Ruminations on tech, the digital media, and some golf thrown in for good measure.

Archive for August 30th, 2017

Harvey Tech

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Harvey clearly doesn’t know when it’s time to leave.

His remnants blew back inland to Port Arthur, Beaumont, and Western Louisana overnight, with one National Weather Service report indicating Harvey has now dumped 52 incnes of rain at at least one location east of Houston.

Keep on moving, Harvey, we hardly knew ye.

Amidst all this weather churn, of course, many businesses in the affected areas have struggled to, literally and figuratively, keep the lights — and their IT systems — on.

The Wall Street Journal’s “CIO Journal” this morning featured a story that led with this headline: “Houston Companies Rally to Keep Technology Operations Going.”

A few snippets:

Companies and organizations in the Houston area are scrambling to ride out Tropical Storm Harvey by maintaining around-the-clock oversight of information technology systems — in some cases outfitting technology hubs with sleeping cots — while shifting key business applications to the cloud and closely monitoring the status of the power grid and online providers.
– via WSJ

The largest IT challenge has been disruptions to inbound and outbound calls on landline phones, Mr. Eardley said. The hospital has worked with carriers to fix the problems.
– via WSJ

Food distributor Sysco, based in Houston, moved some core applications to cloud providers ahead of the storm, “diminishing our reliance on ground infrastructure,” a spokeswoman told CIO Journal.
– via WSJ

One local data center, Equinix, has been online without a single outage since the storm and flooding began, the WSJ reports, and is currently operating on utility power but able to switch over to generators as needed.

Another vector: Social media has played an instrumental role in Harvey, using Facebook, Twitter, and other tools for everything from raising a virtual SOS for needed rescue to helping families and friends find and check in on one another throughout the storm.

Fast Company reports that Snap’s Harvey “Our Stories” feature had as many as 300,000 posts submitted to it, and its Map section has helped present up-to-date info on areas in need of emergency assistance.

Local and federal agencies are also using this kind of information to build faster and more efficient disaster responses, with FEMA employing people who now “listen” to social media to better understand specific locational need and then use that information to better apply resources.

When people make the inevitable comparisons between Katrina and Harvey, it’s easy to forget that, at the time of Katrina, Facebook was largely used by college students, and Twitter hadn’t even yet been born.

Twelve years is an enternity in tech time….just as five endless days has been an eternity for those caught in the midst of Harvey’s wrath.

Written by turbotodd

August 30, 2017 at 8:59 am

Posted in 2017, harvey, tech, weather

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