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EarthLink Cloud Hosting Solution Keeps Ciao Bella Gelato Operational During Storm

Disaster Recovery Proves Vital in Aftermath of Superstorm Sandy

ATLANTA, Dec. 5, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELNK), a leading IT and communications provider, today announced that the recent virtualization solution implemented for customer Ciao Bella Gelato enabled the frozen dessert wholesaler and retailer to stay open for business despite the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy at its Florham Park, NJ headquarters. In September, Ciao Bella successfully converted its onsite servers to an EarthLink Cloud Hosting solution with its applications and data now hosted, maintained and monitored virtually at an EarthLink data center. With EarthLink Cloud Hosting, Ciao Bella employees throughout the country were able to submit orders and access critical applications via the cloud even though power remained off at its New Jersey facility for almost two weeks.

An EarthLink voice and data customer since 2011, Ciao Bella IT Director and Controller Robert Serchuk sought EarthLink's advice about its aging server infrastructure. With employees nationwide at corporate, retail stores, a warehouse and customer service center, Serchuk needed a reliable hosted infrastructure that would provide the company with operational efficiencies, disaster recovery and scalability for future growth.

EarthLink compiled a profile of Ciao Bella's applications, creating a solution that included three virtual servers, Secure Hosted Email  and Platinum-level Managed Services, providing a high level of managed support and an important safety net given the company's lack of IT staff. Ciao Bella's IT servers now reside in the cloud, enabling its dispersed sales force and production facility in Oregon to remain operational even though the company's Florham Park location was shut down due to Superstorm Sandy. Even its New Jersey-based employees were able to work remotely, accessing their applications via the cloud.

"While disaster recovery was not the primary reason we virtualized with EarthLink, it probably should have been as it was a significant benefit after this storm," shared Serchuk. "The beauty of moving to the cloud is that we saved money by eliminating the capital expense of buying new servers and replaced our IT consultant with EarthLink. Plus, my time used to be split evenly between IT duties and finances. Now I can dedicate myself fully to our financials, which is a huge benefit. My CEO and Board are all very pleased with our EarthLink solution."

Ciao Bella has experienced several key benefits since virtualizing with EarthLink. Its workforce is more productive, with faster access to the server and applications. Updates that previously took hours now take minutes. But the reliability of the new email platform perhaps had the most positive impact. Before switching to EarthLink, frequent outages would last days and sometimes weeks. Now the email platform performs reliably, and employees can synchronize corporate email with their mobile devices, a feature not available on their earlier version of Outlook.

EarthLink Executive Vice President of Products and Marketing Michael D. Toplisek is pleased with how Ciao Bella's new virtualization solution performed in a crisis. "Ciao Bella is a great example of how cloud hosting uses geographic diversity to keep a business operational even in extreme circumstances. The company is also well-positioned for future expansion, with no need to buy new equipment for upgrades. They can now dedicate key resources to growth while EarthLink is there to manage their entire IT infrastructure."

About EarthLink

EarthLink, Inc. (NASDAQ: ELNK) is a leading IT services and communications provider to more than 150,000 businesses and one million consumers nationwide. EarthLink empowers customers with managed services including cloud computing, managed and private cloud, and virtualization services such as managed hosting and cloud workspace. EarthLink also offers a robust portfolio of IT security, application hosting, colocation and IT support services. The company operates an extensive network spanning 28,800 route fiber miles with 90 metro fiber rings and 4 secure data centers providing ubiquitous nationwide data and voice IP service coverage across more than 90 percent of the country. Founded in 1994, EarthLink's award-winning reputation for outstanding service and product innovation is supported by an experienced team of professionals focused on best-in-class customer care.  For more information, visit EarthLink's website at www.earthlink.net.

About Ciao Bella Gelato

Ciao Bella, America's most stylish dessert brand, began in New York's Little Italy and has been tempting taste buds for almost three decades. Beyond ordinary, Ciao Bella's indulgent collection of gelato, sorbet and Greek frozen yogurt offers an unparalleled dessert experience by relying on a chef-inspired blend of naturally intense ingredients and a passion for evoking delight in every frozen bite. Offering unique and intense flavors like Blood Orange Sorbet, Key Lime Graham Cracker Gelato and Raspberry Greek Frozen Yogurt, Ciao Bella uses only the most select and pure ingredients, resulting in mouth-watering frozen treats that embody both classic Italy and modern America. The brand has been featured on the Oprah Winfrey Show and on AOL's home page for its captivating creations. For more information, visit www.ciaobellagelato.com.

SOURCE EarthLink, Inc.

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