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Lessons Learned: VARs Ready Should Isaac Head Their Way

Scott Campbell

For one, the storm doesn't appear to be any stronger than other storms that have hit the area in recent years. But also, the technology solutions they sell today have them feeling more comfortable about their customers' IT infrastructure than in the past.

"Now, it's a nuisance more than a sense of dread. It's a pain, but it's not fearful like we were before [Hurricane Katrina in 2005]," said Vince Gremillion, president of Restech Information Services, a Jefferson, La.-based solution provider.

[Related: Five Natural Disasters That Threatened To Break IT Supply Chains ]

Gremillion noted that the New Orleans area is currently on track to be in the northwest quadrant of Isaac when it passes, the most dangerous area, and he's heard projections of a foot of rain in the area. Still, he feels Restech and its customers will be up and running, even if there is some physical damage.

"Since Katrina, all of our major customers are doing some sort of private cloud solution, and most of the major ones are doing some [hybrid] public/private cloud or some full offsite solutions," Gremillion said. "It's not hard to push this anymore. It's pretty simple. They ask for you. Anybody in this area should have this well established by now."

Internally, Restech has its data backed up in Dallas in case of not only a hurricane, but any unforeseen event, he said. "In our old building, we had cars hitting telephone poles every couple months. These [hurricane] threats are almost easier because you know it's coming. You don't know how sustained it will be or how long an interruption will happen, but we protect for everyday things just as much as we do for big things."

Chris Morton, vice president of MCG Business Solutions, a Mobile, Ala.-based solution provider, feels the same way. About 95 percent of MCG's business comes from hosted or cloud solutions, and the company is prepared for Isaac, he said.

"All we need is Internet access from somewhere. If we are under a situation, we can relocate to another facility outside of the troubled area for core operations," he said.

MCG has also helped some customers review their disaster recovery plans as Isaac approaches, but Morton isn't concerned much about the storm.

"For some it's executing their DRPs [disaster recovery plans]. Some customers are shutting down and securing their hardware; for others, their critical line of business stuff is in the cloud. Others are full redundant and can roll from one office to another. It really depends on the customer," Morton said.

The hype around an approaching hurricane gives VARs something to talk about, but at this point, most companies likely have strong business continuity strategies in place, he said.

"This event is nothing more than an opportunity to review a DRP. We can get an evening squall that is more devastating because it could spin up a couple of tornadoes," Morton said.


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