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How to Protect Your IT Network from Winter Weather Power Outages

February 12, 2015 -- So far, this winter season has brought record-breaking snowfall in parts of the country. Over the weekend, another winter storm will pummel New England. Hopefully, you have taken precautions to protect your family and home from the hazards of extreme winter weather. Now is the time to safeguard your business IT network and email communications. Heavy snow and ice can mean power outages. Freezing temperatures increase the risk of burst pipes, which could flood your business and damage equipment.

Downtime of your IT network severely hinders business. How much will it cost your company if your website or mail server goes down and you are unable to communicate with clients or business partners? By setting up a failover solution ahead of time, you can ensure you never have to find out.

Snowfall Depth Map 
Snowfall records have been repeatedly broken in the Northeastern U.S. and Eastern Canada this winter season.

 

How to Be Prepared

Backup and failover options allow you to ensure your IT network stays connected no matter what. Though you can’t always prevent server downtime, you CAN prevent it from crippling your business. 

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Colocation

Colocating part or all of your network means your equipment is safe at a high-security facility with backup generators, redundant Internet service providers, and many other measures to maximize reliability and uptime. Use colocation to house all of your IT infrastructure or to maintain a backup. Either way, you have 24/7 access to your equipment and the support of an expert technical team as needed.

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Email Continuity

Email continuity ensures that your business can access, send, and receive messages during an outage of your primary mail server. Without this service, messages sent to your domain during server downtime would be 'undeliverable,' leading to confusion and potentially the loss of important business opportunities. With email continuity, all messages still appear to come from your domain, and your correspondents will never know there was any trouble with your mail server.

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Mail Bagging

Like email continuity, mail bagging (a.k.a. MX backup) prevents bounced emails and stores all messages sent to your organization’s domain until your mail server becomes available again. The difference between the two is that mail bagging does not allow you to continue sending or receiving messages during server downtime. It is an effective solution to manage short spans of downtime where momentary loss of email capability is not as critical.

Creating a disaster recovery plan for your IT network is essential to maintain the good reputation of your organization, allow communication during disaster times, and prevent the loss of important business opportunities. The threat of winter weather is a good reason to address your company’s disaster mitigation practices. However, these measures are a year-round necessity, since downtime is an inevitable possibility no matter the season. Establishing backup and failover measures will give you peace of mind and allow your IT team to address the cause of any downtime while business continues smoothly.

Additional information