Telstra Europe says they have completed the successful execution of a total shutdown of operations at its Hosting Centre in London Docklands on Easter Weekend 15th-16th April. The “Black Building” simulation enables Telstra to test the resilience of its business continuity capabilities at its state-of-the-art centre, which provides voice and data services to many global telecommunication and internet providers, as well as some of the UK’s largest companies.
The live simulation re-creates the effects of an unforeseen computer disaster or power supply failure, such as that experienced by businesses during last December’s Buncefield oil storage depot explosion and was carried out in a controlled environment. The centre was also tested during the Easter weekend 2005, and this second successful test forms part of an ongoing strategy of continuous improvement at Telstra Europe’s Docklands hosting facilities.
Commenting today, David Thorn, CEO of Telstra Europe, said, “Whilst all our customers were given advance notice of the test, I am delighted to say that there was not one report of service disruption. Recent events such as the Buncefield depot explosion illustrated the importance for businesses to have robust business continuity procedures in place and, by conducting these tests, Telstra can further develop its complete service provision for customers.”
This Easter weekend’s “black building” involved the comprehensive testing of the Dockland building’s generators by switching off the mains power supply for several hours at a time and switching to on-site back-up diesel generators, which have a supply of 3,500 litres of fuel. This supply would provide enough fuel to drive the equivalent distance of London to Alice Springs nearly six times1. In each case, the work was undertaken and overseen by Telstra Europe engineers, with manufacturers and contractors also on-site to provide support and analyse the test retrospectively.
Telstra’s London Hosting Centre is a 100,000 square feet purpose-designed and built data centre located in the heart of London’s Docklands. It is resiliently connected to Telstra’s UK and Global networks and customers can elect to have their own space in the Centre or have Telstra provide fully managed hosting solutions with 24/7 on-site engineering support.
Thorn concluded, “Business Continuity remains a hugely topical subject within the telecommunications industry but it is vital that organisations not only put contingency plans in place, but also test them on a regular basis to ensure their effectiveness.”