Updated on 25th March 2020:
Video from Jack Bedell-Pearce added.
Updated on 24th March 2020:
We have updated the following sections of this page to reflect changes to our current policy:
- Pandemic Response Plan
- More free remote hands and server drop-off service
- Access by Appointment (NEW)
With the rapid spread of the new Coronavirus (Covid-19), our number one priority is the health and safety of our employees, partners and customers.
While there have been no reported cases of Covid-19 amongst the 4D team or any visitors, we have moved to Phase 2 of our business continuity and pandemic plans with the intent to ensure our data centres remain fully operational, safe and reliable environments for all our customers.
Understandably, this is a fluid and evolving situation and there is no guarantee the current response as outlined below will not be amended or effected as the situation unfolds and the Government release new information.
For the latest update on what 4D have been doing in response to the pandemic, please watch the the below video from our CEO, Jack Bedell-Pearce:
Pandemic Response Plan
A couple of weeks ago we transitioned into Phase 2 of our response plan. Since then we have put in place some additional measures to improve our social distancing strategy. These steps include:
- Effective 17th March, all business-critical staff – which includes 4D Directors, our Support Team and our DC and Facilities Teams – continued to work on-site but transitioned onto shift-patterns to minimise cross contamination.
- All other 4D team members are working from home until further notice but are still available by phone and video conference.
- All customer visits to our data centres have to be made by appointment only – further details on this policy can be found below in the section Access by Appointment.
- We ask that customers maintain, at all times, at least 2 meters distance from 4D staff and other clients as recommended by government social distancing guidelines.
- Customers will no longer be allowed to use the shared kitchen facilities or meeting rooms in any of our data centres until further notice.
We do not expect these changes to have any material impact on our operations – in other words: it’s business as usual.
Even when staff or visitor Covid-19 cases are eventually detected, we have a well-tested business continuity plan in place to make sure we’re able to keep all our data centres open 24x7. As and when we are required to move to Phase 3, you will still be able to access our data centres and make remote hands requests.
Access by Appointment
Effective from 5pm on the 25th March 2020, we are asking all our clients who wish to visit our data centres to do so by appointment only. We would also ask that you only attend site personally if the works are critical or urgent. This even applies if you are currently on the permanent access list for our data centres. This policy will be in place until the current UK pandemic or government guidance changes. However, we are expecting this process to be in place for a minimum of 3 months (i.e. until the end of June 2020).
Site visits can be booked in by either logging a ticket through our Support Portal or sending an email to our Support Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
All access requests must include the following information:
- Name of persons visiting the data centre (2 maximum)
- Date, time and duration of visit (max 4 hours)
- Data centre location required to visit
- Purpose of visit
- Rack positions for which access is required
As part of our social distancing policy, we will only be allowing a maximum of 4 customers in each building at any one time, with a maximum of 2 people from any one client / company. We will not be allowing customers to work in racks that share a common cold aisle at the same time and access may be denied at any point if we’re at capacity for on-site customers. We would ask that wherever possible customers give us at least 24 hours’ notice of a site visit. However, the minimum notice we can accept is 1 hour. Please do not head off to visit a site until you have confirmation that access during your requested time slot has been granted.
More free remote hands and server drop-off service
We understand that minimising the number of visits to any site will be a priority for many businesses, which is why - effective immediately - we are offering, on a best endeavours basis, unlimited free daily remote hands requests for all clients. Large or complex blocks of works may be subject to a charge or require pre-booking if additional resourcing is required. Remember, you can use our remote hands service to do things such as:
- Server racking and operating system installation
- Replacement of components (hard drives, memory etc.)
- Cable patching and replacement
Suspension of bandwidth over usage charges
We recognise that with a large scale move to remote working for a lot of business there will be increased demands on network traffic and throughput that were not expected or planned for. In order to help our customers deal with this increased network traffic without having to worry about additional charges we are suspending all bandwidth over usage costs effective from the 1st March 2020 for at least the next 3 months. This allows you to increase loads on your systems and networks beyond any existing CDR up to the maximum throughput of your ports without incurring additional costs.
If you have an existing rate-limit in place to limit your maximum throughput, you can have this removed by contacting our support team on email@example.com and one of the network team will remove your network rate limits as soon as possible.
UK Government advice for self-isolation
The current Government advice for self-isolation is as follows:
- Don’t come in if you have any symptoms (cough or fever) and stay at home for at least 7 days
- Don’t come in if you’ve been in contact with someone who has been unwell in the past 5 days
- Don’t come in for 14 days if you’ve returned from anywhere abroad in the past 5 days
- In addition to all of the above, the Government has said to keep non-essential travel outside of your home to a minimum. This includes not going to work when remote working is an option and cancelling social events.
- Remain quarantined if living with someone who has a cough or a temperature - stay at home for 14 days.
4D's Covid-19 Business Resource Page
We are committed to continually monitor and respond where necessary to the Coronavirus outbreak. We have an additional Business Resource page that provides:
- Helpful business advice on how to mitigate risks, such as:
- Up-to-date suggestions on business continuity strategies, such as:
- Useful articles that we've seen on how best to respond and manage the outbreak
Protecting Clients and the 4D Team
Finally, we’d like to reiterate that our number one priority is the health and safety of our clients and our team, which is why we continue to follow the following hygiene policies at all our data centres:
- Hand washing - upon arrival all team members and visitors will be asked to wash their hands, or use sanitiser provided
- No handshakes - we will suspend physical acts of greeting, such as handshakes, until further notice
- Increased cleaning - we have implemented a daytime cleaning schedule that focuses on frequently used surfaces such as door handles
- Site registration – signing in of team members and visitors will now be carried out by 4D Security and, until further notice, signatures will not be required. Our policies covering the requirement for government issued photographic identification, or registration on our biometric system, continue to be in place to maintain a robust security perimeter
- Sanitiser – all communal workstations/ KVM trollies and resources have cleaning products next to them – these should be used before and after each use e.g. keyboards, mice, kettles
- Hand-free doors – our door release buttons have been replaced with infrared scanners (image below) to reduce the amount of frequently used surfaces in the data centre