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With the world still battling the spread of a global pandemic, American businesses must now brace themselves for yet another threat - the hurricane season. 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) estimates above-normal activity for this year’s Atlantic hurricane season; 13-19 named storms are estimated to hit the US, and at least three to six of those will be major hurricanes, blowing at 111 miles per hour

To put that in context, 2017’s Hurricane Harvey blew at a devastating 130 miles per hour, causing $125 billion USD in damages. To date, it’s considered to be the most expensive tropical cyclone in US history.

It goes without saying that Infrastructure damage will be a major concern; businesses with centralized offices will be forced to evacuate, leaving vulnerable, expensive hardware behind. 

But even more important than the hardware is what it contains - data. According to a 2013 study by the Ponemon institute, the average cost of damages from datacenter downtime was an astounding $7900 per minute. 

And it’s not just businesses with a centralized location either; those that managed to adapt to the recent pandemic and are operating remotely are also at risk. The question isn’t just where your business is, but how (and if) you’re able to access mission-critical data information that allows your business to keep going. 

Unfortunately, disaster recovery isn’t the top priority for many businesses, despite the risks of shutting down. FEMA reports that following a disaster, up to 90% of smaller companies fail within the year, unless they can somehow resume operations in under a week. On the other end of the spectrum, bigger businessesthose painfully aware of the risks of lost dataspend more than 10 days per month on continuity plans.

No continuity plan is complete without backups and data retrieval, which is why more and more businesses are investing in cloud technology.

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Specifically, hybrid cloud technology like Panzura is the easiest way to make businesses’ data hurricane-proof.

In a nutshell, hybrid cloud technology is a mix of both public cloud systems and on-premise private cloud, combining the best of both worlds. It allows companies to enjoy the security of a private server, but with the speed, convenience, and accessibility of a public one. 

With Panzura, you can leverage the economics, scalability and security of the public cloud (or private/dark cloud) for unstructured data storage, with the performance of local NAS (network attached) storage across your entire company network.   

What truly sets Panzura apart from other services is its speed and convenience - Panzura’s platform keeps 100% of your data readily available, and intelligently moves cold data to less expensive storage. 

For regularly-accessed files, Panzura keeps them in an “active” archive, allowing quick access without IT intervention. 

Because of this, Panzura’s cloud technology makes it ideal for moving or deploying data in the public cloud for backup, disaster recovery, analytics, and more.  

In times of crisis (such as this hurricane season), the ability to access your data quickly and easily from anywhere becomes absolutely crucial. In the event of a catastrophe, businesses can easily relocate their entire workforce to a safe location, or arrange for their staff to work from home - the only requirement being an active internet connection. 

And because Panzura stores your data in a cloud with public network access, accessing critical files is as easy as retrieving an email. 

One company that benefited from Panzura’s services during a natural disaster was Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R). Based in New York City, DS+R is an international, interdisciplinary design studio, employing more than 100 architects, artists, and administrators. Like many of its peers, DS+R’s business model relies heavily on digital data - its business model centered around its architectural, engineering, and design documents.

In 2012, months before Hurricane Sandy made landfall in New York City, DS+R wanted to update its data management system. Its huge data library was starting to eat into its storage and an upgrade was sorely needed. To keep up with modern demands, DS+R decided to upload everything to the cloud. 

A limited budget and small IT team made outsourcing the obvious solution. DS+R employed the Panzura Filer along with Amazon Simple Storage Services (S3) to act as its new cloud network attached storage (NAS) - a form of hybrid cloud technology

It was a total upgrade. DS+R’s previous Windows server, backup software, tape libraries, off-site physical vaulting, and limited local storage became obsolete. DS+R now had access to not just endless storage, but the ability to quickly share and modify files across its workforce. 

But perhaps the most valuable thing Panzura offered was disaster recovery; the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy left much of the eastern seaboard powerless and inundated with water. New York suffered from severe power outages and flooding, which affected scores of businesses, including DS+R. 

The company’s building had lost all power, had no working heat or cooling systems, and was cut off due to flooded streets and subways. None of its employees could access the company’s server room located on 17th and 18th floors. 

But because of its earlier upgrade, DS+R was protected - Panzura’s frequent snapshots, continuous replication, and full encryption of data ensured that nothing was lost, and the latest version of critical files were secured off-site. With the help of Panzura’s efficient support teams, DS+R was able to establish emergency access, and recovered quickly from the disaster.

Today, the landscape of business has permanently shifted - in the wake of the global pandemic, 74% of companies have decided to permanently shift to more remote work, and businesses are realizing the many benefits of not having a centralized office. The new normal has changed the way companies operate, and experts believe remote work to be the future.  

One thing is clear - as companies move closer to decentralized offices and work spaces, hybrid cloud technology will be an increasingly essential part of business operations, offering disaster recovery, efficient and rapid file sharing, and secure data protection all in a single package. 

If you’re looking to upgrade your business operations, prepare for hurricane season, and make accessing your data easier + more efficient, Panzura is here to support you.

Click here to schedule a demo with one of our Panzura specialists.