The Galileo GPS system in the Precise Time Facility in Fucino, Italy has been down in Europe since July 11th. There still are no explanations for what caused the outage in the system as we all wait a week later for the system to go back up. With no exact date of when the issue will be resolved, teams work around the clock to try to get the system up and running. 400 million users all over Europe who rely on this system have been redirected to other platforms while they wait for the problem to be fixed. With the classic restart approach failing, the European Global Navigation Satellite System agency looks to reassure customers and quickly find a solution to this poor application reliability situation.
The outage seems to be due to issues at the ground infrastructure level which has affected the whole system. The application in control of the entire system must be complex, original, and highly advanced while also ensuring application reliability. This system has two main functions with intricate algorithms that are trusted, and this is where something in the code deviated. Even with two control centers and an entire network connecting the ground facilities, there are architectural problems that lead to this system outage.
With recent outages breaking the internet, there seems to be a new story every day. Twitter is down, Cloudflare is down, airlines are down, retailers are down, and Galileo is down. It seems like we can expect a software outage more often than a security breach given recent trends. Today software is complicated and intricate, and there can be multiple systems running on top of each other which makes it difficult to have visibility to all systems thoroughly. Testing these systems and guaranteeing application reliability is also becoming difficult because it is hard to know what might go wrong on such a large scale. Systems this complex and unique need to be analyzed by software intelligence to find issues in the way they are engineered and give visibility to weaknesses before they occur. It might be time we start breaking old habits and let software intelligence give our applications a second look.