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Tropical Hurricane Irene - How To Restart Your Network Safely

Posted by Sean Kline

Tropical hurricane Irene will soon be upon us in the Northeast.  It is good to remember that if your network goes down after the storm, there is a proper sequence to getting everything up and running again.  If you are having a problem after the storm, try shutting down all equipment, include Internet access devices (Cable, DSL, Fiber, etc.), firewalls, switches, servers and PCs.  Then, follow the five steps below to restart your network safely.

tropical hurricane

  1. Check Internet connectivity.  The first thing to do is to make sure that your network bridge (e.g. cable, DSL or fiber modem/terminal) is active and functioning properly - there will typically be green LEDs indicating power and presence of a downstream carrier.  Note that even if the lights are all green, it does not insure that your ISP is up and running.  This will be verified after step 3.
  2. Start up router/firewall.  Most small businesses have a router and/or firewall behind their raw Internet connection.  This is the first device that should be turned on and checked.
  3. Turn on switches.  In order to distribute Internet connectivity throughout your small business, you likely have one or more switches.  Turn these on and verify that the status lights are functioning appropriately.
  4. Launch the domain controller.  A critical piece of infrastructure is the domain controller.  It is responsible for handling users logging in and checking appropriate permissions.
  5. Ready to launch.  While servers do not typically have to boot up in a certain sequence, if the domain controller does not start up, the other servers and PCs will not be able to authenticate.  So, the last step should be to  start up your servers and PCs.

As discussed in Why Backup Online - 5 Reasons to Extend an Onsite System to the Cloud, disasters do happen and can have a devastating effect on small businesses.  In addition to being prepared to restart safely after a power outage, having a solid disaster recover plan is a great way to sleep soundly through the storm.

How are your preparing your network for the hurricane?

Key Takeaways:

  • Recovering from a power outage requires a particular sequence to avoid problems
  • It is important to start up security and networking infrastructure prior to servers and PCs

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Topics: Online Backup, Networking