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DR Fans: Few Black Eyes From Blackout

The massive power outage that hit the northeastern portion of North America last Thursday not only sent firemen scurrying out to save people stranded in hot and dark subways and elevators, but also had IT administrators across the region desperately trying to save their data and get operations back up and running.

For many small and medium-sized businesses it was, of course, a lost cause. Companies and organizations with no disaster recovery solutions in place had no choice but to shut down operations after the lights flickered out and their laptops began running out of juice.

While the full financial blow from the blackout has yet to be recorded, it's clear that the involuntary shutdown will carry quite a price tag. According to Chicago-based retail analysis firm ShopperTrek, for instance, retail outlets in the affected area lost at least $30 million in revenues on Thursday alone. And the New York City Council's financial department estimates that the city lost $750 million in revenues during the power outage.

But while some companies were sweating over lost revenue and the lack of AC, others claim generators and foolproof disaster recovery plans kept their business up and running throughout the ordeal.

One such company was Commerzbank. The German bank not only has a generator at its primary New York offices near the old World Trade Center site, but also a disaster recovery site in upstate New York. "We were one of the only banks open in the area," says Rick Arenaro, the bank's VP of information systems.

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