Living in the midwest teaches you a lot of different things. One of those lessons, Mother Nature always wins. She can be awesome with warm springs and falls that make the trees turn all sorts of wonderful colors. But she can also be pretty mean. A tornado can devastate mile wide tracks across the midwest. Floods can wipe out farms, homes and everything it reaches.
Winter in the midwest gives you the opportunity to experience freezing cold temps that would make a fish stick shiver. Add on the occasional deluge of snow (in the 1-2 ft range) and you really get the pleasure of knowing Mother Nature. I have a few wonderful words to say to her right now and I haven’t even gone out to shovel yet.
One advantage to my job is the ability to work remotely when needed. Last week, the office had a LOT of people taking advantage of the working remotely. Because of this company perk, we ran into a rather interesting issue. Mainly, our SSL VPN licensure. Our typical usage doesn’t require us to have a license for everyone to be connected at the same time since we have offices around the midwest. The chances of that many people being out of the office at the same time is usually pretty minimal. But today, with so many people working from home, we hit our limit. Luckily we have an old PPTP VPN concentrator still hooked up that just need a few tweaks in the firewall to get back up and running.
If we didn’t have this technology, our company would have had a lot of people absent today hurting productivity. Or worse yet, a lot of employees putting themselves at risk to make it in for their jobs. No matter how much you love your job, its never worth giving your life for.
So midwesterners, what lessons did your company learn today? Do you have a decent disaster recovery plan in the case of a blizzard? How about a flood? Fire? Tornado?
There are many things to think about when disaster hits. Planning now will save you time and money down the road.
Programming note: I work for LightEdge Solutions which provides many IT services. One service is disaster recovery. This blog post is in no way an advertisement for this service. It is simply talking about how we handled it and hopefully sparking other to think about what they would do when disaster strikes.