Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Latest   Partners 0 comments on A Colocation Story: Centennial Arts

A Colocation Story: Centennial Arts

Exceptional customer service helps Centennial Arts transition to FIBERTOWN’S colocation services within 24 hours during Winter Storm Uri

As a website design and development firm in Bryan, Texas, it’s vital for Centennial Arts to provide consistent hosting services.

But Winter Storm Uri in February 2021 had other plans for them.

Due to the State of Texas’ electrical grid overload, Centennial Arts’ backup power solutions were affected. Rolling blackouts kept happening.

Because Centennial Arts was located in a high-power consumption facility, the utility company decided to cut off the power until they could figure out what to do from there.

Once that decision was made, backup power kicked on for Centennial Arts, and they started going through their batteries. Then a generator failed, and something else happened with the transfer switch.

The Centennial Arts team was looking for alternative options to avoid downtime during the chaos of the winter weather. The utility company couldn’t promise a restoration date, or even consistent backup power.

Extraordinary customer service helps Centennial Arts quickly

Once Centennial Arts contacted FIBERTOWN to ask about colocation services, the sales representative was very helpful and offered server space on the spot.

FIBERTOWN was ready to keep Centennial Arts’ services running if they wanted to migrate hardware that same day.

“While we were dealing with multiple factors like icy conditions and the logistics of how to migrate, the FIBERTOWN team was very helpful during a stressful time,” said Alfred Hanna, Centennial Arts CMO.

The on-site FIBERTOWN team was ready at the data center and already had a section prepared for Centennial Arts.

As they started moving equipment onsite and setting up the infrastructure, FIBERTOWN staff were on hand for any questions, calls, tools or an extra set of hands to help set up.

Within 24 hours of initial contact, FIBERTOWN was able to help a customer move into the data center during a natural disaster.

When customers need emergency help, FIBERTOWN will go the extra mile to get them in and set up.

A smooth migration process reassures Centennial Arts

“FIBERTOWN made the migration, and our backup, a lot easier to set up very quickly in one day. They were very responsive and very helpful. They just made things happen,” remarked Hanna.

The team worked continuously to transition to a zero downtime electrical grid with reserve generators and UPS systems.

After days of unstable power, Centennial Arts could now tell their customers not to worry about any more power or weather service interruptions.

Winter Storm Uri caused many headaches for many companies.

But for Centennial Arts, the nimble work of FIBERTOWN helped keep them up and running.

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FIBERTOWN offers colocation data centers, disaster recovery and business continuity office space. Texas owned and operated since 1997, FIBERTOWN maintains data centers with concurrent and redundant power, cooling and connectivity, as well as disaster recovery offices and SCADA control centers, in north Houston and Bryan, Texas.

Contact us today for more information about our colocation services.

Data Center   Latest   Partners   Security 0 comments on Protect Yourself Against the Rise of Ransomware

Protect Yourself Against the Rise of Ransomware

Ransomware has quickly emerged as one of the fastest-growing cyber threats to both businesses and government agencies alike.

By locking files and demanding payment for access to the data, hackers can ultimately grind business as usual to a standstill until the files are recovered.

For many businesses, the crippling effects of having their systems locked down scares them into paying the ransom to get the files back.

In order to help clients truly prepare, FIBERTOWN partner Horne Cyber has created a product called Threat Runner that simulates and tests against real ransomware and new variants.

Horne states, “Ransomware, especially in times of public concern, continues to play a detrimental role in the privacy, integrity, and availability of organizations’ data.”

FIBERTOWN’S 3-prong approach to ransomware

In order to keep your business up and running 100% of the time, we recommend a 3-prong approach to dealing with ransomware. It’s all about being prepared — then you don’t have to respond in the heat of the moment if your company is hacked.

Our 3 prongs include: insurance, cybersecurity and physical security.

Insurance


A cyber liability insurance policy can help you to cover the expenses associated with a cyber hack. Additionally, some commercial cyber liability policies cover loss of business while your systems are compromised or unavailable.

Contact Horne Cyber today to discuss their packages for insurance, including proactive resilience services and best practices with cyber insurance.

For an added perk, mention FIBERTOWN in Horne Cyber’s contact form and they will schedule a free advisory call for best practice cyber tips.

Cybersecurity

Most business owners understand that cybersecurity is vitally important to running a business. Along with the typical protocols for protecting online activity and data, you may want to consider hiring a cybersecurity firm for an added layer.

HORNE Cyber’s unique combination of audit and security expertise provides clients with unrivaled insights related to successful cybersecurity programs, processes, and practices.

Physical security

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.

Successfully implementing these tips is a good start to stacking layers of cyber resiliency. Finding a data center that offers critical physical security is paramount as well.

Audit for business security

One consideration your business might want to consider is performing a business security audit. How prepared are you for an attack?

In their CISA Insights – Ransomware Outbreak document, the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) recommends that you:

  1. Backup your data, system images, and configurations and keep the backups offline
  2. Update and patch systems
  3. Make sure your security solutions are up to date
  4. Review and exercise your incident response plan
  5. Pay attention to ransomware events and apply lessons learned

Here are 5 more of the CISA recommendations to help you avoid being an easy target for ransomware hackers:

  1. Practice good cyber hygiene; backup, update, whitelist apps, limit privilege, and use multifactor authentication
  2. Segment your networks; make it hard for the bad guy to move around and infect multiple systems
  3. Develop containment strategies; if bad guys get in, make it hard for them to get stuff out
  4. Know your system’s baseline for recovery
  5. Review disaster recovery procedures and validate goals with executives

If you’re ready to make sure your data is protected, contact FIBERTOWN today to discuss what our data centers can do for your business.

