VIRTBIZ and the weather / power crisis

If you are local to our DAL1 (Canton Street) facility, then you are undoubtedly aware of the severe weather and electric crisis that is impacting our region. 

We’ve received some questions over the past few days and I felt it would be a good time to reach out to our entire customer base to let you know how we’re doing and what our plans are throughout the remainder of the weather emergency.

As you may be aware, the entire state of Texas, comprised of over one quarter-million square-miles (or more than 695,000 square km), has been under severe winter weather.   We have seen multiple rounds of heavy snow and freezing precipitation coupled with temperatures as low as 0 degrees Fahrenheit (-17 Celsius), and our area’s infrastructure is quite simply not well equipped for these conditions.   This has resulted in many streets and roads becoming impassable. 

More critically, the extreme conditions have taken a massive toll on the electric grid that supplies commercial power to homes and businesses.   A large number of generation stations have been knocked offline and are unable to be quickly restarted.   This has caused a severe crisis that has caused the largest forced blackout in US history.

While up to 15 million people in Texas alone may have been impacted by this failure, I’m pleased to say that the VIRTBIZ datacenter and HQ has not lost power and is operating normally at this time.   Our status as a critical data facility and strategic location at the intersection of the Dallas Central Business District and Baylor Hospital Complex grids places us far back on the list for forced power outages. 

We have made the following preparations to cope with this situation.

–    Employee schedules have been modified so that only staff members who can safely travel to the facility are on-site.

–    We are housing staff members and their pets who have been displaced with no electricity, heat or water in their homes. 

–    Modifications have been made to our cooling systems to operate as efficiently as possible.

–    Our diesel backup generator has been double-checked and tested and is continually monitored to be ready at a moment’s notice.

–    Our refueling provider is on standby with specially equipped fuel delivery vehicles.

–    We are maintaining continuous communication with our bandwidth carriers to ensure that those that have been impacted by the weather or blackouts will not negatively impact connectivity.

VIRTBIZ remains open and fully operational, although at reduced staffing.   We appreciate your patience if we take a bit longer than usual to handle requests.   At the same time, we are welcoming new customers into the facility who are finding that it may be weeks or months before their workplace is fully restored.  

If you know of anybody we may be able to assist by housing their network in our facility, please reach out or feel free to put them in touch with us.

At this point we do not know the extent of the physical, financial or emotional impact this weather event will have.  I’m hopeful that our customers and their families are remaining safe and warm during this time and am proud to continue serving our customers through this difficult time.

Chris Gebhardt, President
VIRTBIZ Internet Services