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Blizzard 2016: Snow Storm Meets BDR, Cloud Backup, Business Continuity

As predicted, Jonas —  the Blizzard of 2016 — is knocking out electric power and packing feet (not inches) of snow across the Eastern Seaboard. But many channel partners have already taken precautionary steps to protect customers, businesses and the associated data from the massive snow storm.

First, the big picture: As of 4:36 p.m. ET on January 22, CNN reports

  • 3o million people are under blizzard warnings.
  • Kentucky and West Virginia could see as much as 3 feet of snow.
  • Washington, D.C, may receive up to 2.5 feet of snow by the time the storm ends Saturday night.
  • Baltimore is expecting 18-21 inches of snow.
  • Wind gusts will be a major issue in many areas. Maryland, for instance, could experience gusts of up to 65 MPH.
  • Already, almost 72,000 customers have lost power, mostly in North and South Carolina.
  • Philadelphia and New York are bracing for the storm to arrive on Saturday.

Blizzard of 2016: MSPs, VARs Prepare

Whether you call it BDR (backup and disaster recovery) or business continuity, savvy VARs and MSPs are staying a few steps ahead of 2016’s most powerful snow storm to date. Similarly, cloud backup providers, remote desktop specialists and hosted desktop specialists are working to make sure primary and secondary systems remain accessible for customers that may wind up working remotely today and through the weekend.

A sampling of updates from across the region:

  • Washington, DC: Network Depot, an MSP in Reston, Va., shared several updates with customers — including modified office hours and a quick reminder on failover solutions (for email and more) that are in place. Also, all Network Depot employees have Skype accounts as an alternative communication pipeline in case traditional phone and cell service fail.
  • “In some ways we run every day like tomorrow could be a disaster by having off-site backups, VPNs, remote access solutions for ourselves and clients, and ensuring that business critical things are in a data center and at times replicated,” says CEO Rich Forsen. Customers, meanwhile, have made “a ton” of inquiries seeking more information about remote connectivity in recent days, he adds.
  • New Jersey: eMazzanti Technologies, an IT service provider in Hoboken, N.J., alerted customers at 2:00 p.m. ET with a Winter Storm Warning email — sharing winter storm tips with its clientele. The dispatch included email and phone contact information, just in case eMazzanti customers have an urgent IT or business need during the storm.
  • New York: My wife has been begging me all day to check if our snow blower is fully gassed up and starts. She’s also asked me to fuel up the cars and pick up some fire wood. But I’m writing this blog. For the next blizzard, maybe I’ll reach out to CJ Arlotta to pen this type of blog…

Stay tuned.

Blizzard of 2016: Cloud Backup, Business Continuity

Business continuity service providers such as Continuum, Datto, Intronis and LogicNow report no major issues. Each firm is headquartered on the U.S.’s east coast but their data centers are scattered across the globe.

neal-bradbury-3

Neal Bradbury

LogicNow’s backup systems aren’t seeing any unusual patterns, meaning that MSPs aren’t scrambling to move data out of the storm’s path. In other words, MSPs are adhering to their established backup cycles to protect the data on an ongoing basis, according to Dave Sobel, senior director of partner community and field marketing.

Intronis, meanwhile, offered MSPs some advice ahead of the storm.”Even if you feel like Captain Obvious stating bad weather is coming, taking the initiative to communicate to your customers is critical and a best practice,” adds Neal Bradbury, co-founder and senior director of channel development at Intronis. “Share with them what you know, how to prepare and what you are, or can and will do to help them and others. Communication is key – especially in times of uncertainty and crisis. Be sure your employees and the companies you work with — and want to work with — are in the know.”

Blizzard of 2016: Impact

The blizzard’s total impact and damage won’t be known until at least Sunday night, when the snow finally ends in many North East regions and millions of people dig out from the powerful storm. Financial damages won’t be calculated until months from now.

Surely, the unprepared will experience some data loss as well…

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2 Comments

Comments

    Steve Ferman:

    While I agree with everyone’s comments I still think it’s better to live in the cloud where your always backed up and protected and not tied to yesterday’s information in the event of a disaster. If setup properly with geo redundancy and proper management no storm is too big to stop your business from running anywhere, anytime, on any device over any connection.

      Joe Panettieri:

      Hey Steve: We’re on the same page. While I don’t think any IT infrastructure will ever be fully reliable, I generally think IaaS public clouds are far more reliable than on-premises small business networks/servers these days. I hope CloudNation and your clientele were A-OK during the storm. And I suspect I already know the answer to that 😉

      Best,
      -jp

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