I am so proud that we were able to provide some much needed assistance to the Northern Lights School District #113 in La Ronge during their time of need. On July 3, 2015 a notice was given to have the entire township of LA Ronge evacuated. Unfortunately part of the DR Plan that the School Board has was to have a DR Site in the same geography. With no physical access to any critical systems and only remote access and limited power. It was deemed that some emergency measures were required. In fact over 1000 members of Canada’s finest from the Armed forces are on front lines fighting this blaze. Not to mention the countless volunteer firefighters and emergency personnel from around Canada.


At 10:00 PM on July 3, 2015 a decision was made to migrate all critical information to the cloud as the entire town was at risk. Being a strong partner with Microsoft we decided to use Microsoft’s Azure Site Recovery, Microsoft’s Azure Backup Services, Crash Plan and Dropbox as a place to quickly dump important data. In order to expedite the process a trial account was setup for Microsoft Azure on a 30 day trial, along with the other providers. Then we quickly setup an Azure Site to Site VPN (in less than 1.5 hours to their core ASA 550 firewalls). Once done we proceeded to start migrating their critical workloads up to Azure using Azure Site Recovery.

We also decided to setup some Replica Domain Controllers in Azure just as a failsafe mechanism. This whole process happened in a little under 4 hours with the help of some great MVP’s and the people from Microsoft Canada.

Special recognition goes out to those that generously donated their time and efforts:

Cristal Kawula, Frank Kawula, Emile Cabot – MVP, Marcos Nogueira – MVP, Rod Kruetzfeld – MSFT Canada (my Manager), Todd Lamothe – MVP, and others.

Here we are two weeks later and the people from the Town of LA Ronge and the Northern Lights School District #113 still have not been allowed to return home. We have stabilized their infrastructure and are continuing the volunteer efforts to ensure their environments are safe. Say some prayers that some rain

I will provide some more updates as we go along.