Hurricane Irma Teaches Lessons in Disaster Recovery

One small business used technology at hand to perform DR on the fly and now is considering the cloud for backup.

Rayanne Buchianico, an accountant and owner of ABC Solutions, discovered that her business continuity plan could use a few improvements, namely cloud services, in the midst of Hurricane Irma.

She and her partner run a two-person consulting firm out of their home in Clearwater, Fla. Before the hurricane’s arrival, they put their server and pets in their car and evacuated. But when they returned home, the power was out.

Buchianico used a generator to plug in the refrigerator, a portable air conditioner and to charge their smartphones. She used her smartphone as a hotspot, which allowed her to log in to QuickBooks Online to do payroll for one client. She needed to run payroll for other clients, but their data was housed on QuickBooks software on her unplugged server. That’s when she had a lightbulb moment. “I looked at the server and the generator outside and looked back at the server, and I got this long extension cord and ran it through the house,” she recalls.

She plugged in her uninterruptible power supply, then plugged her cable modem and server to the UPS. It worked. Power to the house was not restored for a week, but she got back to work.

To eliminate downtime during future incidents, Buchianico is embracing the cloud. She’s moving more clients to QuickBooks Online. She’s also investigating a move to a cloud service provider for backup. She adds that she may replace her physical server all together by migrating her applications and data to the cloud. That way, if she loses power again, she can log in to the cloud and access everything she needs — from any location.

“It was humbling,” Buchianico says. “You think you have everything planned out, and something like this comes along. I realized I can do things better.”

For more on the technology needed for disaster recovery, check out “The Tech Businesses Need to Maintain Services in the Face of Dire Storms.”

Mar 15 2018

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