Business continuity in the face of terrorism

Disaster Recovery Suite

When business owners think of disaster recovery, more often than not they focus in on the most likely threats; flooding, fires, power cuts, and other common infrastructural issues.

Terrorism is often cited as an outside consideration for business continuity. After all, if you look at the raw statistics, it is a very unlikely occurrence. But when the UK endures three horrendous attacks in as many months, this is a topic that clearly deserves more attention.

The atrocities committed in London Bridge on Saturday 3rd June will be solemnly remembered for a long time here at Netwise, as will the awful attacks in Manchester and Westminster. The London Bridge attack hits particularly close to home for us, given our relatively close proximity to the area, and our regular use of Borough Market and the surrounding pubs for lunchtime meetings with our team.

Outside of the devastating loss of life, attacks such as the one in London Bridge really do serve to highlight the clear importance of reliable disaster recovery services for businesses up and down the country.

The knock-on effect of this economic impact is not likely a conscious consideration of the cowardly perpetrators, though it is a very real post-event consideration which adds dramatically to the gravity of their actions.

While many businesses are now fully on-board with the idea of outsourcing mission critical IT infrastructure to highly-resilient data centres, the physical side of business continuity is still an area often overlooked.

 

The knock-on effect

Failing to properly plan for an eventuality such as this can be devastating to any business. To further compound this, it also increases the effectiveness of the disruption and damage set in motion during the attack.

Outside of the horrific impact an attack like this has locally in the days following such an event, the ripple effect can be felt for much longer, with a far wider sphere of influence. Of course, this includes the economic impact caused through the disruption of business in the area.

The security cordon area in London Bridge and Borough Market contained hundreds of businesses, all of whom had limited or no access to their premises during this time. This cordon lasted several days – enough to cause serious disruption to businesses in the area.

We live in a time whereby these kind of considerations need to be taken seriously by all business owners. If action can be taken to lessen the impact of an event entirely out of your control, then it stands to reason that this is something that must be of critical importance.

 

Disaster recovery as a proactive counter-terrorism measure

London and the UK are clearly major global targets for this kind of terrorist activity, which is something we must work to combat on both a macro and micro level. Protecting your business against any loss of revenue incurred as a result of an event like this is to directly combat the impact this will have on the UK economy – no matter how small that contribution may be.

Having a business continuity plan in place, both for digital and physical operations, can be considered an effective, proactive counter-terrorist measure; one which any business can contribute towards.

To protect your business against the threat of a terror attack is perhaps the most valuable of all the DR advantages; particularly when operating in a major city. Not only does it present clear benefits to your own organisation, it also helps limit the damaging shock-wave effect an attack of this nature will have on the wider area.

Being able to carry on with ‘business as usual’ in the face of an atrocity such as the one felt in London Bridge is absolutely vital in minimising the social and economic impact this type of event will otherwise set in motion.

Naturally, this is a far cry from quenching the true source of the problem, but it is a proactive action that can be taken by organisations in dealing with the fallout from something as awful as a terror attack in a major UK city.

 

Disaster recovery for SMEs

Fully-featured business continuity planning has been a mainstay of banks and governments for decades, with private replica offices on standby for emergency use should something like this unfold. Likewise, larger corporations have also joined the physical DR revolution over the past ten years, making use of big-scale shared operations run by major serviced office operators here in the UK.

This service exclusivity has slowly been eroded over the past few years, with a number of operators (ourselves included) now delivering physical business continuity services for SMEs.

Long gone are the days of thousand-desk commits with the major DR service providers. We operate a dedicated Disaster Recovery Suite which can service single desks right through to entire run-of-suite operations, opening up this concept of protection to anyone and everyone.

Businesses of all shapes and sizes mould the economic landscape of the UK. It is commonplace for smaller, specialist organisations to be servicing some very large and important contracts, which puts extreme pressure on service and operational reliability, no matter what is happening outside. As such, it is no longer acceptable for any business to incur avoidable downtime, with DR services available at a per-desk level on a monthly service plan.

 

It is never too late to be thinking about your business continuity plan, and how this will safeguard your operations against any physical threat – acts of terror included.

Remember: good DR services should be close to your existing premises – for ease of use during an issue – but well outside of any hot-zones that would be considered a likely target for terrorist activities. Our London Central facility falls into this category; we are located in a quiet but easily accessible area between London Bridge and Bermondsey.

Learn more about our fully-serviced London disaster recovery suite.

Introducing your new Customer Lounge

‘Usual’ is not a word that often enters into our vocabulary here at Netwise. We like to do things differently. After all, that’s why people enjoy using our facilities – we mix enterprise-grade data centre services with world-class supplementary amenities, something our customers relish in everyday.

