How business continuity is supposed to work in the datacenter

A lightning strike on their datacenter tests the resiliency of a smaller ISP. And their properly implemented business continuity plan keeps their customers up and running and unaffected.

Lost in the storm of coverage of the major Amazon and Sony outages over the last week is the tale of Utah-based ISP Fibernet Corp. Fibernet, a provider known for managed hosting and colocation services, like many ISPs, has touted their facility resiliency as part of their ongoing marketing campaigns,  finally got a chance to show their uptime guarantees in action.

On Monday, a lightning storm caused damage to some of the external components of their datacenter in Orem Utah and also caused some minor electrical malfunctions.  The ISP's redundant power systems  kept the facility up and running while repairs were effected and all of the components that needed to be replaced were already available on-site, minimizing the time the secondary power source was needed, and allowing the facility to quickly be restored to its normal operating environment.

No customers were impacted and no downtime was experienced, so in many ways, there is a "no news is good news' approach to this story, but frankly, that's the way it should be. As customers begin to trust backend services to internet-based services it will be the ability of these service providers to respond to the situations that can bring down a customer's services that differentiates the service choices.

Fibernet is not a well-known player and certainly not on the scale of an Amazon Web Services, but this simple test of their abilities; a lightning strike on their datacenter that caused damage and yet had no impact on their services, due to properly planned and implemented business continuity strategy, speaks well of their ability to deliver reliable services to their customers. 

Had their services gone down, there wouldn't have been a lot of gnashing of teeth in the media and thousands of words of punditry explaining the problem and its impact, there would simply have been a small provider with angry customers and lost business.  And the fact that this provider had the right pieces in place is a good example of practices that should permeate the industry.