Katrina whipped Louisiana's top court into shape for Gustav

A revamped network infrastructure keeps judges linked to the state data center

Peter Haas, the director of technology for the Supreme Court of Louisiana.

Peter Haas, the director of technology for the Supreme Court of Louisiana.

Gustav had nowhere near the effect on the Louisiana Supreme Court that Katrina did three years ago -- in fact, the network never went down.

The courts' main data center in the French Quarter of New Orleans remained up and running and connected to the MPLS WAN, says Peter Haas, pictured, the director of technology for the Supreme Court of Louisiana.

Gustav did drive court workers from the city, but running on generator power, the network itself remained up and running throughout the storm, Haas says.

He says the state's chief justice accessed servers in New Orleans throughout the storm to reach files needed to write and issue emergency orders waiving enforcement of certain state laws, such as the right to be arraigned within 72 hours of arrest. The primary public court Web site and intranet servers remained up and running throughout.

Haas knows this because he has been monitoring the network from his nearby home, just north of New Orleans and Lake Pontchartrain. He has a generator at his house and a Verizon wireless card in his laptop, which also has extended-life batteries -- all preparedness lessons he learned during Katrina.

During that storm three years ago, there was no disaster recovery site and Haas had to don a flak jacket and get a police escort to rescue servers from the courthouse so he could install them in a court building in Baton Rouge.

This time, with the backup generator kicking in when Gustav knocked out power to the court building, all the primary servers were running, but he shifted the communications servers over to the recovery data center in northern Louisiana, Haas says.

His worry was that Verizon, the court WAN provider, might restrict bandwidth in its own network, and he wanted less traffic going in and out of New Orleans, so he switched on the BlackBerry, e-mail and Web servers at the disaster-recovery location.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Greene

Network World
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?