Cloud Business and Florida Hurricane Hermine

Eleven (11) years since the last hurricane hits Florida!  My company, Intact Partners, is an “all-in” cloud business.  Office 365 Enterprise, Microsoft Azure, and Visual Studio Online (TFS) its business as usual, almost.  The “almost” is just related to the fact that employees are working from their homes using Skype for Business.  All of our work, applications, and files are safely stored away on the cloud.  We haven’t missed a beat!

So last night hurricane Hermine rolled into Tallahassee, Florida.  We lost power at our house at 1:32 AM. No electrical power, no cable, and no Internet. (No Internet is caused by the wide area power outage taking down backbone services.)  No worries here.  The backup generator is powering the house, Windows Phone is providing Internet service and my Surface Pro 3 is providing all my normal services.  Business as usual for Intact Partners.

When you think you business continuity is better in your local datacenter, my experience says you are wrong!  This in not the first time I have experienced Microsoft Azure coming through in a hurricane.  When I was CIO at Florida Department of State during the 2012 presidential election I had moved the election system to Azure.  Hurricane Sandy rolled over Virginia where one of the Azure datacenters is located.  It happened on the first day of early voting in Florida that year.  To prove the disaster recovery ability of the system we constructed on Azure I “failed-over” our service from the San Antonio Azure center to the Virginia center just after Sandy.  Florida’s election 2012 was run on our Azure disaster site and was a total success.

This morning as I compose this blog, I am at home with my family as are my employees are with theirs, not worried about business interruptions for my company and more importantly I am not fretting about my customers.  Their services are safely and securely operating in Azure.  The people I am praying for this morning are the more than 100 thousand people without power and the crews working hard to restore power and save lives.  I will continue to pray for those who are still in the path of Hermine as it rolls on north up the east coast today.

Larry Aultman, CEO
Intact Partners


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