For many businesses, the question is not if a disaster or power outage could happen, but when it will occur? And how severe it will be? As a company whose primary products are internet-based applications, it is of vital importance to Enable that our ability to host our clients’ applications remains unaffected in every eventuality that could be reasonably foreseen. Disaster recovery (DR) is not something that any business can afford to get wrong. This is why Enable takes it very seriously and, after recent events, can boast of having first-hand experience.
Sometime around 03:00 on Monday, December 4th, a water heater in the roof space in our unit 11 building failed and began to leak. The water heater was located above the stairwell and leaked through the first floor, destroyed ceiling tiles, flooded one of the staff toilets, and made its way through to the ground floor. Unfortunately, significant water had entered our server room. The water had run through all three server cabinets and the servers within. All local servers, networks, and internet access shut down after power was lost. This meant no access to telephone, email or any local IT infrastructure including domains, web servers, file servers, source control and deployment services.
One of the main advantages of hosting in the cloud rather than locally, is that no live systems or data were affected, this meant minimal impact on our clients. Also, due to sensible management of time and resources, projects that we had underway were still delivered to clients on time.
Ewan Gibb is the IT Manager at Enable and has been with the company for over 15 years, helping it evolve into the well-organised and responsive IT department that it is today. Ewan was heavily involved with the DR process for this incident from the moment it was reported, ensuring that our systems were back online and operating normally as soon as possible. Here are Ewan’s recollections of how the day’s events unfolded.