Earthquakes and Cloud Servers

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It was at about 2 PM when I had settled into my chair to begin moderating our latest webinar on securing cloud servers. Not far into my introductions, I noticed a bit of a rumble beneath my feet, as if someone where taking a jackhammer to the ceiling on the floor below. It was a slight hum at first, then growing stronger, to the point where I felt as if someone was underneath my chair and lifting me up and down. It lasted maybe 10 or 20 seconds.

There were two courses of thought streaming through my head. On the one hand, I was delivering my intro for our webinar, setting the stage for our discussion of securing cloud servers and providing background on our panel of presenters. On the other hand, way in the back of my head, I was thinking to myself: ‘What was that? Is there construction going on downstairs? Did a caravan of tractor trailers just go by on the highway?’ But then my rational side took hold, and I was pretty sure that what I just had was my first tangible experience with an earthquake.

After I finished up my introduction, I noticed a bit of a commotion outside my conference room door. Apparently, the building’s facilities management wanted us to evacuate momentarily to make sure the building was still safe.

With members of the staff here wildly gesturing to me through the window to come outside, I’m glad to report that I did not add to the hysteria I saw played out on many news reports when I returned home later in the afternoon. Registering 5.8 on the Richter Scale, it’s no doubt that West Coast-based observers were having a bit of a laugh over our reaction to this relatively “minor” shake.

I’m glad to report that, hopefully, I did not miss a step. The webinar was a live event, so as the say on Broadway, the show must go on...

The program, which was packed tight with three presentations, proceeded without delay – contrary to my co-workers calls to vacate the premises. It was not until after the program was in full swing that I confirmed my suspicions about the earthquake. And since the walls seemed to be intact, and the ceiling was still firmly above my head, I felt no reason to be anywhere else then on the line with our panel of presenters (who, by the way, did a bang up job) and with you all, our readers.

If you listen in on the archived version of the webinar, perhaps you will notice a bit of a pause during my introduction, as my internal thought process began to crank up. But it’s my hope that you will not be able to identify any break in the action whatsoever. Instead, just enjoy the highly topical presentation, which includes representatives from the Cloud Security Alliance (CSA), RightScale, and the program’s sponsor – Centrify.

For those of you who may have missed the live event, the archived version of it will be available online shortly.

I’m glad to say that I returned home later in the day without incident – no injuries to report, no cracks in the walls, and no downtime. I did, however, listen to a non-stop stream of personal accounts on the radio during the drive home, some of which I would characterize as borderline if not outright embellishments. But when I opened the door to my home to find my dog sleeping on the couch, I couldn’t help but have a small, solitary chuckle. Poor Brutus, my mutt, had absolutely no idea what shook him from his slumber during the afternoon of August 23rd, and he was likely one of the few in the great Garden State who could care less about the ground shaking for a few moments.

Now that’s what I call calm in the face of a crisis!

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