Image of a flood and computer servers

How a Recent Flood Challenged our Business Continuity Procedures...

Shackleton Technologies

Written by Shackleton Technologies

We had many things to consider over the last few months, but an office flood was not on our list!

Very unexpectedly, Steve, our MD, arrived one Tuesday morning to 2-3 inches of water, welcoming him as he arrived at the office. 

Unfortunately, a flow pipe in another office upstairs decided our office downstairs needed a flush and flowed its way downwards through the ceiling to our office. It was unfortunate that this decided to happen at some point during the night. There was water coming down through the ceiling tiles, through the roof and into our server room. Not simply was it enough to destroy our kitchen and office, but also our network cabling and electrics, as well as our two-year-old servers and IT equipment. 

The equipment was destroyed and would require to be replaced.

This office disaster got us thinking back to two years ago when we made a significant investment in purchasing new servers. At that time, we invested in disaster recovery software. Disaster recovery software is one of the best products on the market and certainly helped us with this recent predicament, as it backs up all company data to the cloud.  

At that time, Steve decided not to opt for a Business Continuity solution called ‘Datto Siris’. Datto is essentially like a small server that can be located anywhere in your building and backs up the servers to a Datto box. A further back up is sent to the cloud and, should something happen to your server; the data is retrieved from the Datto box within 5-10 minutes. 

You might ask, why would an IT company not invest in the latest Business Continuity solution when it would advise clients to do so? Well, at that time, Steve believed it might be a step too far as we had other measures in place. The Datto Siris solution was a bit more expensive, and as 80% of Shackleton’s applications were in the cloud, it seemed more than what we would require at that time.

The recent flood caused a little disruption to the three of us in the office but did not affect how our team worked at home. Our backup system was very good. There was not any interruption to our clients, and our levels of service continued as normal. Most of our applications are in the cloud, so there was little disruption. 

The only real disruption was to our Financial Accounting Software, which was on the server and key to our business. Although we had a backup, we could not use the server to work from due to the damage. We, therefore, had to install our financial software (Sage) on to a Surface Pro used by our Finance Manager. A daily back up made to SharePointfurthermore, other users of Sage would need to retrieve the latest backup and restore it to their version of Sage. Not an ideal situation if you have more than one in your Finance Team!

Shackleton has reinvested in new servers but has changed its disaster recovery software and invested in full Datta Siris business continuity solution. Our business requires its financial data to be secure and accessible. We hope for no more disasters anytime soon. Still, we can rest easy in the knowledge that we can retrieve our financial data within a very short time. Our ‘downtime’ will be minimal, and this is very important to us. 

Our story is a real example of how unforeseen business disasters can happen to anybody even when you think it will never really happen to you. 

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