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As a result, Oh said, customers whose primary operations were hosted at Hosted Solutions had those operations backed up by Windstream's facilities in Raleigh, N.C., which was also hit hard by Hurricane Irene.
"Under no circumstances would we expect anything to impact both facilities," he said. "No terror attack would do it. Maybe a nuclear blast. But luckily for customers, both facilities remained online."
Hurricane Irene caused Tech Superpowers to ask itself whether it selected the right partner and did enough to protect customers against a disaster, Oh said.
"For the first question, the answer is yes," he said. "Our provider had not problems. It stayed online. For the second question, however, we need to look at disaster plans in terms of geography."
Eryck Bredy, founder and CTO of BNMC, an Andover, Mass.-based solution provider who also worked with Windstream/Hosted Solutions as a partner, said customers were relieved that they didn't lose any data during the hurricane.
"Some customers worried because our backup data center was in Raleigh, N.C.," Bredy said. "But we told customers their data was stored in two places, so it was safe."
BNMC proactively e-mailed customers before Irene arrived to remind them that the company's personnel would be available around the clock over the weekend should they need any help, a move Bredy said helped diffuse any possible anxieties customer might have.
"We were over-prepared," he said. In the Long Island area of New York, winds and flooding killed the power to HorizonTek, a Huntington, N.Y.-based storage solution provider, but otherwise did not hurt the company's facilities, said Chris Leonard, a sales executive.
HorizonTek used the home of one of its executives as a backup data center, and was able to continue operations on a remote basis with no major issues, Leonard said.
For Doug Cole, a partner at LH Computer Services, a Coral Springs, Fla.-based solution provider, Hurricane Irene was unusual in that it did not have much impact locally, but it did cause some power outages for customers up the Atlantic coast all the way up to Boston.
Preparing for possible disasters save customers, Cole said.
"Nobody lost any data," he said. "We started contacting them a week ago to ask if they needed any help. They were busy hunkering down, getting ready to execute their disaster recovery plans. Not make disaster recovery plans, but execute on them."
Cole said he would like to receive the credit for saving customers from disaster. "But a lot of the solutions we put in include SANs and replication, and all include good backups," he said. "Disaster recovery is a part of our solutions. So we have no big, sad stories to tell."
Some places were hit harder than others.
Hope Hayes, president of Alliance Technology Group, a Hanover, Md.-based solution provider, said her building received only a small percentage of the power it needs to run on Monday, and that half her employees' homes are without power, which means it was difficult to contact customers.
The disaster struck just as Alliance was in the process of finalizing negotiations on a new building in which a state-of-the-art data center is being planned, Hayes said. However, because of the hurricane, Alliance will have to invest in fail-over technology in its current space, which is already overcrowded because of growth over the last few years.
"We're moving," she said. "We planned to put in all the failover technology in the new office. But now we can't wait."
Next: Not Like Past Disasters