Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Latest 0 comments on Business Preparedness for 2022

Business Preparedness for 2022

Now that we’re into October, most businesses are in the middle of strategic planning for 2022.

Evaluating company and employee performance.

Checking the actual numbers versus projections.

Allocating resources.

Prioritizing next year’s objectives.

But as we look ahead to the winter season, make sure that your IT goals and emergency preparedness are both a consideration in your company’s planning.

IT strategy aligning with business goals

While the next year will undoubtedly bring its own set of challenges, one thing that shouldn’t be a surprise is how your IT plans align with business goals.

Where are the areas that your competition is ahead of you?

Can you catch up with help from your IT group? Considerations must be made for IT spend and how its long-term payoffs ultimately marry with business objectives.

Clear direction helps everyone involved to see the big picture. Those small steps toward the end goal seem incremental, but are crucial to success.

Technology plays an important role in being effective and lean within the business.

Every aspect of a proper IT strategy should support the goals of your business.

As you look to next year, FIBERTOWN can help. If you’d like to see how we can help you hit your IT goals with a strategy session, give us a call.

Reflecting back on last winter

If your base of operations is in Texas, you are well aware of Winter Storm Uri from February of 2021.

The storm and resulting freeze and local disasters were devastating. Uri was unique because it blanketed the entire state of Texas for several days.

And as we all know, Texas is not prepared for that level of winter weather.

Some estimates put the damage at up to $200 billion. That includes property damage, disrupted oil and gas production, stopped food processing facilities and manufacturing plants as well as agricultural losses.

During Uri, FIBERTOWN was able to maintain its 100% uptime service-level agreement for all customers. No services were lost or affected. In fact, not only did we keep everyone up and running, we added a new client who couldn’t afford to be down during the freeze.

The supply chain has been so disrupted, we are still feeling the effects even today.

Planning for a business disruption and implementing disaster recovery procedures is critical for any company, especially for organizations along the Gulf Coast.

While Uri power outages were extensive, Texas is normally hit with some severe weather during the winter months that the state is not equipped for (be it 1-2 days or a full week like we had with Uri).

Without any remediation to the power grid, it leaves us just as vulnerable if not more so than we were last winter.

Be prepared for the unexpected

Now we’re looking ahead to 2022, and getting ready for a new year.

As a result of last winter’s storms, has your company changed how you look at emergency plans?

Instead of deciding that Uri was a fluke and that it won’t happen again, responsible businesses will look to learn from the storm.

What action items have you added to your plans for 2022?

Disaster recovery should figure prominently into your list.

At FIBERTOWN, we help companies address two key factors: maintaining the availability of critical technical systems at our colocation facilities, and work area recovery office space.

Our office spaces are adjacent to each data center location with backup power, blended internet solutions and connection to the customer colocation space available to ensure our customers always stay connected.

We always want to help our clients be ahead of any severe weather or natural disaster, no matter what comes our way.

For more information about disaster recovery planning for your business, contact a FIBERTOWN expert today.

Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Disaster Recovery Weekly   Latest 0 comments on ‘Tis the Season for Hurricane Readiness

‘Tis the Season for Hurricane Readiness

Hurricane and tropical depression hazards come in a variety of forms, including storm surges, high winds, tornadoes and flooding.

The steps you take before the storm are critical.

Having an emergency weather plan in place is imperative to handle the disaster — as well as your recovery.

What should you do before a hurricane strikes?

The most important part of your plan is being prepared. Consider these steps before a hurricane threatens your area:

     1. Prepare your emergency plan.
  • Develop or review your emergency plan, train your staff and run practice drills.
  • Include communication pieces for staff and contact information for your police/fire/gas/electrical providers and insurance carrier.
     2. Create basic life safety tasks.
  • Have evacuation or shelter procedures in place.
  • Train people in first aid, medical procedures, CPR, etc.
     3. Prepare emergency kits.
  • Have first aid and emergency safety kits on hand that are fully stocked with updated materials: non-perishable foods, bottled water, blankets, clothing, flashlights and batteries.
     4. Prepare your building.
  • Inspect your roof to ensure it will withstand hurricane-force winds and rain.
  • Consider adding hurricane clips, gable end bracing, hurricane-proof doors, and hurricane shutters.
  • Store materials such as plywood, screws, caulk, and sandbags to deploy quickly if a hurricane approaches.
  • Inspect your sump pump and replace batteries so you don’t rely on electrical power.
     5. Have a business continuity plan.
  • Establish a business continuity plan to maintain and resume operations during and after the hurricane.
  • Back up important data stored on computers to external hard drives or cloud storage.

What should you do when a hurricane is approaching?

Time becomes a critical factor when you know you’re in the path of a hurricane. Be decisive and heed the warnings of local emergency management officials.

     1.Keep people safe and informed.
  • Your priority in any emergency is to keep people safe.
  • Start activating a phone chain for updates.
     2. Move your valuables and documents to a safe location.
  • Raise items above floor level and or store them in a safe place, dry and up high.
  • Shut down computers and electronics.
     3. Secure your building.
  • Close and secure all doors.
  • Shut off electricity.

What happens once the storm is over?

When the skies clear and all emergency issues are resolved, you enter the recovery stage.

     1. Designate specific individuals to return to the site.
  • Work in teams and assess any damage.
  • Contact utility contractors.
  • Conduct basic repairs as necessary to secure the facility afterwards.
     2. Communicate with all team members to provide a status report.
  • Determine if the damages are severe enough to restrict usage or implement a temporary relocation plan.
  • Coordinate volunteer cleanup efforts.
     3. Follow up with your insurance carrier.
  • Report any damages that occurred to the claims team.
     4. Re-assess your plans.
  • It is critical that you and your team assess how well your safety action plan worked.
  • Are there improvements you could make? Should you consult with industry experts and learn how to better prepare?

