The 2017 contradiction: Finding the best through weathering the worst
Weathering the worst, indeed. From hurricanes, to earthquakes to volcanoes and wildfires, it seems that no corner of the globe escaped misery and destruction this year. When it comes to Mother Nature there is just so much we can’t predict, much less prevent – a fact that leaves us humble.
But there are things we can do to prepare. While we can’t completely halt the devastation and destruction, we can do things to preserve life, property, and enterprise integrity. Allowing businesses to get back online, keep employees working, and the local economies churning to aid in recovery and rebuilding.
In 2005, Hurricane Katrina destroyed two shipyards for which members of the Harmony team had operational technology responsibility. Our datacenter was scattered over two miles of the countryside by the storm surge. Team members were successful in rebuilding and recommissioning the environment in a remote location, providing connectivity and business continuity faster than anyone thought possible. Everything was up and running after two weeks.
Here are some lessons we learned from our IT recovery approach after Katrina:
- We focused first on the needs of the people who had suffered the greatest losses, but who understood what needed to be rebuilt. Once they felt safe, they could focus on recovery.
- We managed the full spectrum of logistics required to plan, execute, and sustain the recovery effort. This included providing fuel, food, water, and clothing for the people who were working towards recovery.
- We had to take a total system approach to restoration. None of the infrastructure (including public infrastructure) could be relied upon, so we had to carefully assess what was absolutely required and focus on prioritized restoration.
- We achieved restoration by providing temporary power, satellite-based connectivity, temporary workstations, as well as basic hardware. It also meant restoring data from obsolescent backups, identifying and constructing a recovery environment, and overcoming inadequate business continuity planning.
- We restored emergency communications by putting in place a network of personal devices that did not require public networks. We rebuilt data center capabilities in remote locations not impacted by the storm. We recovered systems and data to restore operations in record time.
- We set up systems that not only managed people in the area but managed programs that required engineers from companies around the world to work on designs of complex platforms protecting our national security as well as our allies.
- We leveraged remote people and capabilities to achieve operational restoration while enabling the eventual rebuilding and restoration of damaged facilities.
Harmony is in it for the long haul. It’s our Texas, too, and we are poised to not only keeping it running, but getting it back up and running after a disaster.
For more information about taking the next step towards recovery, contact Harmony Technology Services and find out how we can help.