Hurricane Sandy and Disaster Recovery: Live Updates

With one of the worst storms in recent history brewing on the East Coast, Zerto will be tracking the business impact of Hurricane Sandy here on our blog.  We certainly hope that the storm proves to be uneventful, and that Hurricane Sandy disaster recovery plans keep everyone, and their data, protected and safe.

On this blog post, we’ll be adding live updates of how our customers and other companies are faring the storm.

Final Update — Friday, 10:00 am ET: Now that the storm has officially passed, the hardest hit areas, particularly the coast of New Jersey and New York City, have started to assess the damage and begin the long process of recovery.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the many people affected by the storm, those who have suffered loss and who have lost their homes, livelihood and the many who are still are without power.  Those wishing to donate to the relief efforts can do so here and here.

Update — Tuesday, 1:11am ET:  TechCrunch reports that “Datagram, the ISP whose Manhattan servers host BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Gawker, and other sites, has lost power…Basement flooded, fuel pump off line — we got people working on it now. 5 feet of water now,” according to officials quoted in the article.” Reports from TechCrunch a couple of hours later said the sites were back online, “BuzzFeed’s site and story page are back online, thanks to a Content Delivery Network, Akamai, which hosts the content at servers distributed around the world.”

Update — Monday 9:30pm ET: Hurricane Sandy makes landfall, winds reaching 129 mph — gets downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone. An estimated 5.2 million people on the East Coast are without power.  The storm surge in Battery Park in lower Manhattan was 13 feet high.

Update — Monday 5:28pm ET: One of our partners, Integrity Virtual IT, just completed a successful fail over of operations for a customer from Virginia (in the path of Sandy) to Chicago.  The company’s employees are fully operational — working online with the Zerto replicated data center.

Update — Monday, 3:10pm ET:  Hurricane Sandy, with winds of 90 mph, seems to be picking up considerable speed just hours before it is expected to make landfall.

One of our customers in the path of Hurricane Sandy spoke to us today about their plan to complete a preemtive test of their disaster recovery solution prior to the hurricane.  “We are not planning to failover today unless we experience a power outage. We feel confident based on a recently executed planned move of all of our Zerto-protected VMs to our recovery site during the day last Friday, and a move back Saturday morning.  The move went well in both directions.  Overall, the move we performed as a test enabled us to keep all of our vital systems up with very little, if any, noticeable impact on our users, which is just what we wanted.”

Update — Monday, 7:59am ET: Local weather in Boston (where Zerto is headquartered) shows rain, with temperatures of 56 º  and wind gusts of 39 mph.

Lucas Mearian at Computerworld writes that those in the financial sector on the East Coast feel pretty confident in their disaster recovery plans for Hurricane Sandy, noting that, “In many cases, banks and brokerages will have two data centers in relatively close proximity – 20 or 30 miles apart – for business continuity where they replicate data in real time between the two to ensure if one goes down, the other can still operate. Then, they’ll have a third disaster recovery site to ensure a regional disaster will still not cripple their operations.” According to the article, “Virtualization has had a lot to do with better RPOs and RTOs with regard to x86 server infrastructures in larger companies, and for small- to medium-sized businesses, SaaS cloud services have allowed for better disaster recovery planning than at any time in history.”

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