The best preparations will help your team be ready for any storm.

FIBERTOWN data centers are built to withstand winds of 135 MPH, have generator backup in case utilities shutdown, and have personnel in our NOC 24/7/365 — even during a hurricane.

We’re always there to help whenever you need.

If you’re looking for disaster recovery office space, call FIBERTOWN today.

Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Latest 0 comments on Ready for Severe Weather: Business Continuity is Key

Ready for Severe Weather: Business Continuity is Key

In the face of fierce weather, it’s vital that your business can adapt quickly to whatever challenges are thrown your way.

Extreme weather like Winter Storm Uri and hurricanes like Harvey and Ike have shown us that business as usual must also include contingency plans for disasters.

Business resilience may sound like another buzzword for the boardroom, but being able to continue day-to-day operations during a disaster plays a major role in customer satisfaction, retention and reputation.

Prepare your business for challenges

FIBERTOWN data centers coupled with disaster recovery and business continuity office space provide peace of mind when urgent situations strike.

Communicating with employees and customers during disruptions is critical.

To ensure operations and functions through uncertain times, our concurrent and redundant data centers prevent downtime to maintain connectivity and productivity.

“Mature organizations understand the practicality and even necessity of a remote, high-availability operational workspace — for training in quiet times and guaranteed access in times of uncertainty.”

Unique features of FIBERTOWN data centers and office space
Offering dedicated disaster recovery office space with Dark Fiber connected to the data center, FIBERTOWN has prepared facilities ready for customers at a moment’s notice.

Your business enjoys 100% uptime for power, cooling, networks, and security, to ensure business operations and to enable and deploy remote workforces.

FIBERTOWN provides the latest technology and connectivity to multiple carriers.

Mission-critical operations like the Combined Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) for Brazos County, the Cities of Bryan and College Station, and Texas A&M, and Brazos Valley 911, in addition to petroleum pipeline control operations and hospital systems, count on us for 100% uptime for data systems, as well as private, secure, high-availability business continuity office suites.

Ready for this year’s hurricane season

At FIBERTOWN, we help companies address two key factors: maintaining the availability of your critical technical systems and work area recovery space.

Our trusted service team is also available to be your remote hands and eyes to help during times of disaster or pandemic.

Call us today, and gain peace of mind knowing you can handle any disaster that comes your way.

Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Latest 0 comments on Relying on Best Practices for Security

Relying on Best Practices for Security

Proper security practices are a vital part of company infrastructure.

As we know, ransomware has quickly emerged as one of the fastest-growing cyber threats to both businesses and government agencies alike.

The May 7, 2021 cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline shuttered the computerized equipment managing the gasoline and jet fuel delivery pipeline. The resulting shutdown spread fear across the southeastern U.S., as consumers rushed the pumps and drove up prices.

Hackers demanded almost $4.4 million in Bitcoin for ransom, which the company quickly paid while working closely with the FBI. Most of the money was later recovered.

After reviews by industry security experts, a simple multi-factor authentication (MFA) would have been enough to stop hackers from accessing Colonial Pipeline credentials.

Is a review of your company’s security practices on the annual calendar?

Reducing the risk of ransomware attacks

If you’re concerned about the level of security in your own firm, including physical and cybersecurity, VPN, and off-site access to critical systems, you might want to consider choosing a data center for your storage.

In order to keep your data safe, FIBERTOWN uses layers of security controls and system checks built into the structure of our data centers.

From the building to the software systems and personnel, we use a multi-pronged approach to physical and digital security.

Important measures we take include: construction materials that ensure hurricane resistance, our 24/7 network operations staff and on-site security, and a 100% uptime service level agreement to provide redundant power and cooling.

It’s important to find a data center that knows the risks of ransomware and has the highest levels of security in place to mitigate possible breaches.

FIBERTOWN partners with many cybersecurity companies who offer excellent products and services. For more education, we engage FBI cybersecurity experts to speak at FIBERTOWN-hosted events to give advice on the latest real-life examples they have seen. If you would like a recommendation, or to sign up for our next cybersecurity event, please ask.

Assistance with backup and disaster recovery

At FIBERTOWN, we want to help make digital security less of an issue for customers.

Energy companies depend on FIBERTOWN for their colocation and backup needs.

Take Petrobras America Inc. for example.

Petrobras America Inc. is a subsidiary of Petrobras, an energy company comprising upstream and downstream operations in Brazil and a North America trading group.

Their data center was located in an office building not set up for the special considerations an enterprise-level data center requires like generator power, cooling, and multiple carriers.

The building would lose power multiple times per month, and enduring the outages was taxing and stressful for the IT team.

Realizing data center operations were not core to their business, the IT team concluded that hosting data at a remote colocation center would provide better return on investment.

Fibertown offered a certified data center with redundancy, multiple carriers, and disaster recovery features (like being first in line for diesel for backup generators) that inspired confidence in the Petrobras America Inc. team.

Prepared for hurricane season

The very best disaster recovery and business continuity plan is the one you never have to use.

The worst? Not having one at all.

What disaster recovery or business continuity means to your business depends on many complex or unpredictable factors.

At FIBERTOWN, we help companies address two key factors: maintaining the availability of your critical technical systems and work area recovery space.

Our customers look to FIBERTOWN and our team of disaster recovery experts to maintain 100% up-time.

Call us today, and gain peace of mind knowing you can handle any disaster that comes your way.