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Channel Steps Up to Hurricane Rita Preparation
By Alison Diana

As Hurricane Rita made its slow, painful progression toward Texas and Louisiana, resellers, disaster-recovery service providers and technology vendors made all-out efforts to help businesses protect their data.

On Thursday, NovaStor Corp. began offering free off-site storage to any small business or systems integrators working with small firms in the projected path of the major storm.


Companies can store their data for up to 30 days, at no charge, at NovaStor's Southern California data center, according to the Simi Valley, Calif.-based data backup solutions developer. Each firm's data will be protected and stored separately in an encrypted format.

"We actually thought about it with Katrina, but it was too late," said Mike Andrews, vice president of sales and marketing at NovaStor. "This is immediate, all depending on the type of connection they have. They just need to click on our Web link."

SunGard contacted more than 225 customers in Rita's path, said David Palermo, vice president of marketing at Wayne, Pa.-based SunGard. "As of 9/22, some of these customers have elected to put SunGard on alert for a potential disaster declaration, and some have already declared a disaster—most likely due to evacuating," he said.

Solution providers in areas expected to be affected have spent hours helping clients safeguard their information.

"I am telling everyone to back up data," said Sonny Bajat, president of Data/Add, Carencro, La. "I make them back up their data to off-site, either via floppy or USB drives and, if worse comes to worst, they can plug it into my system and get up-and-running. I have a mirrored drive; my system is never down."

The Channel Insider Special: Managed Services in the Channel

As Data/Add's clients replace systems, the company insists they purchase a RAID server, complete with dual, mirrored hard drives. "If you have to leave in a hurry, just open the box and take the hard drive with you," Bajat said. "You just put it in another computer and run."

Next page: Many Companies Still Unprepared

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