Enacting A BCDR Plan: Practicing What We Preach

Posted by Paul Ceaser on 02 February, 2018

Always Be Prepared

Here at Solar, we operate our critical business no differently to how we advise our customers to undertake their business operations, we rely on and trust in Cloud Architecture and Infrastructure. To prove our confidence in the technology and give customers assurance in the solutions we provide, we saw our 2018 company ‘kick off’ event as the perfect opportunity to 'practice what we preach'.

We 'lifted and shifted' our entire operations and all inter-departmental teams to our annual company event in Stratford. This saw us, for the first time, operating Solar Communications from a remote location in a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) scenario for 2 days.

So how did we do it? 

The venue, Stratford Manor Hotel, was the location for our event and for the purpose of enacting our BCDR plan was our 'Building of Opportunity', a term used widely in BCDR planning. Key benefits that stem from cloud adoption are mobility, flexibility and agility, which meant that in order to successfully migrate our office all we needed was a room and a reliable internet connection. Cloud, when done properly, is simple and affords you benefits that simply aren’t possible with traditional on-premise systems.

The on-site internet connection was backed up with 2 x 3/4G Wireless Routers on differing mobile networks for diverse Wide Area Network (WAN) Data to reach the “Cloud”. This was further fortified through all agents using their work mobile phones which have 3G/4G connections as a tertiary means if needed. This multi-layered approach meant we were able to have primary, secondary and tertiary WAN connectivity as a means to reach our Cloud Architecture at all times.  This allowed us to operate a full Unified Communications (Voice and Video services) platform with our Mitel PBX, Contact Centre, Call recorders, Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) platforms and all our other remaining support platforms with ease.

Why were we able to do this? 

Simply put, cloud communications. Solar has undertaken its own digital transformation and our investment in Cloud Infrastructure and Architecture gives us the ability to operate from anywhere. Without having moved our systems to the cloud, we could not have simply picked up our business and moved location seamlessly.

To deliver our cloud solutions we work with some of the best partners in the world, in particular Mitel for the main infrastructure. This is coupled with the capabilities provided with our trusted partners Rubrik and Datto, who allow us to utilise restoration technology rather than the traditional backup. This means incremental backups of all our systems are taken every 5 minutes, followed by the replication of this data to our backup Data Centre. Every morning these backups are tested, with the status recorded in our CRM. With all these measures in place we are able to deploy full system restoration into our Disaster Recovery cloud platform in under a minute.

What sort of Data Capacity is Solar protecting on BCDR?

Our current protected and data backups for BCDR is as follows:

  • Live (active usage of systems): 3.2TB
  • Cold Storage (decommissioned backups): 2.5TB
  • Total: 5.7 TB

What is Solar’s Digital transformation plan?`

18 months ago, Solar embarked on our own Digital Transformation journey, embracing Cloud based Customer Management Platforms (ConnectWise) as well as enabling disparate systems to communicate with each other. A core element of this roadmap was the migration of our on-premise ShoreTel UC PBX to the Cloud. This has allowed for the provision of diverse and resilient SIP as our call delivery medium as well as High availability failover between Data centres.

Can we help you with this? 

Of course we can. Our teams can help you devise the means, ways and the manner to get your systems and platforms to the Cloud and allow you the same flexibility, protection and ability to operate your businesses as we were able to afford Solar for our BCDR plan.

Want some practical tips? Why not check out our Director of Operations, Paul Ceaser's;

5 Tips For Ensuring Business Continuity