Wholesale Electric’s Hurricane Preparedness and Disaster Recovery Plan is based on several components that together provide a flexible as well as reliable method of supporting branch operations and our employees affected by a catastrophic event. Included in our plan is: An internet based computing environment which is designed to ensure 24/7/365 system availability; a complete list of manufacturers, contact names and communication protocols for our supply chain; names and telephone numbers of governmental offices and first responders.
Our experience is that without electricity all operations are severely limited in their ability to provide anything more than very basic services. Therefore; we have installed in several key Branch location, including our corporate office, backup power generation supplied with natural gas. To enhance this protection external, “quick connect” generator connections have been installed in the event of a natural gas supply interruption. Two trailer mounted 100KW portable generators are also maintained and ready for immediate deployment to any branch that loses electricity until a more permanent solution can be installed.
The experiences of Hurricanes Katrina, Rita and Ike have greatly influenced our thinking and instilled the importance of detail planning when basic services are not available. As a result inventory items such as cable, connectors, lugs and panels and breakers critical to restoring power to offices and manufacturing facilities are stocked in much greater quantities based on usage data obtained from recent storms.
Wholesale maintains its own fleet of delivery trucks, portable gas and diesel containers as well as potable water containers. In the event of a disaster we can mobilize quickly to supply and resupply inventory, water, fuel, food and other necessities that are limited, rationed or unavailable in the affected area.
We have two very high capacity Internet circuits from Tier 1 providers and have not lost Internet connectivity since implementation (2003).
Wholesale Electric’s Corporate Office has a natural gas generator that powers the ENTIRE building and not just critical loads. All generator components are regularly tested, maintained and inspected for proper functionality.
Wholesale Electric’s Enterprise Computing Environment is completely virtualized with all web, application and database servers located within a hardware redundant, enterprise-class environment which resides in a Tier 3 CoLo facility. This facility also provides true A/B power diversity along with SLA guarantees of 100% co-location power as well as 100% network availability and end user Internet route optimization. Additionally; near instantaneous data replication to the DR facility combined with multiple on-site backups as well as third-party archival backups help ensure our data is protected and available..
Every office is equipped with two broadband Internet connections from separate providers (Telephone / Cable) thereby utilizing different physical and virtual Internet pathways. Both connections are used simultaneously and routed through a Firewall / IPS device providing immediate routing updates if a connection becomes unusable. Pre-configured, cold spare hardware devices are at each office for immediate replacement should the primary unit experience a failure. With this configuration we have not experienced any complete loss of Internet access since implementation (early 2006) – even during Hurricane Ike.
Wholesale Electric maintains a DR “active-configured” environment in another Tier 3 CoLo facility located 250 miles away from our primary environment. This DR environment is almost a complete mirror of our primary environment both inside and out. Once again; we have a completely virtualized, hardware redundant, enterprise-class cluster with facility SLAs listing 100% network availability, true A/B power diversity and 100% co-location power.