Data Center   Disaster Recovery   Latest 0 comments on What Texas Businesses Learned from Winter Storm Uri

What Texas Businesses Learned from Winter Storm Uri

As many in Texas contend with the fallout of Winter Storm Uri, including physical cleanup, insurance claims, rebuilding, and recovering, business readiness is a hot topic in boardrooms.

Data Center Dynamics reports, “People who aren’t necessarily in a datacenter or power generation industry, are talking about the grid, they’re talking about batteries, they’re talking about generators, they’re wanting to make sure that this does not happen again,” said Bill Kleyman, Executive Vice President of Digital Solutions at Switch.

When power matters

As a result of the winter storm, rolling blackouts caused outages across the state, leaving 4.5 million businesses and homes without power.

More than 100 people died during Winter Storm Uri, most from hypothermia. Carbon monoxide poisoning, vehicle crashes, and fires, and medical equipment failure were other causes of death, said the Texas Department of State Health Services.

Business operations tried to switch to diesel backup, but some organizations struggled, including Florida health care provider Availitywhich lost its data center for 11 hours, and Austin’s city data centerwhich also suffered downtime.

More than ever, partnering with a data center that is prepared for any weather-related disaster is imperative to successful operations and customer satisfaction.

Past winter storms

The National Weather Service reports that damages from the weeklong cold snap could surpass that from Hurricane Harvey in 2017 and could be the most costly weather disaster in state history.

Other recent winter weather systems to hit Texas include:

  • Storms in February 2011 that dropped 5-8 inches of snow from Dallas Love Field to Emory, Sulphur Springs, Mineola and Mount Pleasant.
  • March 2010 storms moved across the Red River Valley, eventually dumping 5 to 9 inches of snow across Collin County.
  • February 2010 storms brought record-breaking snowfall across North Central Texas. This very unusual event brought totals of a foot or more for many locations around the DFW Metroplex. Haslet reported 14.4 inches, while DFW Airport had a record-breaking 12.5 inches in 24 hours.

Read more from the National Weather Service about significant winter weather and storms that have hit Texas, including the first recorded white Christmas in 1841.

The 2021 hurricane season in the U.S.

As the winter weather starts to fade, spring weather also brings hurricane season to the minds of Texas residents.

With Hurricane Harvey still affecting families and businesses, time marches on to the next season. The 2021 Atlantic hurricane season is predicted to be more active than usual.

Predictions released by the Colorado State University Tropical Meteorology Project suggest that this year’s season will consist of 17 named storms, eight hurricanes and four major hurricanes.

A major hurricane is one that is Category 3 or higher (115-plus-mph winds) on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale.

Business lessons learned

As a business, you never want to be reactive.

If you’re reacting to a situation after the fact, there’s no telling the dollar amount that a weather event has already taken on your bottom line.

Preparing your business for the hurricane season takes intention and a hard look at current processes.

The most important advice we recommend: Be ready for the worst, so you won’t be caught off guard.

You’d much rather have happy customers who are thankful that you planned and kept all your systems online than the opposite.

For more information contact a FIBERTOWN expert today.

Data Center   Disaster Recovery 0 comments on Texas Data Centers Help Emergency Services During Winter Storms

Texas Data Centers Help Emergency Services During Winter Storms

Storm readiness prepares FIBERTOWN data centers to host local emergency services operations

Throughout Winter Storm Uri in Texas and the resulting local disasters, FIBERTOWN data centers in Bryan, TX and Houston have remained up and running.

Our storm readiness planning allowed our teams to be prepared with utility power sourcing, emergency generator fuel deliveries, facility hardening, food and water supplies and increased staff scheduling and coordination.

We did not experience any services failures or faltering and none of our customers were negatively affected.

Extra support staff remained on-site to ensure data center customers were well taken care of. Our team enjoyed serving as the physical eyes and ears when travel wasn’t possible for clients.

All services, from colocation to disaster recovery office space remained online and available.

Local emergency services set up operations at FIBERTOWN

The Brazos Combined Emergency Operations Center (CEOC) — which includes emergency management teams for Texas A&M University, Brazos County and the Cities of Bryan and College Station — deployed at their resilient office spaces in the FIBERTOWN Bryan Data Center facility.

When the primary College Station 911 location was impacted by a power outage, the BCECD 911 team also relocated its staff to operations at the FIBERTOWN Bryan Data Center facility.

During the freezing weather, CEOC teams coordinated emergency operations to rescue at-risk residents stranded at their homes with no power.

The CEOC staff also worked incredibly hard to reschedule COVID-19 vaccinations, arranged area warming stations, and coordinated shelters for the area.

We continue to work closely with local emergency management services staff to offer our support for future storm preparedness planning.

Clients utilize disaster recovery space after severe weather power outages

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.

During Winter Storm Uri, we moved quickly to help customers relocate.

After suffering from 48 hours of downtime at their on-premises location, one new colocation customer moved into the FIBERTOWN Bryan data center just 4 hours after inquiring about disaster recovery office space. We pride ourselves in being responsive and keeping the customer’s success as our primary objective. At FIBERTOWN, we believe the success of our customers leads to and is the best measure of our success.

During Winter Storm Uri, we also provided temporary disaster recovery office space for a customer whose employees did not have internet connectivity from home or at their office location. They were able to continue operations and keep their billing current thanks to the office space prepared for them at the FIBERTOWN Houston campus.

We helped a new business continuity customer in the middle of the impact of the Winter Storm Uri, and one of our vendors assisted another FIBERTOWN customer to keep their on-premises data center operational when they were impacted by power outages.

Datacenter uptime you can count on

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.