How data centers prepared for Hurricane Sandy
Hurricane Sandy dominated the spotlight Monday as businesses along the east coast prepared for one of the largest hurricanes to ever hit the Northeast. Much attention was given to cloud-based data centers. Some companies and decision makers may have treated a view of how data centers weathered the storm as a test before they made the transition, and it appears that, so far, the cloud has held up rather well.
ComputerWorld reported that many cloud providers went out of their way to insure that things would be up and running. Considering that millions of homes were without power by the end of the day Monday, keeping data centers up and running was no small feat. Many businesses provided cots and food for employees, stocked up on fuel and backup sources of electricity like generators and even boarded up windows.
While companies in affected areas are taking time to reopen, it is the businesses across the world that were more invested in the success of the cloud in this instance.
"From our perspective, this is part of doing business – we build data centers with these situations in mind, and from the cloud computing perspective, people have to remember that the cloud lives in data centers," Xavier Gonzalez, a spokesperson for Verizon, told GigaOM.
Companies in New York may soon appreciate the move to the cloud. Many employees are being forced to work from home as the subway is experiencing system wide issues after severe flooding and power loss. There were particular problems in lower Manhattan. The New York Stock Exchange closed for the first time in more than eleven years. Many executives at other companies in the area are still unsure when they can open and fear the long-term damage that may come with prolonged closures.
But battered businesses can take solace in the cloud. Employees who still find themselves with internet can access the same network that was available before the disaster and business operations can continue as normal.
Disaster recovery can be augmented through use of a virtual private cloud, particularly for companies with multiple branches. Power outages and widespread destruction no longer neutralize companies for weeks at a time. In fact, everyone – from executives to salespeople – is able to utilize the cloud to coordinate a business strategy, provided they have power – and that is a safer strategy than getting employees to work during a massive flood.