Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Katrina Spurs Companies To Initiate IT Backup Plans

Larry Greenemeier writes in InformationWeek:

As Hurricane Katrina cuts a wide swath of destruction through parts of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, many businesses have been forced to activate emergency backup plans due to flooding, power outages, and other adverse conditions. Not surprisingly, SunGard Data Systems Inc. has seen a sharp increase in the demand for its availability services as businesses affected by the storm cut over to the company's various backup and recovery sites.

Since Aug. 25, when Katrina was gearing up for its assault on Florida, more than 120 SunGard Availability Services customers have put the company on notice that they might have to use SunGard facilities. So far, 18 companies have actually invoked the services, with some relocating to SunGard locations in Las Colinas and Grand Prairie, Texas; Smyrna, Ga.; Carlstadt, N.J.; Scottsdale, Ariz., Wood Dale, Ill.; and Philadelphia. Others have called for SunGard to send out mobile data-center trucks or to ship equipment to their own backup locations. SunGard expects there could be another 10 disaster declarations from its customers in the region over the next few days.

The intensity of the storm also is likely to keep clients at SunGard or other backup facilities longer than most emergencies, says Bob DiLossi, manager of SunGard Availability Services' crisis management center in Philadelphia. Some companies are talking about staying for two or three weeks, more than double the average time that companies generally operate remotely during an emergency. In addition to servers and other data-center infrastructure equipment, SunGard clients are calling for workspace for their employees who need connectivity to the Web and to telephone lines. SunGard already has welcomed 125 displaced desktop users to its Texas, Georgia, and Pennsylvania facilities, and another 125 spots will be added by the end of Tuesday, primarily to do call-center work.


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