As we conclude a very active hurricane season, I want to reflect on the events of the past several weeks. We cannot stop disasters from happening, but we can prepare to the best of our ability. As hurricane Irma approached, many families, friends, and neighbors were boarding up and evacuating.
Others stayed behind to ensure their businesses would continue to run and serve their customers. Many of these companies alerted their Disaster Recovery D/R) providers. Corus360’s RES-Q division, which provides recovery services to many customers along the southeast coastline and the Gulf of Mexico, was one of those providers.
The RES-Q team was in prepare mode as many of our customers alerted us that they might need to declare a disaster and run their business out of our data center. As Hurricane Irma was nearing south Florida, we were reviewing 80+ contracts, tracking the storm path, and determining which customers were most likely to be impacted. We established round-the-clock operations and rotations for our account management, sales, and engineering teams while keeping in constant contact with our customers.
Corus360’s RES-Q Services then took steps to help customers affected by Irma and two major storms that followed soon after. Our dedicated team of engineers worked all week and into the weekend installing additional equipment and air conditioning to support the possible influx of customers. Additionally, they tested the desktops in the company’s Workgroup Recovery Room and helped customers secure hotel rooms to ensure that Corus360 would be as ready as possible for what might happen. Between these activities, adding hardware, securing lines of communication, and establishing a “War Room,” Corus360 was as ready to assist in the event of a customer disaster declaration.
Our business has adapted from traditional quick-ship contracts with 24-72 hour recovery times to near real-time recovery with technologies such as Zerto and Veeam. Customers have a copy of their data on our floor and can essentially flip a switch and be running their applications in our data center(s). With these capabilities, we were able to start Veeam and AIX data backup for a long-standing customer in mid-Florida who was struggling to implement their own backup solution. Thanks to new and innovative technologies, we are able to move data and applications to other locations to ensure their safety.
I was amazed at how quickly people can mobilize when tragedy looms on the horizon or the forecast. Until Irma became an inevitable force, the biggest concern in the office was the upcoming fantasy football draft. Almost overnight, the whole office shifted its attention to the likelihood of disaster, and then the place felt like a command center, the kind you see in movies where the operatives go about their work as if the world isn’t ending on the other side of their radios. That’s a little dramatic, but I can’t think of a better way to style the men and women in this building who came into the office that Monday, despite the governor’s declared state of emergency in Georgia and the ceaseless rain to provide service to the people that we support.
Hopefully this only speaks to a handful of you, and hopefully you never need to worry about whether or not your home will be standing after a storm passes through. If you do, though, know that you can prepare for whatever is coming and that proactive action turns into positive results. To all those affected by Harvey, Irma, Maria, and Nate, our thoughts and prayers go out to you.