Another reason to virtualize (and an appeal for aid)

Another reason to virtualize (and an appeal for aid)

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The last couple of days have been very strange and stressful for me.  The reason for this is that my home town – Brisbane, Queensland, Australia – is currently being flooded.  Thankfully all of my family is safe at this point in time – but it has been a very tense process as we have been following the news remotely and periodically trying to get in contact with different family members to find out what is happening.

While everyone is safe – my fathers business is not.  My father (Wayne Armstrong – though we all call him Joe) is joint-partner in a software development company called Bacchus Management Systems.  Two days ago the working day started normally for them, but they were soon notified that they had ~3 hours to evacuate the building before power would be cut ahead of incoming flood waters.

To put some further perspective on this – many areas of Brisbane saw flood waters arrive at a rate of over 1 meter an hour (1 foot every 20 minutes – for my American readers).

The people at Bacchus Management Systems tried to save as much as they could – but had to give up when the water reached the ground floor of the office building.  At which stage the water level was chest deep in the road that they needed to leave on.

Shortly after this I had the following online chat with my father:


Well, that is certainly a new selling point for virtualization!  Less hardware means a higher chance of escape from disaster.

But in all seriousness – while my family is safe, there are now many people in Queensland who are without a home.  Further more there will be many businesses (like my fathers) who will have significant losses.  As such I would like to make an unusual appeal for my blog:

If you are someone who is inclined to charity in these kinds of events – please visit to see how you can donate to the recovery.

NOTE – MICROSOFT EMPLOYEES: I have learnt that Microsoft is matching employee contributions for this.  If you want to – please email me directly and I will let you know the process to ensure that your donation is matched.


P.S. One final strange thing about this whole event for me – was that I first received word that the floods were hitting Brisbane as I was practicing for a presentation I was about to give about how Hyper-V can be used for disaster recovery.

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  • As a lifelong Brisbane resident I was plesantly surprised to find out you're born & bred here, although it would have been nicer to find out under better circumstances.  Very glad to hear your family is at least safe though!

    It is a selling point I'd never thought of, although it does make sense. Less physical equipment -> smaller footprint -> easier to carry in a hurry :)

  • Also says something significant about the need for off-site backups.

  • Do you have a link to your presentation about Hyper-V & it's DR benefits?

    Good to hear the family is safe.

  • Hi Ben,

    I'm sorry for all that is happening to your family and yourself.

    I hope the best for all of you, your family and the australian people.



  • Very happy to hear about Joe and the gear; there were many cases (small and large) here in Brisbane where either Virtualization or Cloud assisted/saved the livelyhood of many people and busineses.  I ran an all-nighter, changing MX records for friends of about ~80 business/companies over to cloud hosted mail, because they simply couldnt get the mail servers out in time.  Most of what couldnt be recovered from backups, was pulled from PSTs/OSTs.

    ...I may be biased, but you have to love when good old fashioned Aussie ingenuity is combined with technology -- amazing things happen =)

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