- Disaster recovery became a national priority this morning, with IT operations on everyone's top priority list at companies around the nation.
The Boeing spokesman Robert Jorgensen says the company's disaster recovery centres have opened and are fully manned. Representatives from IT and other company operations can call in to an open toll-free phone line on regular intervals to assure that systems are working. The Chicago-based aerospace giant had just completed a full test of the system two weeks ago.
"We always have the pilot on, but now we've turned on the front burner," he says.
Rick Bernard, CIO at Infinium in Hyannis, Massachusetts, says the application service provider has had no disruption of operations, including service to users in New York.
At some secure government facilities, tensions are running high, but business continues. At Lawrence Livermore National Labs in Livermore, California, spokesman David Schwoegler says, "We’re open, but have no reason to think that this lab or its employees have been targeted."
Peter Dorogoff, a spokesman for MSNBC said the MSNBC news operation went into crisis mode and implemented its "light system," stripping off advertising and lessening graphics on its website to accommodate the tremendous amount of traffic from people trying to access the site. MSNBC also moved users' personalised news to a separate page because of the high volume of traffic at its main site.
However, Dorogoff says traffic is not a priority.
"There's no panic here," he says. "We want to get the news out, and from all indications the site is handling the load."
Elizabeth Barry, a spokeswoman for CNN in Atlanta says the same thing.
She said the website remained accessible and CNN continued to publish content. The news operation increased server capacity and took down its regular site, choosing instead to post only information about the attack. Barry says organisations around the world were contacting CNN offering bandwith.
Search engine website Google, however, urged viewers to tune in to TV and radio for the latest news. It posted a statement online that said: "If you are looking for news, you will find the most current information on TV or radio. Many online news services are not available, because of extremely high demand."
At FedEx, spokesman Jess Bunn says the company is tracking its planes through its Global Operations Control Center in Memphis and knows where all of its planes are. He says FedEx is currently updating its customer information at FedEx.com. He says all the company's IT systems are operating normally.
Jorgensen says, "IT assets are among the most critical areas for protection during an emergency, especially these days."
Boeing dedicated fully half of its disaster recovery operations to computer systems, focusing on design data, engineering drawings and company information.
In New York, Mike Bogan, director of infrastructure at Wall Street brokerage Blackwood Trading says if he hadn't seen the attack, he wouldn't have known it happened.
Trading on the Nasdaq Stock Market continued without a glitch for an hour and a half after the disaster, and Bogan's company completed more than a half-million trades before the Nasdaq voluntarily shut down.
"All of our back-end software monitors the band utilisation of every T-1 line we have. There wasn't a single glitch," Bogan says.
Though Blackwood Trading's data center is located at 100 Wall Street, the firm mirrors all trade data to remote centers in Jersey City, New Jersey, which is on a separate power grid from Manhattan.
"It's days like this that having triple redundancy actually means something. We have a few physical locations for backup in case of terrorist attacks and acts of God," says Bogan.
As he spoke, Bogan says he could see two huge plumes of smoke and dust drifting from the Trade Center debris and over the Brooklyn Bridge.
Blackwood's telecommunication lines run directly to Verizon Communications's routing center in Newark, New Jersey and not through the World Trade Center, which arguably had the densest fiber-optic network in the world.
Across the country, in Sacramento, California, Ytesh Mishra, chief technology officer for RagingWire Telecommunications, which specialises in high security online data services says: "We are experiencing some congestion on the internet, but direct customer lines to customers remain open." He said all customers have been contacted and all network operations are "within spec."
In Atlanta, Jeff Battcher, director of corporate communications at Bell South, says his company increased the physical security at all data and telecommunications facilities in the nine states in which they operate.