IBM Will Minimize Impact of Future Disasters

Not even Mighty Big Blue can stop a hurricane. But. IBM and Marist College are testing a new cloud computing innovation that could help prevent disruptions in voice and data communications services caused by hurricanes and other natural disasters.

"A year ago, Sandy left millions of individuals and businesses in the Northeast without electronic communications for days, weeks and even months -- in some cases, data centers were literally under water," said IBM Distinguished Engineer Casimer DeCusatis. "With our invention, a data center operator could quickly and simply move data and applications to another data center outside the danger zone in minutes -- from a remote location using a tablet or smartphone."

Normal reprovisioning of voice and data applications and services can often take days, not to mention that it’s a MAJOR pain. Unfortunately, the window to get it done is usually closer to hours. The solution being tested uses software-defined networking (SDN) technology and is being tested in Marist's SDN Innovation Lab. SDN enables Admins and data center operators to more efficiently control data flows within both physical and virtual networks. The SDN advancement IBM and Marist are testing will enable an IT professional to remotely access and make changes to network resources via a wireless device and open source network controller.

If all goes according to plan, this cloud-based solution could significantly reduce or eliminate the loss of services and data in a major weather event or other crisis that threatens voice and data network resources. It is now being demonstrated and is expected to be commercially available in 2014.

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