October 24, 2011

Server evacuation

I'm stuck in the middle of the Great Thailand Flood of 2011. My entire factory was flooded, and I had to evacuate my server backups to a safe and dry place.

A few years ago, when I was writing policies for SOX compliance, there was a section about risk assessment and business continuity planning, and one of the issues was how to resume operations in case of fire or flood or other acts of God. Who would've thunk that after less than four years, everything I wrote has to be put into actual usage?

So, we were evacuated out to a nearby hotel with free Wi-Fi, and all the managers are connected to the free Wi-Fi, and then they need printing. So I went back to the flooded factory and took out (by boat) a trusty Linksys WRT160NL and a Canon inkjet printer. Previously I talked about using the WRT160NL to share USB printers, but this is slightly different since I don't actually have a LAN any more.

It turned out to be quite easy, I just joined the WRT160NL to the hotel's free Wi-Fi by using client bridge, then used Angry IP Scanner to find a free IP address outside of what I think is the normal DHCP range, and then I just pointed everyone's printer to the new IP address of the WRT160NL, and then we got printing.

While setting things up, I suddenly lost Wi-Fi connectivity, and I called the hotel's front desk to ask them to reset the Wi-Fi, and they told me the only Wi-Fi they have is down at the lobby, and it was working perfectly. I ended up having to find a maid on my floor to ask her if she has ever seen a little box with blinking lights, and she pointed me to a Linksys WAP54G. I simply power cycled the access point and all was fine again.


Keith Rozario said...

Amazing story :)

Hope everything is alright over there.

Just a quick question though ,Instead of taking boats across factories to retrieve hardware would you consider moving most of your stuff to the cloud? A cloud strategy would save you the trouble of going through all of this (although I understand it's a once in a lifetime kind of flood)

ct said...

Nice one! :) Or should I say, very nice blog! :) keep it coming

nicolai said...

Keith: So it would save him going in a boat to collect a printer and a wifi access point?

Hi fric, how are the sheep?

- janl