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Louisiana Floods 2016: Failovers to Cloud Could Last “Weeks”

Amid the unprecedented Louisiana flooding, at least 34,000 homes and businesses still don’t have electricity as of Aug. 16. Two MSPs are now reporting that some on-premises customer networks have been completely destroyed, but in two specific cases the business data has been completely recovered and restored on cloud systems.

The key takeaway: After several years of false starts, virtualized networks and data restores in the cloud are now proving their value during natural disasters.

“We’ve got one situation where a retail store is under water but we’ve been able to bring the customer up in the cloud,” says one MSP that supports customers in the the Baton Rouge, Louisiana region. “So far, so good. I’m thinking that network will remain in the cloud for two weeks or more.”

The lengthy shift from on-premises networks to virtualize networks in the cloud is easily explained: Even when power is restored in the Baton Rouge area, the customer will need time to evaluate the viability of his physical offices, the MSP said. A second MSP reports a similar situation involving an entertainment business that lost a 25-node network in the flood — though the company’s mission critical data has been fully restored in the cloud.

Both MSPs are using the same cloud backup and disaster recovery service. The MSPs requested anonymity because maintaining the recoveries has been especially difficult amid communication and connectivity challenges across the Louisiana.

Louisiana Floods: Tracking the Losses

It’s unclear how many Louisiana businesses have suffered data losses amid the flooding. Most of the recovery effort, of course, has focused first on people and preserving life. About 40,000 homes have been affected by the flooding; more than 20,000 people have been rescued; and about 8,000 were in shelters Monday night, ABC News reported.

By Tuesday, roughly 20 parishes (i.e., counties) have been declared major disasters by the federal government. Additional parishes will continuously be added to the declaration on a rolling basis, the government said. Disaster areas on the list will be eligible for a range of government aid.

As of late Tuesday, dozens of Louisiana roads remain closed, and three school districts also remain closed, according to the state’s emergency website. Many government facilities also remain closed, though some will reopen on Wednesday, August 16. Among the updates:

  • City-Parish offices will return to their normal operating hours on Wednesday, August 17, 2016.
  • Baton Rouge City Court will be closed on Monday, August 15 2016 thru Friday, August 19 2016 . Court resumes Monday, August 22.

ChannelE2E will continue to update this coverage as more information becomes available.

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