The Riverbed Blog (testing)

A blog in search of a tagline

It’s been a very scary year!

Posted by riverbedtest on October 31, 2011

225px-Jack-o'-Lantern_2003-10-31It's Halloween today (at least in the US), and as I sit here in my house in northern New Jersey looking at the new-fallen snow, and all the downed tree limbs strewn about my neighborhood, I think to myself, "What the heck is going on here?"

Let's take a moment and review the last 4 months or so here in the suburbs of New York City:

  • Back in late June, we had a series of heavy rainstorms which resulted in some major flooding of 082311eastquake4.sJPG_900_540_0_95_1_50_50 homes, streets, and businesses.  For me this meant that a 1500 square foot piece of my land and four trees slid into the stream that runs past my house. 
  • On August 23, while we were all preparing for Hurricane Irene (which hit a few days later), we felt the effects of the earthquake that was centered in Virginia.  Mostly it just scared people and knocked things off shelves around here, but the effects were a little more serious in the Virginia and Washington DC area.
  • P1090230A few days later, hurricane Irene hit, and there was massive flooding.  We saw 7-8" of rain in about 24 hours, and the stream that runs past my house set a new record for how far out of its banks it came, and we wound up with minor flooding in my basement.  And places like Vermont had flooding on a scale that few could ever remember seeing before.
  • About 2 weeks after Irene, the remnants of tropical storm Lee hit us, and stalled over us unexpectedly, which resulted in another 6-7" of rain in a brief period and more serious basement flooding.
  • And then we had Saturday.  The worst snowfall ever to hit the northeast in October hit us.  New IMG_0344 York City only saw about 3", but some colder suburbs saw 12" to 20" or more.  We're used to snow around here (though usually it falls between December and March), but when it's a heavy wet snow, and there are still leaves on all the trees, that's a problem.  My neighborhood looked like a bomb went off, due to all the tree limbs and branches strewn all over the place.  Power continues to be out to large swaths of northern New Jersey, along with parts of Connecticut, New York, and Pennsylvania; more than 750,000 customers are reported to be without power.  In many towns, trick-or-treating has been cancelled or postponed.

You may well ask, what's all this got to do with Riverbed?  One of the things that our products do extremely well is protect your data from the effects of a disaster.  And any one of these events (not to mention the two feet of snow that fell back on December 26) could qualify as a business-damaging disaster.

Our Steelhead WAN Optimization products can make sure that your data is safely replicated off site to a place that might not be affected by the disaster.  Steelhead Mobile can help your users to get their work done in a timely and efficient manner even if they can't come into the office.  Our Whitewater Cloud Storage Gateway enables you to backup your critical data to a local hard drive which is then automatically replicated into the Storage Cloud, and Cascade will help you quickly identify the source of a network outage so that if it's a more local disaster you can fix it quickly and efficiently.

A disaster can be something you expect (Hurricane Irene), something that is always possible but very disruptive (a major snowstorm), or something totally unexpected (an earthquake).  And a responsible organization needs to be prepared for any and all of these things.  And, it's important to note, one disaster does not necessarily provide protection from the next one (or the next four).

2 Responses to “It’s been a very scary year!”

  1. Raj said

    Good analogy, but nothing much can be done about power outage which might still affect all the above! So, are we only as good as our biggest UPS?

  2. That’s why DR/replication is usually set up to send data to a remote location. Locations must be carefully chosen to be close enough for easy access, and yet far enough away to make sure that they are not affected by the same disaster, whether it’s a power outage or something else.

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