Heroic Web Hosting: DirectNIC vs. Katrina - Holding it Together
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By Wednesday, August 31, Mike Barnett was able to confirm reports that even the police were looting; he had captured a number of looters, of almost all races, on his webcam. While disgusted about it, his reflections were food for thought: "You know, this crisis is going to end. One day it is going to be over, and people are going to have to live with themselves and the knowledge of how they behaved. The cowards, the thieves, the murderers....No respect at all for their fellow man....one day this is going to be over, and I hope the shame overwhelms these bastards."
Even in the midst of the insanity, though, DirectNIC was able to help others. "A local company called us because they heard we still had the datacenter operating. They asked for our help. We went to their office and brought back their most critical server. We are in the process of transferring 40 gigs of data from their most critical server at this time. Of course we have no experience with Macs so this will be interesting....We can’t help everyone. But, we are certainly willing to do what we can from here…"
By Thursday, September 1, Barnett had to focus hard on priorities. Though it probably hurt to do so, he had to put off bringing his father, "the only person more strong-willed than myself," into the office. He also had to put off fully debriefing the police officer who had taken shelter with them -- accurate information about what was going on out there was important, but securing fuel to keep the power going was even more important. Naturally, he also had to cut back on answering the many IMs that he received from people, asking how they were doing and wishing them the best. For this, he apologized, but explained that there simply wasn't time.
Truly, DirectNIC faced an extreme situation that no web host would ever wish to go through. But they responded with strength and fortitude, and from their perseverance we can learn lessons that will serve us in the normal, day-to-day conducting of our business, as well as when crises break out.
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