MSPmentor Blog

Tornadoes? These MSPs are Prepared

This year, the number of twisters on record is double the average for January 1 through March 15, according to the National Weather Service. In March alone, a run of tornadoes in the central states produced two confirmed EF4s (the last confirmed EF5 was in 2007), and photos from the 200+ homes destroyed by recent tornadoes in Michigan are spreading throughout social media sites.

The severity of this tornado season and the damage that could be inflicted has caused many SMBs in the area to contemplate the issue of business continuity and data/application uptime for their business.

Tornado-Prone Businesses Face Downtime Disasters with Confidence

In Wisconsin’s Rock County and surrounding areas, customers of one Managed Service Provider (MSP), The Computer Center, are particularly concerned about how quickly their data and applications would be back up-and-running after a tornado. One client, a lumber yard, is also concerned about continuity of their IT systems if a lightning strike occurs – especially with their business located near a railroad, where the metals in the ground attract a higher-than-average number of lightning strikes. Because of these concerns, as well as demands for “zero downtime” from their legal, financial services, and healthcare clients, The Computer Center went hunting for the best backup, business continuity, and disaster recovery solution available to the SMB market.

“We used both Acronis and Symantec, but had problems getting them to do what we wanted,” said Shane Linde, network engineer for The Computer Center. “With these products, we were not able to provide our clients a complete solution that allowed immediate failover and replication offsite.”

Then, The Computer Center tested Axcient, and found what they were looking for: “With one device and one vendor, we could have reliable and effective Bare Metal Restore, easily get customers’ data offsite, and provide them with ultimate continuity through both onsite and offsite virtualization,” Linde said.

Tornado Ripped Off Roof, Sent Backup Appliance to Oz

For another MSP near Birmingham, Alabama, the powerful tornado of May 2011 caused severe damage to the offices of a client in the utilities services industry. The tornado pulled the roof off of the building and ripped the onsite backup appliance right out of the server room (it was never found). The building was destroyed, and the business could have been as well. However, the business’ MSP, Computerteks, had properly prepared for such an event with the Axcient solution for complete data and application uptime. The data was fully restored and the business was able to continue from a temporary location, even though rebuilding their original office has taken some time.

For both Computerteks and The Computer Center, Axcient’s all-in-one backup, business continuity, and disaster recovery solution is enough to give the peace of mind to their customers – even the lightning-prone lumber yard and the utilities services company who has already experienced a tornado disaster. Businesses with Axcient Cloud Continuity need never suffer downtime again – if their local servers fail, users can easily run a virtual office on Axcient’s cloud platform, enabling employees to continue working on their data and applications, from any Internet-enabled device at any location, no matter what happens.

For more, read the full case study on The Computer Center, and the blog: When MSPs Save the Data, They Save the Day. To sign up for a live demo of Axcient, register here.

Dawn Mortensen is a product marketing writer at  Axcient, which offers a cloud-based continuity service for MSPs. Monthly guest blogs such as this one are part of MSPmentor’s annual platinum sponsorship. Read all Axcient guest blogs here.

Discuss this Blog Entry 3

Ted Hulsy (not verified)
on Mar 23, 2012
Disclosure: eFolder and Axcient compete. Tornadoes are a real threat to many American businesses. The other thing partners need to think about is if the tornado destroys their own business, in addition to their clients' locations. This unfortunately happened to one eFolder partner John Motazedi of SNC Squared. Thanks to eFolder and a sound business continuity plan, John was able restore all of his computer systems in less than one business day after his office location was wiped off the map. Listen to his story by going to the eFolder YouTube page and listening to the webinar on demand. Simply Google: "efoldervideos"
Joe Panettieri (not verified)
on Mar 29, 2012
Rich: It's safe to say all Wal-Mart suppliers are dealing with the point you just made. And as partner ecosystems become more complex, small businesses will increasingly need to prove their availability to larger partners... -jp
Rich Bruklis (not verified)
on Mar 28, 2012
Think about your business... If you are a vital part of another company's supply chain and can't deliver (even if the issue is beyond your control), don't you believe that company might look elsewhere when your contract is up?
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