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How to Identify Network Damage When a Hurricane Hits

Oct 25, 2019

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Through the course of August and September 2019, Hurricane Dorian wreaked havoc throughout the Caribbean and mainland United States. It was the most powerful tropical cyclone on record to strike the Bahamas. On Sept. 2, Hurricane Dorian hit the state of Georgia, one of five states to declare a state of emergency.

Once the storm passed, we caught up with Charles Wallace, a Network Systems Engineer for Georgia Ports Authority, to see how Dorian impacted them and how their recent acquisition of NetBrain’s network mapping and automation platform helped in the aftermath.

“As soon as we arrived back into the office, we needed to check the health of our network. Using the NetBrain platform, I ran our last scheduled discovery the Saturday before the hurricane hit. Therefore, I knew the state of our network before Dorian. I then ran another discovery task to see what had changed. It took maybe three-to-five minutes to run and I immediately knew of eight network switches that were offline . . . just like that, with the click of a button. It was easy to see which areas of our network were hit and where we needed to focus our efforts to get our network back in order.

“This task would have taken considerably longer before we used NetBrain. We would have manually driven across our 1,200-acre property here in Garden City as well as to each location across the state to gauge the health of the network there. Had the storm been worse, it could have been eight locations down and would have taken 7 to 10 teams to go and check the network. That’s a lot of man-hours and reduced work time. This was just one example of how NetBrain’s mapping and automation capabilities has helped us gain greater visibility and control of our network.”

So, what’s next for Georgia Ports Authority and NetBrain? We’re still in the early days of our relationship and expanding our utilization of the platform. Next, we plan to use the SolarWinds integration so that when a SolarWinds ticket comes through to the team, it comes with a NetBrain map integrated into the ticket showing a snapshot of the impacted area of our network.


About Georgia Ports Authority

Since 1945, Georgia’s deepwater ports have served as magnets for international trade and investment, enriching the state’s economy to benefit all Georgians. The Georgia Ports Authority is dedicated to providing customers with the most efficient, productive port facilities in the nation, and to creating jobs and business opportunities to benefit more than 9.7 million Georgians. The GPA is committed to maintaining its competitive edge through development of leading-edge technology, marketing and operations to move cargo faster. And, the GPAis working hard to identify what must be done today to sustain growth, performance and security for tomorrow.

About NetBrain Technologies

Today, more than 2,300 of the world’s largest enterprises and managed services providers use NetBrain to automate network documentation, accelerate troubleshooting, and strengthen network security—while integrating with a rich ecosystem of partners. NetBrain is headquartered in Burlington, Massachusetts, with offices in Sacramento, California; Munich, Germany; London, the United Kingdo