Covid-19 has shown us what world without loo roll would be like, but an even bigger impact it's had was forcing companies who usually work out of an office to transition to the total use of remote working in a matter of weeks!
A lot of companies still store computer systems in their office, and were not prepared for mass working from home. Lockdown came down very quickly on the UK, not giving companies a lot of time to prepare.
What are the problems businesses are having with their work from home IT system?
Most companies are equipped for some level or remote working, either using VPNs or remote desktop services. However, very few companies built their systems predicting their entire workforce will be working from home, and that sort of capacity wasn’t planned for. Now, the best case scenario is slow connection speeds and frustrated staff, but the worst case scenario is a complete system failure and a total shut down on productivity.
Normally, the solution to slow connection speeds would be an upgrade to a company's internet capacity. Unfortunately, these are not normal circumstances, and leased lines have been completely halted by:
- All major carriers, such as BT and Virgin, have frozen all installations of new leased lines until 1st June.
- 'Last mile’ providers (people who put the fibre into the ground, and into your office building or home) have been experiencing huge workforce disruption.
- Conspiracies associating Covid-19 to 5G has seen a significant rise in malicious damage to mobile phone towers and harassment of communications workers
So an internet connection upgrade is not available right now, leaving struggling companies with three options.
What options do companies with struggling IT have?
There are three options available to a business who does not have the connection capacity for mass working from home:
1. Do nothing
Stick with what you have and accept that productivity will be lower for the duration of remote working, however long that is.
2. Move to the cloud
While some services, such as email, may be relatively painless to move to the cloud, some other services such as databases or eCommerce websites may be not feasible, logistically. Carrying out a full scale cloud migration when everyone is working from home during a pandemic is like trying to replace an F1 engine whilst it’s being driven in a race.
3. Lift and shift
Move your servers to a data centre. This is otherwise known as ‘colocation’ and while it does require some pre-planning it is A LOT easier than a cloud migration.
But what is ‘Colocation’?
Bringing your servers physically to the cloud.
Data centres are at the heart of the internet and the cloud revolution. Software as a Service (SaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) has to live somewhere, and that is a series of data centres all around the world.
A data centre is a building designed to host servers, they’re often equipped with sophisticated power, cooling, and connectivity redundancies, to be the ideal environment for computer systems.
Most of the world’s servers are hosted in data centres. Large tech companies – like Amazon and Apple – build their own private enterprise data centres, where they own the whole building, and host their own systems within it.
Whereas retail colocation operators (like 4D) offer space not only to cloud providers but also to normal businesses, ranging from law firms, to accounting consultancies, to games developers and even to the NHS.
4D's Case Studies:
How colocation fixes the lease line problem
Data centres, by their nature, already have ultra-fast internet connections for their clients, so rather than having to wait months for a leased line to be installed, a data centre can provision a 1Gbps or 10Gbps internet connection in a matter of hours, and they can do it during a national lockdown.
And getting your equipment into a data centre so they can provide super-fast internet will be easier during lockdown than you think, since ‘data infrastructure operators’ have been given key worker status by the UK Government. So, even during a lockdown, data centres are able to continue operating 24/7, and can accept new customers.
Data centres are also built with resiliency in mind, so they also offer multiple fibre routes and ‘multihomed’ internet connections which are made up of multiple carriers, providing a fast and reliable connection, unlikely to experience downtime.
And because data centres have technical staff on-site 24/7, if there’s a problem with a server, you can log a ‘remote hands request’ and get a qualified engineer to act as your hand and eyes.
Considering an infrastructure migration?
In today's business environment, a company is truly only as strong as its online capability. So, it's absolutely vital to have infrastructure and connectivity that is capable of supporting your network - both now and into the future.
At 4D Data Centres, whether it's a colocation or cloud solution you're interested in, we're able to offer a tailored migration service to help companies currently struggling with insufficient internet connections in their office. If you're interested in learning more about how a data centre can help with your current internet connection, check out 4D's connectivity services here or you can get in touch with our team to get a quote and see how our solutions could help your company.