by: ROBERT EVATT World Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
9/23/2009 8:25:47 AM

When Titan owner Jeff Hamra says his company is dedicated to keeping other businesses’ data secure, you can look around his building and see he isn’t kidding around.

The Tulsa-based company’s facility at 8544 E. 11th St. is nondescript, distanced from its neighbors, and thick — to the tune of 8 inches of concrete surrounding the walls, floor and ceiling.

“If we were hit with a direct shot from an airliner, engineers have estimated the foundation would move just a quarter of an inch,” Hamra said.

Titan strives to keep its technology as secure as its physical headquarters, since the company specializes in all kinds of disaster recovery, from data backup to emergency workstations.

The need for Titan’s services are evident — the company is planning to build a second facility in the metro area.

Titan was certainly busy during the ice storms of the past few winters that ground the city to a halt and severed power lines. But, “disaster” doesn’t have to be an event of biblical proportions, Hamra said. A simple fire, water damage, or theft could wipe out a smaller company’s entire database if a backup is not kept off-site.

And all it took was a single broken water main to flood an electrical substation and knock out power to much of downtown Tulsa in late 2005.

Many businesses can’t afford any extended downtime, Hamra said. They need to continue doing business around the country or the world; otherwise they’ll lose money or cause bigger headaches for their clients.

“We have workstations dedicated to an oil and gas pipeline company,” he said. “If this company has a downfall, the price of commodities will go up. So they’ve made damn sure they have a backup.”

Titan also has 35 shared workstations for use by any of its clients on an as-needed basis. During the ice storms of 2007, one client — Hamra would not reveal its name, citing security — had signed up only three weeks before and had not set up anything.

The power went out on a Tuesday, and the company needed to get its payroll out Wednesday to avoid forking over a hefty tax penalty. The company’s workers toiled day and night at Titan, finally hooking up their employer’s systems to its Houston facility and getting the payroll done by Wednesday night.

Hamra said Titan gets lots of new inquiries after big events such as ice storms, but feels that businesses are becoming more aware of the need for off-site data storage and a disaster recovery plan.

“Security matters are things that continually grow,” he said. “People are realizing they can’t do it the way they did before.”

Interest has gotten to the point that Titan is planning to build a second, $5 million facility on 78th Street in Sapulpa. Like the current building, it will have multiple data connections from multiple service providers and redundant systems to keep things functioning.

Titan bought the 11th Street building after it was constructed as a deposit-box storage facility, and Hamra said he’s hoping to make the 16,500-square-foot Sapulpa structure bunkerlike as well.