The new face of disaster recovery

"We provided payroll for 23,000 people at the time and served 100 percent of our customers," Rahner says.

OneSwitch is software that is installed on Microsoft application servers. It replicates application data in real time to a remote backup system over the IP network. Replication status and failover readiness can be monitored by the MessageOne operations center and also through an enterprise management console. When a server fails, the IT manager initiates the failover sequence, which brings up the remote server in as little as 15 minutes. When the primary site is back in working order, the IT manager initiates the failback mechanism.

When David Erwin caught wind of Hurricane Katrina bearing down on New Orleans, he was prepared at least to protect his data, if not his telecom infrastructure.

Erwin, network administrator for law firm Adams & Reese in New Orleans' Central Business District, uses a managed backup service from MessageOne to protect his Microsoft Exchange databases.

"On Monday morning -- when Katrina hit New Orleans -- the motion detectors in our data center went off because the building was shaking so much. We lost power and at 6 a.m. we failed over to a MessageOne data center in Chicago and had complete e-mail and BlackBerry continuity of our relocated users in Baton Rouge 15 minutes later."

At Adams and Reese, business is continuing as usual thanks to MessageOne's e-mail failover service. The company, which evacuated its offices to Baton Rouge, is finally back home.

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