3Gstore and the Storm - How We Stay in Business For You

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Tuesday, 12 July 2011

3Gstore and the Storm - How We Stay in Business For You

Yesterday morning around 7:25am, hurricane winds struck the northwest suburbs of Chicago leaving 825,000 people without power (including 3Gstore). Most of the businesses in the area including FedEx ended up closing early due to power issues, but we managed to limp along by running lots of extension cables to get limited power to a few computers and routers. Our shipping department managed to ship with the aid of some flashlights and one of our employees ended up driving to a main Fed Ex hub to get packages out for delivery. This made a great end to yesterday as all orders placed still went out for delivery, despite mother nature's unwillingness to cooperate with us.  

Today, power is still limited and now our primary Comcast cable connection is down as well, which would stop most business in their tracks. Luckily we specialize in 3G/4G data cards and are using a 4G Verizon UML290 LTE modem to stay connected, so we're "eating our own dog food" today. To make this possible we're using a beta firmware for the Peplink Balance 30, which supports 4G LTE and within minutes our entire office has been back up and running, including our PBX phones. Below you'll find a picture of our Balance 30 taken in the dark, because we don't have any lights:
As an interesting note, we've changed our PBX codecs to use the G.729 codec vs. the G.711u as it uses a lot less bandwidth. We did this because Verizon's monthly data caps at either 5GB or 10GB of data per month with overage charges billed at $10 per GB thereafter. Thankfully the Balance 30 offers bandwidth monitoring, which allows us to see our data consumption in real time to ensure we can keep track of exactly how much data we're using. Also, if anybody calling in today speaks with Ian, you'll be talking to him over a connection delivered by LTE!



Last Updated ( Tuesday, 12 July 2011 )
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