Globe says ready for disaster

BANTAYAN ISLAND, Cebu–Listed firm Globe Telecom Inc. said it is ready for disasters in view of an aftershock hit Japan and evacuation began for communities near Taal volcano.

“Globe's mission-critical systems are designed for resiliency. This is achieved not only through the installation of redundant components, but also through disaster-recovery sites [that allows us] to operate in a back-up site in case one of its facilities fails,” Edgar C. Hapa said.

Hapa of Globe’s enterprise business continuity risk management product and services delivery replied to BusinessMirror after a 7.1-earthquake hit Japan a month after an undersea seismic activity hit the north Asian country and caused disruptions in cellular phone communications and Internet connection.

On Saturday, authorities said evacuation of residents near Taal Volcano has begun after an Alert Level 2 was raised.

Taal Volcano’s …seismic network recorded six volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hours, the PhiVolcs said in its bulletin dated April 10.

To note, Metro Cebu and Mandaue City were submerged in January after a heavy downpour that lasted for several hours.

Hapa said in an email message the company would add a fourth data center as part of its redundancy system. He, however, was not in a position to disclose the location or the amount of investment for this data center.

“At present, we have three IT data centers, which are geographically distant from each other to reduce the possibility of simultaneous system downtime due to man-made (sabotage, power failure, labor strike, fire) and natural calamities (earthquake, flooding, typhoon, avian flu).”

Hapa added that the new data center “will be located in a carefully selected site that is not vulnerable from flooding, severe earthquake ground movements.”

Likewise, Hapa said the data center was designed using inputs from consultants and recommendations from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology and the Earthquake Impact Reduction Study of Metro Manila by the Japanese International Cooperation Agency.
A man stands under the overpass in Quezon City
waiting for the rain to pass, a day in January 2011.

“Globe’s IT systems are properly tiered or ranked according to business impact so that the necessary infrastructure, technical support and processes are appropriated to ensure business continuity. The disaster recovery platforms and processes are also regularly tested to ensure that they will work when needed, and enhanced if necessary.”

Hapa added that like other telecommunications companies, Globe is “fully aware of the importance of telco services especially during and after a disaster.”

“As a major player in the utility industry providing telecommunication services, avoidance of operational disruption is a must both in normal conditions and during emergency/disaster situations.”

Aside from continuously undertaking emergency and disaster preparedness programs for the corporate offices and major facilities, they are also reviewing our service level agreements (SLAs) with them and their disaster response capabilities to ensure that we can rely on their continuous support in case of contingencies.”

This is so because the uptime of the information technology systems is also dependent on the support structures of IT equipment vendors.

“Disaster preparedness and response has always been an integral part of Globe Telecom’s operations, with the safety and security of its employees being the paramount concern, along with the protection of its property and assets,” Hapa added.

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