. If I can collect some data for postmortem analysis, that’s great—unless it makes the outage longer. When the fur flies, ...

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