Miami-based Gabor Insurance ($40,000,000 in premiums) spent the past year getting ready for the challenges of this year's hurricane season by duplicating vital information and providing more than one way to access it. Gabor purchased WANSyncHA (high availability) software from XOsoft (Waltham, Mass.) and installed it on duplicate Microsoft SQL servers in both Miami and 160 miles up the coast in Sebastian, Fla., with a fiber line running between the two cities to mirror every key stroke and provide duplicate automation if something were to happen to one of the sites. For added protection, Gabor has all of its server-based information available over a secure Internet site for employees as well. "With the fiber line duplicating daily transactions and the Internet site available, we can keep our regular business processes running seamlessly no matter what," says Reid Bohning, vice president of Gabor.
"Being a south Florida company, we are appropriately paranoid about the effects of hurricanes on our home base," says Bohning. "We decided last summer to open an office up the coast in Sebastian with the main intent of having a place for customers to find us if a hurricane were to take out large areas in the southern part of the state," Bohning continues. This allows the company to have a functional hot site up and running with accurate data at all times. According to Bohning, one of the reasons Gabor is using both fiber lines and the Internet is because the company is fully paperless and is constantly running imaged data such as scanned applications over the pipeline. "A lesser pipe could do it, but it would take up a lot more infrastructure space," says Bohning.
The company, which concentrates on high-value property and casualty lines, runs a Microsoft shop for the same reasons it has backed up all of it's critical data -- it's safe. "Microsoft may not be the fastest, greatest, or latest, but it is easier to find people to help us run it than if we had something more specialized," explains Bohning. "The main thing is that our infrastructure is available for our employees and customers even if a category five hurricane is running up the coast."