Government agencies and corporations in the Gulf Region had by and large done a good job of backing up their data, according to a Washington Post story.
Government institutions and large companies generally had adequate backup systems in place and data-recovery contracts with firms such as IBM to help rescue damaged data tapes and rebuild software systems. The best-prepared had backup files stored on computers outside the hurricane zone.
"I don't know of any situation we're dealing with . . . right now that the data is not recoverable," said Don DeMarco, general manager for IBM's business continuity and recovery sector.
Still the disaster is a reminder to everyone of the importance of up-to-date, remote backups of crucial data. The Post story profiles a school IT manager who had backup tapes stored in a closet at school administration offices. That the tapes were safe and dry was largely a matter of luck.
Jacqueline Mae Goldberg, a personal injury lawyer who practiced in New Orleans, said she created backup files and stored them at her home. In an e-mail she said both places were wrecked by the storm.
"We've had a number of calls from companies in utter chaos," said Mike Sullivan, a senior vice president of VeriCenter Inc., a Texas firm that does data storage and backup. "They're at risk of losing their business, especially small and mid-sized companies."