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Unplanned outages causing bankruptcy Expand / Collapse
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Posted Saturday, March 30, 2013 2:29 PM
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* I wasn't sure where to ask this throughout the forum, so I decided here was best. *

For my thesis in graduate school I am choosing to do a paper and presentation on unplanned database availability and the losses it can cause, including losing money or going bankrupt. I'm trying to find information about companies that have gone bankrupt because of an unplanned database outage. I am going to present a case study on a such a company. Is there any public available information about such a company? Several Google searches have not yielded anything for me. Maybe I'm using the wrong combination of keywords.


"Nicholas"
Post #1437242
Posted Sunday, March 31, 2013 10:18 AM
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I am not sure that not being able to Access data on a database is going to be the cause of bankruptcy unless the comapny in question has made some big mistakes! There could be some Problems whereby Trends normally analysed by a Data Warehouse would be missed that could result in Business operations being hindered but even that is avoidable.

I think maybe you should consider whether just the loss of a database is the central Focus or whether or not an effective Business continuity plan is in place. Normally, when Business continuity plans are effective, the Company in question can still operate just in a very restricted manner.

The summary for your Thesis should be "a Company without a disaster recovery objective or effective Business continuity plan is the Company that will go down in the Event of catastrphic dataloss".

All you Need to do now is fill in the gaps!
Post #1437297
Posted Sunday, March 31, 2013 10:24 AM
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Thank you for your reply! I'm definitely flexible on my thesis since, as a student with no relevant experience in such matters, for the time being I am out of my element. I appreciate your suggestion!

"Nicholas"
Post #1437299
Posted Monday, April 1, 2013 1:50 AM
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I remember Paul Randal mentioning during a presentation recording at least one financial institution going out of business due to their systems being unavailable for several days (regulators place tight demands on availability).
If I remember correctly, that was due to mishandling corruption messages and wasting time panicking before initiating long restore sequences.

Best to contact Paul in case he can share more details (http://www.sqlskills.com/blogs/paul/)


Cheers,

JohnA

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Post #1437371
Posted Monday, April 1, 2013 4:10 AM
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I would sent an email to Brent Ozar. I remember one of his backup presentations where he gave as examples names of companies that lost money due to the inability to restore databases.
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Posted Monday, April 1, 2013 4:17 AM


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There are actually a number of companies that have gone out of business or suffered major losses due to database issues. I wrote an article about them and published it on Simple-Talk. It has links to news articles.

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Post #1437393
Posted Tuesday, April 2, 2013 3:02 AM
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The organisation I work for reckons that if its systems were down for 5 consecutive days its business would be destroyed. Maybe we would not be bankrupt, but we think we would loose maybe 90% of our market share.

A job board in the UK in about 2004 had an issue where it could not update the list of jobs it had on its site for maybe 4 days. This outage caused that board to close down its UK business. If this has been publicly described you might find more details via Google.

In the late 1980s, a Frence insurance company thought it would deal with business continuity by building a 2-floor datacenter. Every bit of kit on the bottom floor was replicated with the same kit on the top floor. They forgot about floor loading and one day the top floor collapsed on to the botton floor. They did not go bankrupt but the French government made them sell the business to another organisation.


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Post #1437757
Posted Tuesday, April 2, 2013 7:38 AM
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Thank you, everyone!

"Nicholas"
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Posted Tuesday, April 2, 2013 7:58 AM
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Hi EdVassie!

This is exactly what I meant! Companies that don't have a suitable business continuity plan in the event that something goes horribly awry are the ones that will have problems when (not if) something goes wrong.

Preventionis better than the cure but then, most companies seem to work on the premise that if it doesn't have an immediately tangible financial benefit, why invest in it? Disaster recovery and business continuity are the two subjects that suffer the most from this philosophy.....
Post #1437900
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