DigiCert QuoVadis

News and Events

QuoVadis Fully Operational Throughout Bermuda Blackout
15 Jul 2005

At 3:05 a.m. on July 14, a massive electrical explosion gutted a crucial switch at the Bermuda Electric Light Company (BELCO) leading to an island wide power failure that particularly affected the downtown Hamilton business district.

QuoVadis’ SecureCentre facility did not suffer any outage as its onsite UPS and generators immediately kicked into gear, along with its multiple options for cooling and telecommunications.  QuoVadis technicians were automatically alerted to the change in operational status and began enacting disaster recovery (DR) plans.

Fast action was critical because QuoVadis must support its many overseas customers located across Europe and Asia.  Moreover, QuoVadis is a leading provider of DR services to the Bermuda corporate sector.  Within hours, the QuoVadis team was assisting our clients in directing their business recovery efforts and enacting contingency plans to restore their basic business functions. 

Examples of QuoVadis services provided during the blackout include:

  • Mission critical systems, ranging from insurance and accounting applications to the Bermuda Police website, hosted in SecureCentre operated as normal throughout the emergency. 
  • Companies using QuoVadis’ DataVault remote backup and archive service were able to quickly withdraw previous day’s backup for restoration on local or QuoVadis-supplied standby systems.  Other clients shipped tapes off island in case Bermuda suffered a prolonged outage.
  • Even though most local offices were without power, QuoVadis’ Sweeper service continued to store customers’ emails – allowing the mail to be delivered to the customer when power is restored, or even rerouted to a standby system at QuoVadis.
  • As it became clear that Hamilton would remain dark for several days, customers began to enact standby systems using QuoVadis’ sophisticated SAN and VMware infrastructure, allowing them to get back to work from home or overseas offices.  Some companies maintain a “hot standby”, allowing them to switch from their normal systems to QuoVadis at a moment’s notice, while others use “warm standby” systems which can be prepared in several hours. 
  • QuoVadis provided work area recovery facilities for customers to direct their DR activities, as well as facilitated secure VPN connections for executives relocated overseas during the emergency.
  • As the Bermuda situation began to stabilise on Friday, QuoVadis was contacted by several clients in the Caribbean wishing to invoke their DR plans in cautious preparation for the arrival of Hurricane Emily.

According to Roman Brunner, QuoVadis CEO, “An event of this magnitude dramatically underlines the importance for all organisations – from local government to international business – to create and test disaster recovery plans for various scenarios. QuoVadis is pleased to have played a key role in keeping Bermuda’s vital international business sector working.”

QuoVadis is already working companies who wish to readdress their DR provisions based on lessons learned from this event.  The projects include advisory services to create or test plans and procedures, advanced technologies to improve system availability, and hosting/work area space in QuoVadis’ hardened facilities.

Power was restored to the Hamilton business district late in the evening of July 16.