Nigel Phillips

Managing Director

Westgate IT have been providing support services for almost 25 years, providing the best possible quality of service to our clients; gone are the days when a server would crash, and we’d find ourselves working the whole weekend trying to recover. If the server goes bang on a Friday afternoon, we no longer firefight. Instead, we switch our client over to a replica, fixing the problem on the original server without panic or drama.

On-site server

These days most of our clients work in a hybrid mode with some systems on-site and others in the cloud. It’s not uncommon for a client to have their email (O365) in the cloud along with OneDrive and SharePoint. Additionally they might have a server on-site for a variety of different reasons; one particular client has an on-site server because it runs far quicker locally and the warehouse requires the speed and to be honest it’s pretty expensive to put it in the cloud because of its size.

AJM Pet Products Ltd. – fire!

But even an on-site server can benefit from the same continuity features offered by cloud services and recover their systems quickly should a disaster strike. In 2017, one of our clients AJM Pet Products Ltd. (Yate) phoned the Westgate support line to advise that their building was on fire, literally burning down. Their commercial unit, containing both warehousing and offices had caught fire taking the servers with it. The fire was so big that surrounding businesses had to be evacuated and although the fire brigade managed to bring the fire under control it continued to smoulder with hot spots for seven weeks. To read the full story click here.

We were notified of the fire while it was still in progress at around 3pm and by 4pm on the same day, the client’s systems were up and running again. How?

Systems up & running within an hour

All our clients have multiple backups, with at least one on-site and one offsite normally to a data centre. These backups can be bought online as a complete server, very quickly. Our engineers took the offsite backup and spun it up as a server, then created VPNs to the server from the client’s home computers and work laptops. This meant that within an hour of the fire occurring, the client was able to send and receive emails and access their SQL server and provision orders.

John Gbel – Operations Manager

The client, with the help of their business neighbours managed to continue working the entire time, with goods in transit on the day of the fire. Within a week AJM acquired some temporary offices, but finding a vacant warehouse of the correct size proved more difficult. Our Operations Manager John Gbel remained the lead contact and support during the incident, handling the situation calmly and professionally.

“John was always there at the end of line and I knew we were in good hands. He has a good understanding of our business and how we all work, from dealing with our account for many years. He always responded to me when I need support immediately to get the job done, no matter the time of day. You always knew if John was handling it, it would be done and you wouldn’t have to worry about it again, which was crucial at that time when we had so much to sort out.” – Sue James – AJM Pet Products Ltd.

Ensuring off-site backup with your business

But surely setting this all up would cost a fortune? Well you’d be wrong!

The monthly off-site backup is charged at a very reasonable rate which is fixed regardless of the data increasing. The spinning up of the backup into a server at the data Centre is charged based on the resources being used e.g. RAM, Processor, and Disk Space. Getting this server back and working in the DC for one month was less than £200 for the entire month.

The client bought a new server and moved to a new office, the server in the Data Centre was copied back to that server and business continued as normal.

When things get back to normal

In these times of Global Pandemic, every business that didn’t have a Business Continuity Plan (BCP) has had to rapidly create one and adapt. When things get back to normal everyone will be reevaluating the way they work; we might all remain working at home and put everything in the cloud. It might take some a while to get back on their feet so working with what they have might be a necessity. Our consultants at Westgate can prepare a BCP, test it and ensure it works. They can also assist you with migrating key systems to the cloud.

If you have any questions regarding off-site backup or you would like support in assessing your current backup plan, get in touch today via the form below.

Published: 14th April 2020