Microsoft Almost Smashes 800 Planes

september 22, 2004

Here is an interesting article on how Microsoft Windows 2000 Advanced Server almost took down 800 planes in one day.

The failure was ultimately down to a combination of human error and a design glitch in the Windows servers brought in over the past three years to replace the radio system's original Unix servers, according to the FAA. The servers are timed to shut down after 49.7 days of use in order to prevent a data overload, a union official told the LA Times. To avoid this automatic shutdown, technicians are required to restart the system manually every 30 days. An improperly trained employee failed to reset the system, leading it to shut down without warning, the official said. Backup systems failed because of a software failure, according to a report in The New York Times.
What kind of "Advanced Server" needs to be manually restarted every 30 days? Apparently, Microsoft's does...