Real disaster recovery is more than a data backup plan. A real disaster plan insures the vital technology your business needs to operate continues to run, even in the event of a blackout.
April 27, 2011. The storms that day produced 62 tornadoes that ripped throughout Alabama. They literally left trenches of wrecked infrastructure--wreckage that will require years to rebuild.
For the first time in 50 years, the entire Madison County was without power and left with very limited communication systems, including the PSTN (Public Switched Telephone Network) which eventually went down for nearly 24 hours. Businesses were forced to use backup communications through the cellular network, but even that network was reduced to a nearly unusable level.
Because of my company’s extensive disaster backup & recovery plan, API Digital
never lost essential communication power. Our generators roared to life within seconds of the outage and with the help of dedicated staff most of our customers outside of Alabama, from a telephony perspective, were completely unaware of the massive communication outages that had taken place here. Click here for more
on how API Digital helped other Huntsville businesses recover from the April 2011 storms.
I learned many important lessons that day. Here are my top 3:
- Don’t keep all your eggs in one basket. Redundancy is key in Internet connectivity.
- Stick with a company that knows the National ISDN standard rules and uses them to your advantage. API Digital's people know the rules and are expert mediators when it comes to operating within the system to keep you connected. This means less hastle for you when network trouble arises.
- When it comes to Internet connectivity, you really are as strong as your weakest link. We all learned an important lesson that day--just because you have a generator doesn’t mean everyone else does. Many CLEC’s (competitive local exchange carriers) co-locate SONET (synchronous optical network) gear in customer buildings to build their ring topology. This is a smart way to build a network, but when a blackout hits it only works if everyone is on a generator. We experienced this with one of our own phone carriers, AT&T. API Digital was able keep going despite briefly losing a strong link in our “plan A” operating system.
Quick personal note:
I must pass along my thanks to Mark Spencer: Hey, Mark, I was paying attention when you taught me voice routing. I’ve passed that knowledge on to people who are smarter than me, so that we can continue performing this kind of voice miracle or two. This year at Astricon, maybe we can pull another rabbit out of our hat with a multi-site Denver, Chicago and Atlanta SCF demonstration.