IBM Computers Weathered Ivan’s Onslaught

March 22, 2005

IBM has issued a bulletin noting the reliability of its iSeries system, which withstood Hurricane Ivan’s fury when it struck the Cayman Islands.

The report details the experience of British Caymanian Insurance, part of the Colonial Group International (CGI), which was able to maintain its IT operations even as the data center holding its property and casualty policy administration system in the Cayman Islands was flooded by Hurricane Ivan in September 2004.

“The hub of the datacenter — IBM eServer iSeries server — withstood extreme flooding and an unorthodox evacuation with minimal downtime,” IBM said. “With the policy data intact, British Caymanian was able to quickly assist their customers during one of the worse hurricane seasons in years.”

When Ivan struck the Cayman Islands with 200-mile-an-hour winds, torrential rain filled the data center on the top floor of the four-story office with five inches of water. “Faced with power failure and structural damage, the Colonial Group International IT team was forced to maneuver the iSeries system out of the damaged building by using scraps of wood and an air mattress to navigate the machine down 80 stairs,” the report continued. “Once in a temporary workspace, CGI personnel plugged the server into their network infrastructure where the iSeries responded immediately.”

“We were determined to get British Caymanian back up and running as soon as possible once power had been restored,” stated Ian Cummings, VP of Information Technology for Colonial Group International. “Too many of our customers needed our services and it was such a relief that the iSeries platform withstood extreme hurricane forces and enabled us to serve our customers and rebuild their homes and businesses.”

The Colonial Group International organization covers the full range of insurance and financial planning services, is headquartered in Bermuda with offices in the Bahamas, Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

“We’re proud that the iSeries continues to provide extreme reliability amid disastrous conditions,” commented Peter Bingaman, vice president, IBM eServer iSeries. “After earthquakes, twisters, vandals, and now hurricanes, the resiliency and reliability of the iSeries system stand for true customer commitment. The ‘legend of the iSeries’ lives on.”

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