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March 21, 2006
By Paula Bernier
Rather than sticking exclusively to its IPTV message at TelecomNEXT, AT&T Inc. this week at the show in Las Vegas is heavily emphasizing its Network Disaster Recovery (NDR) efforts.
AT&T has parked specially equipped tractor-trailers on the TelecomNEXT exhibit floor to demonstrate the companys ability to quickly restore services to its business and government customers if a disaster damages parts of their networks.
In light of the recent hurricanes and the nations fear of terrorism and global warming, its a fitting time to focus on NDR.
The AT&T show demo follows by just a month AT&Ts largest-ever NDR exercise, which was staged at the INFOMART in Dallas.
During this exercise, self-contained equipment trucks tested and evaluated how well the company could support its enterprise business customers in the event of a natural or man-made disaster. In all of the NDR exercises that AT&T has conducted in the 16-year history of the NDR program, which does disaster recovery drills about four times a year, there has never before been an exercise featuring as many trailers 43, 30 of which were semi-trailers.
The 30 trailers, part of AT&Ts NDR fleet of more than 150 self-contained equipment-trailers and support vehicles, contain the electronics and optics needed to recover an AT&T Central Office that has been destroyed. AT&T has another 250 trailers that provide backup and logistical support for AC and DC power, air conditioning, and other infrastructure equipment. Its mobile generator fleet can generate 80 megawatts of power.
The trailers carry the following:
AC power generators, and DC power supplies, heating and air conditioning
Lumber and tools for construction needs
Food, water, cooking supplies and tents for team membersCard reader security system
Mobile, self-contained command center
Mobile satellite communications system
First aid equipment
Last year, residents and businesses throughout the Dallas/Fort Worth area stepped forward to help the victims of the Gulf Coast hurricanes recover from disaster, but it is important to recognize our own vulnerabilities, said Christopher Roy, AT&Ts sales center vice president in Dallas. We hope that AT&Ts NDR exercise serves as a reminder for businesses to plan ahead and test their plans regularly.
AT&T has invested more than $300 million in its NDR program. The NDR team includes specially trained managers, engineers and technicians from across the United States. It also includes a registered nurse for first aid; team members also are trained in CPR and the use of an electronic defibrillator.
In addition to supporting AT&T’s network, the NDR team also uses its mobile satellite capabilities to provide communications support for humanitarian relief efforts.
Since 1990, the NDR team has been activated 21 times in response to disasters, including Hurricanes Katrina and Rita that devastated the Gulf Coast last year, the wildfires in San Diego in 2003 and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York Citys World Trade Center.
You can read more about the AT&T exercise at www.att.com/ndr. This site also contains case studies from previous deployments, including 9/11 and, most recently, Hurricane Katrina.
To read more about disaster recovery efforts, including those of AT&T,
and sign up for a complimentary issue of xchange’s eBook “Plan B: The Disaster Recovery Supplement.”
Read more about:Agents
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