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Storage User Blackout Diary: New York Hospitals stay healthy

As part of our Storage User Blackout Diary series, asked several users affected by this month's power outage in the Northeast and Canada to give us a first-hand look into how they kept their systems and data online when the lights went out.

Daniel Morreale, chief information officer of the North Bronx Healthcare Network (NBHN), discusses how his systems were impacted, how the group maintained data availability and the lessons learned from the Blackout of 2003.

The North Bronx Healthcare Network is made up of North Central Bronx Hospital and the Jacobi Medical Center. The NBHN supports archived digital medical images, such as X-rays, MRIs and ultrasounds, patient records and e-mail applications for both hospitals. But, when the lights went out in the Bronx, the hospitals kept running. Neither rain, sleet nor snow, wait -- that's the post office.

What would you do differently next time?
[Install] additional connectivity between the two hospitals to insure uptime. Does the NBHN test for events like blackouts?
Yes, but nothing test plans like the real thing.

Let us know what you think about the story, e-mail: Kevin Komiega, News Editor

Blackout report card: Some pass, others fail

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Comment on our storage discussion forums on the IT Knowledge Exchange

What was your initial reaction when the power went out? Where were you when it happened?
I was in my office. There was no real reaction I just knew it was going to be a long night. How did the NBHN fair during the power outage? Were your systems impacted? Did you experience any data loss?
The NBHN faired very well. Our system had minimal impact and stayed up via USP (uninterruptible power source) and emergency generators. One IDF was failing [due to] a bad UPS, but we were able to keep it active with the use of an extension cord and a emergency outlet nearby. One file server containing shared user files failed with data corruption -- it was being worked on and had been removed from the UPS -- but was restored from backup. Did you have a disaster recovery/business continuity plan in place? If so, did it work as planned?
Yes, we have a plan in place and it worked well, but we have identified several things we can do better.

Dig Deeper on Disaster recovery planning - management

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