Executive Corner

Hurricane Irene and Disaster Preparedness at ServInt

With Hurricane Irene projected to make landfall on the east coast of the United States in just a few days, many customers have been asking about what ServInt is doing to prepare for this potentially severe storm.

During any extraordinary event, ServInt operates under a set of Major Event procedures that have been crafted and refined over the last 16 years. These procedures include augmenting facility staff through overtime and multiple levels of on-call, assignment of task forces to deal with any contingencies that arise, and opening and maintaining lines of communication with our customers and vendors to ensure smooth operation throughout the event.

These procedures are important for making sure we’re always ready to provide our normal level of customer care in abnormal situations.  But the bulk of our preparation for any given event takes place months to years earlier as we design and build our datacenters, choose our network providers and make our staffing decisions.

By choosing data center facilities that are expected to withstand any rationally conceivable event; by designing our network to quickly recover from the loss of any provider; and by making sure the staff we hire are reliable and steady in the face of the unexpected, we are able to work through most natural disasters without missing a beat.

In its 16 years, ServInt has weathered hurricanes, blizzards, tornadoes and—yes—even earthquakes. During Hurricane Isabel in 2003, while most businesses in the Washington DC metro area saw major disruptions, ServInt operated without customer interruption through the entire storm.

Frankly, our biggest concern during any natural disaster is making sure our employees can get to and from our facilities for their shifts. During any major event we roll out the cots and sleeping bags and stock the fridges. While we already run a 24/7 ship, we have to be prepared in the event that on-duty staff cannot make it home from a facility. Waiting for streets to be plowed or trees to be cleared is often our biggest concern.

Any web host’s true value is put to the test when extraordinary events occur, be it the explosion of traffic on a customer website, a hack or DDOS attack, or a natural disaster. These events and the host’s response are what customers remember. So as Hurricane Irene bears down on the eastern United States, rest assured that we are watching the weather carefully, unpacking our rain coats and dry-running all our disaster procedures. Our generators are fueled up and capable of powering your servers for a long time.  Our cupboards are filled to bursting with cans of soup and stew.  Our employees are ready.  Your sites are as safe as any hosting company could possibly make them, and we’ll do everything we can to keep them up and running, no matter what mother nature throws at us.

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