Term Paper: New York State Firefighting History

Pages: 9 (2616 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1+  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Education - Computers  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] IBM's Business Continuity and Recovery Services center, located about 40 miles north of New York City, was placed on a red alert status, and many employees responded to the alert by working continuous shifts around the clock, and sleeping on-site. Managers worked the loading dock, logging new equipment shipments, and during the period of time when air travel was suspended, employees drove a replacement server in from Chicago.

The calls for help peaked at a rate of approximately forty calls per hour in the first two days after the attack, and IBM deployed equipment that ranged from large enterprise servers to thousands of laptops and workstations. "In addition, it provided thousands of square feet of data center capacity, in some cases relocating customer's operations to IBM facilities, and re-created data processing environments that were destroyed" (DeCusatis).

Because the Internet was designed to deal with partial infrastructure failures by utilizing packet-based, asynchronous messaging in order to allow traffic to move in a variety of paths to reach its destination, a total disruption of communications was avoided. Although many of the messages being relayed during that period of time had to travel through long and circuitous routes, sometimes even being routed outside the U.S., most messages eventually were delivered.

Several metropolitan area optical service providers also announced that their networks were intact and operating normally following the attacks. Those still functioning included FiberNet Telecom Group, Globix Corporation, and Global Crossing. Reported instances of hacking and other security breaches after the attacks were fairly low, affecting only about 1% of these companies. Because communications were not completely disrupted, the efforts to maintain a semblance of stability in global financial markets also continued successfully.

Among the companies that came forward with newly needed assistance following the 2001 disaster were Relational Architects International (RAI), which offered the use of its software products in order to facilitate the recovery of mainframe computer operations. RAI offered their products until February 2003 without a license fee to distressed companies - those whose data centers required relocating as a direct consequence of the September 11, 2001 catastrophes. Numerous other companies offered recovery help including Computer Associates International, which offered to assist New York businesses restore data and computing services (IBM).

From economic growth to exports and employment, computers and other information technologies have played an increasingly vital role in the U.S. economy. Although it comprises only approximately 8% of the U.S. economy as a whole, the IT sector accounted for nearly 30% of real growth in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) from 1994 to 2000. IT is also the nation's single largest exporting sector, accounting for over 29% of all U.S. exports, and employs millions of Americans at wages well above the national average (IT).

During the 1990s, U.S. businesses poured more than $2 trillion into computers, software and other technological products. This phenomenon was a major factor in the dramatic acceleration of U.S. productivity growth in recent years. It has become increasingly important for businesses and governmental agencies to consider their Information Technology projects as investments in their future operations. With the emphasis on outcome-oriented performance measures, the contribution of IT to achieving business goals and objectives has been increasingly emphasized during the past decade, and recognized as a critical part of the overall operating functions (Security). In an environment of cutting costs and downsizing, IT projects have clearly communicated their worthiness (GSA).

The advent of Information Technology has also affected the operations of data storehouses such as libraries, making possible new features such as digital libraries, metadata, authorization and authentication, electronic journals and electronic publishing, distributed systems and networks, computer security and intellectual property rights, technical standards, geographic information systems, desktop applications, online catalogs and bibliographic systems, optical information systems, software engineering, universal access to technology, futuristic forecasting, library consortia, vendor relations, and technology and the arts (IT and Libraries).

In today's distributed computing environments, organizations are more vulnerable than ever to the possibility of technical difficulties impeding communications. Any disaster, from floods and fires to Internet viruses and espionage, can affect the availability, integrity, and confidentiality of critical business resources and leave an organization virtually inoperative. Disaster recovery has taken on a new sense of urgency in recent years due to the expanding role of computers in the organization and the increasing occurrence of various types of critical disaster recovery issues and concerns regarding the security and protection of local area networks (LANs), the mainframe, and client/server (C/S) systems.

As the computing environment becomes more complex, and as computing becomes more distributed, it is now understood that IS managers must take preventive, precautionary, and preparatory measures to avoid communication failures following any type of disaster. New methods of conducting risk assessment become necessary as the technology continues to advance (Technology). While the need to protect data and have a contingency plan is apparent for businesses whose retail operations depend upon computers, the need is actually a universal one. It is imperative for any organization that depends upon the computer as a means of communication to protect the ability to communicate (Butler).

From the first four men carrying leather buckets and rattles in New York City, to the modern times, the growth of human technology has been enormous and ongoing. The backbone of their successful operation of recovery and contingency remains unchanged, however. The foundation of all intelligent and well-planned disaster preparedness and recovery still rests in the ability for us to communicate with one another.

Works Cited

Angleton Fire Department. History. Undated. 10/14/02 http://www.angletonfiredepartment.net/history_&_interesting_facts.htm

Butler, Janet. Contingency Planning and Disaster Recovery. Undated. 10/14/02 http://hallinternet.com/wired_culture/533.shtml

DeCusatis, Casimer. Information Technology and Disaster Recovery at the World Trade Center. 2002. 10/14/02 http://www.ddj.com/documents/s=865/ddj0165s/

Firehouse Online. The American Fire Service. September, 1998. 10/14/02 http://www.firehouse.com/magazine/american/colonial.html

GSA. Capital Planning. 05/06/02. 10/14/02 http://www.gsa.gov/Portal/content/offerings_content.jsp?contentOID=22841&contentType=1004&PMKE=1

Hamilton, Insurance Brokers. History. Oct. 14, 2002. 10/14/2002 http://www.ibah.org/articles/articles33.html

IBM. Resources for Companies Affected by September 11 Attacks. Undated. 10/14/02 http://www.db2mag.com/911resources/

IT. IT and the Economy. 2002. 10/14/02 http://www.itic.org/sections/Economy.html

IT And Libraries. June 7, 2002. 10/14/02


Journal of Antiques and Collectibles. Firefighting Memorabilia. March, 2002. 10/14/02 http://www.journalofantiques.com/Mar02/featuremar02.htm

PBS. FDNY - A History. 2002. 10/14/02 http://www.pbs.org/wnet/heroes/history4.html

Schlumberger. Providing Contingency Plans for Business Continuity. 2002. 10/14/02

http://www.slb.com/ir/aboutus/sema -- 'contingency.html>

Security. White Papers. Telecom. Undated. 10/14/02 http://satellite.about.com/cnl/1/15.htm#section2_linktitle1

Sullivan, Dr. James. History of New York State. June 1, 2002. 10/14/02 http://www.usgennet.org/usa/ny/state/his/bk2/ch2/pt5.html

Technology Models. VCCS Disaster Prevention and Recovery Program. March, 1998. 10/14/02 http://www.so.cc.va.us/its/models/secpl.htm [END OF PREVIEW]

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