Channel Steps Up to Hurricane Rita Preparation

Despite the cautionary tale of Hurricane Katrina, many companies are still unprepared for Rita. VARs and backup vendors step up (sometimes for free) to help out.

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.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read more about the lessons learned from Katrina.

Companies can store their data for up to 30 days, at no charge, at NovaStors Southern California data center, according to the Simi Valley, Calif.-based data backup solutions developer. Each firms 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 Ritas path, said David Palermo, vice president of marketing at Wayne, Pa.-based SunGard. "As of Sept. 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.

/zimages/1/28571.gifClick here to read about warnings of cyber-scams from Rita.

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, of 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."

As Data/Adds 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."

/zimages/1/28571.gifRead the full story on The Channel Insider: Channel Steps Up to Hurricane Rita Preparation