COOP Could Have Prevented The Superbowl Blackout

Mar 7, 2013 by

Were you watching when it happened? Of course you were. The world was! The Superbowl is the most-watched media event on the planet. Which only makes it that much more surprising that a backup plan wasn’t in place at the Superdome in case something like the power outage would happen.

For that matter, how about CBS? It was a missed revenue opportunity for the network. A simple backup plan would have ensured they could fill the long 30-plus minute delay with ads, rather than expecting announcers to bide time until power was restored.

None of us would want to be the person responsible for not planning properly. But, we can all learn from that mistake by making sure to have a continuity of operations plan (COOP) in place for when the unexpected happens.

A lot of great websites are out there that provide a framework you can use to come up with an effective plan. When doing research, be sure and find a resource that focuses on maintaining essential functions during times of crisis.

Critical to any effective COOP plan is maintaining network communications. If you rely on the internet to do business, you want to be sure your internet Service Provider (ISP) has redundant backups in place because maintaining your internet connection means that even if landlines go down and the cable goes out, you can still do business. It’s called business continuity.

Technically speaking, business continuity is when redundant internet access measures give you the ability to automatically switch traffic among multiple internet connections in the event one goes down. In fact, when your primary connection goes down, you get WAN/ISP failover that automatically switches your critical internet traffic to a backup link. Meanwhile, a good ISP will use QoS priority and manage bandwidth so that you stay connected to your most important applications.

Another strategy businesses use to ensure business continuity is data co-location. While this can mean different things to different people, it simply means storing a server offsite as a data backup measure. For others, co-location offers a safe environment and co-effective, redundant connection to the internet. Both of these are effective ways of resuming normal operations quickly after a crisis situation.How the Superbowl blackout happened

Take the time to research your options and put an effective plan in place that allows you to maintain communications during a crisis and resume operations quickly afterwards. A little planning can go a long way to ensuring your business—and profits—stay up and running, despite the unexpected happening.

Mike Kister, President of Skycasters.com, has been making his living with the internet since before there was a World Wide Web. He is a respected authority on using technology to solve complex business problems. You can follow him on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/mikekister or follow his blog at http://www.skycasters.com/satellite-internet-blog/.

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