While researching Hurricane Irene, I came across a story about the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment — known as “The Old Guard” — guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia throughout the storm.

As Monday evening rolls in and the east coast is dealing with the aftermath of the storm, I wondered how we fared in guarding our most precious asset – our customers’ data. So how does a world-class service organization protect against a devastating weather event?

Plan & Prepare: At Internap data centers, we have an Emergency Action Plan that we quickly put into action 96 hours before the storm. This plan outlines steps and details at the 96, 72, 48, 24, 12 and 6 hour marks. It covers critical steps such as working closely with building management, fuel vendors and security, assessing and procuring supplies and equipment, scheduling shifts for onsite personnel and providing travel arrangements and finalizing evacuation procedures.

Communicate: Our Network Operations Center (NOC) is the heart of all communications to our customers 24/7 – storm or no storm. Our goal is to communicate proactively with our customers frequently and with as much information as possible so that they know exactly what is happening and what we are doing in response. In fact, during the most intense part of the storm, we communicated to our customers on an hourly basis.

Support: Additional engineers were also brought on-site to assist customers and provide other support services should any issue arise throughout the event as we take our recent customer service award very seriously.

As expected, our four data centers in the New York and Boston areas weathered the storm unscathed. Our customers told us they appreciated our timely communications throughout the event and that we were a primary source of information for their own business planning and decision making. Neither rain, nor sleet, nor Hurricane Irene can stop Internap from providing you with 100% uptime and availability.