Blackout at Super Bowl sheds light on Data Recovery

Written By: Ontrack

Date Published: Feb 25, 2013 12:00:00 AM

Blackout at Super Bowl sheds light on Data Recovery

This year’s Super Bowl attracted over 100 million viewers. In years past, the NFL finale has become synonymous with some pretty amazing games, half-time shows and commercials vying for our attention. No pun intended, but you also had to be living in the “dark ages” to not notice a little 34 minute delay to the game caused by an unforeseen power outage. The outage occurred when sensing equipment detected an "abnormality" in the system. After watching Beyonce’s half time show, I joked with my Facebook friends that she had clearly consumed all of the electricity with that spectacle of a show! Jokes aside, this Super Bowl is likely always going to be remembered for those 34 agonizing minutes of nothingness.

We all know that an event like the Super Bowl is years in the making. Organizers are not only tasked with putting on a visual spectacle, but are also responsible for preventing and/or mitigating the unexpected. This was clearly not the case with the 34 minute disruption, and the verdict is already out amongst industry peers as to how the blackout could have been prevented in the first place. As a seasoned data recovery employee, I couldn’t help but wonder what exactly was going through the minds of those tasked with getting the power up again. Unlike the normal pressures of keeping your business going, you just happen to be accountable to over 100 million people watching you live across the world! Talk about pressure…

In the world of data recovery, the Ontrack Data Recovery engineers see situations similar to what happened at the Superdome on a consistent basis. In fact, we’re tasked with recovering from all types of data loss about 40,000 times a year globally. So while the world may judge how the NFL goofed up, we actually get it… In spite of all the hours and millions of dollars that go into preventing a downtime event, it can still happen. It’s what you do after data loss happens that can sometimes be the challenging part. Getting caught up in prevention can sometimes be the biggest Achilles heel to the cure.

In retrospect, 34 minutes is really not earth shattering, but try explaining that to the Baltimore Ravens (almost a victim of one of football’s greatest turnarounds) who clearly lost momentum and barely squeezed past the 49ers 34-31 lead. Additionally, the incident will have hurt New Orleans’ reputation as a city looking for a comeback after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina.

Regardless, the best way to learn to cope with a downtime situation is to actually live it. So while the cost of those 34 minutes may be high, the NFL will have learned a valuable lesson in taking additional steps to mitigate something like this in the future. It’s how our data recovery customers learn to prevent future data loss and downtime after all. Fear not NFL and New Orleans, we get it!


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