Build Room One received a full makeover towards the end of last year, much to the enjoyment of our clients. This has now been followed up with a full overhaul of the Customer Lounge, which to this point had been a fairly uninspiring white room.

Customer Lounge

The space is now our personal ode to London Bridge and Bermondsey, the area in which our London Central data centre calls home. We’ve designed the space to be warm and inviting, which is in contrast to the highly technical spaces found throughout the rest of the building.

White technical spaces can feel somewhat anodyne over extended periods of time, so this space offers customers some respite and escapism from the high-tech environment of the data hall and associated work spaces.

Two of the walls have been completely clad in reclaimed ethically-sourced wood, giving the space fantastic texture and an altogether natural feel. This extends into a set of shelves, which follow the same design.

Bermondsey

Additionally, we’ve put in soft architectural lighting which complements the new wall textures very nicely. You’ll also find a vintage tea-stained Union Jack on the wall and a range of London themed bric-a-brac and vintage technology kit on the custom wooden shelving (with plenty more coming soon). In the not-too-distant future, we will be adding an oxblood chesterfield sofa to complete the look, replacing the two tub chairs currently occupying the space.

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Union Jack

Customer Lounge

Customers familiar with our new Build Room will be very pleased to hear that we’ve installed another overhead sound system for use in the lounge, with the amplifier and control point in the centre of the work desks, underneath the flying Union Jack.

Future plans include vintage games consoles, a coffee machine and additional work lighting at each desk.

It truth, this is a space that needs to be experienced in person to fully appreciate it. If you’d like to come in for a coffee and a look around, please do let us know.

Also, watch this space for an exciting new addition to our Customer Kitchen, coming very soon.

Frank Pearson joins Netwise Hosting

We are very pleased to introduce you to the latest member of our ever-growing support team; Frank Pearson.

Frank

Frank Pearson

Frank is now a part of our critical out-of-hours support team, looking after customer support enquiries that come into the NOC overnight.

Digital security is where Frank excels, with a vast array of real-world experience to draw from in helping our customers with their support requirements. With work for the likes of Google on his resume, you know you’ll be in very safe hands if you happen to deal with Frank during a support case.

Frank is also an integral part of our internal development team, assisting with the build and execution of new systems and software solutions that benefit our customers on a day-to-day basis, with a keen focus always placed on security.

Our support team is growing, with additional operatives joining us over the next few months. Keep an eye out for further introductions coming soon.

London expected to break the 400MW supply barrier in 2017

London, Europe’s foremost colocation centre, is expected to surpass the 400MW supply milestone for the first time in 2017, according to the latest European Data Centre Marketview report from CBRE. This will make London the first European city to break through this barrier, as we head out of what has been a record-breaking Q3 of this year.

Total data centre supply across the ‘big four’ FLAP markets (Frankfurt, London, Amsterdam and Paris) has now reached 879MW, after a 20MW supply increase over Q3 2016. As an impressive indicator of growth here in the UK, 13MW of this 20MW total comes from London alone.

Graph credit: CBRE Research, Q3 2016

Graph credit: CBRE Research, Q3 2016

A big driver behind the growth in London is the opening of Telehouse North Two, which launches this winter. The Netwise Hosting team will be in attendance of the official launch event as we continue to build out our presence in Telehouse North and the campus as a whole.

Our London Central data centre continues to welcome new tenants as we head into 2017, as well as facilitating the impressive growth of our existing customers as they expand. We have additional pods coming online in the new year, which will ensure we meet ever-growing demand and operate as Central London’s leading independent data centre service provider.

Jubilee Line joins the night tube

It’s official – the Jubilee Line is now part of the night tube service here in London.

This is fantastic news for all users of the night tube, however we feel it will have particular resonance with those in the data centre industry. The Jubilee Line is a major arterial service for city-wide access to some of the most important London data centres, including Harbour Exchange / Equinix LD8, Global Switch and the Telehouse campus, amongst many other smaller facilities in and around the Docklands area.

More importantly, this now provides a 24-hour transport link between our London Central data centre in Bermondsey and the Docklands hub, which is perfect for users with services spanning multiple sites. No longer must engineers rely on slow and costly taxis to work on networks and systems which operate across the capital.

With our London Central data centre quickly becoming one of the city’s best alternatives to the now overcrowded, overstretched Docklands connectivity hub, this transport link will be a vital tool in speeding up out-of-hours engineering operations between sites.

At long last, the vital physical transport link that joins our private London data centre with our POPs in Docklands is finally coming to match the unrivaled dark fibre connectivity that links our facilities.

This extended nighttime service has been in operation from Friday October 7th, running on both Friday and Saturday evenings.