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muddy computers post flood
The effect of flood on environment – dirty computer monitors

Significant rains that cause flooding are more common these days. As a business owner, big storms may be a source of real concern due to possible flooding and recurring power outages. More hurricanes and out-of-the-ordinary rains have prompted many business owners to prioritize plans for conducting business as usual under storm conditions. 

For our clients, protection and access to company data is a top priority and one that we take seriously every day. Potential storms and their outages don’t have to be a major threat to your company’s data and intellectual property. Here are 4 effective options we utilize for our clients—and ourselves.

Synchronized Cloud Storage

Our clients are prepared for such issues as power outages because their networks are on a synchronized cloud. This means that two servers in two different states can be alternatively used to handle data storage. If both should be down due to a large storm (like one the size of Hurricane Sandy), there is a full set of data on the cloud. We also schedule routine backups of data for our clients multiple times a week.

Alternate Internet Feeds (Starlink, other ISP)

Independent from other carriers, a Starlink satellite offers the security of not being tied to the system that everyone else is. Once power is restored (or simply provided by a generator), you are good to go. While there are initial costs ranging from $599 to $2,500 depending on what plan you select, this source for the internet can be reassuring. From the observation of our own install, it is not too strenuous and takes a few hours (at least on a two story building).  

Generators UPS and Surge protection

By default, we make sure you have 30 minutes of run time via battery backup and sometimes get large batteries to last longer.  Surge protection is also an important consideration.  When an outage is extended, we look at generators.  Electricity is a main concern in all areas when a storm hits. A gasoline-powered generator will have its limits (and can be very noisy and polluting) but a natural gas-powered one is more seamless. Depending on your business profile (Do you need to access medical records? Are you responsible for security?), securing power is a paramount issue. 

Hot Site Capability – a 2nd site ready for your network

Some companies have an entire alternative office complex to transfer staff to. An old concept from the 1940s and 1950s, this is called a Hot Site: an entire firm can move to a different location and have an office space waiting for them to utilize in the case of an emergency.

Today, a company with this arrangement can have access to a modern hot site which also offers multiple internet services and power sources.  A company’s actual network data is immediately available— as it always ran in the background at the hot site, should such a situation arise. Comm Disco and Sun Guard are examples of hot site companies. Others exist as well. 

For peace of mind, some firms rent a half a rack of networking space at such a location for approximately $1,000 a month to have their network always running in the background and access to alternate sources of power.

If you have concerns or would like to expand your storm preparation before hurricane season arrives, contact us. As always, we are here to help. Want to call us? We can be reached at 908.895.0273.

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