In our recent newsletter we briefly commented on our COVID-19 response, in that we had activated contingency plans to ensure we can continue to operate 24/7 and keep your infrastructure and systems operational. Rapidly responding to changing events is a very important part of our mandate and SiteHost has robust remote working capabilities.
As you are probably aware, tonight New Zealand will be going into a level 4 lock-down. SiteHost has prepared for this, and we would like to share with you what measures we have taken and what that will mean for you in using SiteHost’s services.
SiteHost is considered to be an essential service as we provide mission-critical services to a wide range of essential organisations including health organisations, education facilitators, financial providers, utility networks, media organisations, as well as both local and central government departments.
Our entire team is now working remotely with the only exception being a small skeleton crew at our data centre. Remote working is part of the normal rhythm for our company, each team has full time remote members, but we extended that with our Wellington team working remotely from the start of last week, with our product, sales and administration teams joining them later that week.
Re-deploying our operations team to work from home turned out to be more of a challenge as we needed to confirm some more processes and order-in some equipment to make sure our team had the best connectivity and environment possible. However, thankfully we now have our entire operations team equipped, taking calls and responding to support emails while working remotely as of today, Wednesday 25th March.
So what does this mean for me?
We envision that for most of our clients there will be no change in service. Even with internet usage in New Zealand increasing due to more people using digital services, streaming and video conferencing during this period, we operate our own networks and peering with plenty of headroom so we largely expect to not be impacted by traffic congestion in the same way other internet services have seen in recent days.
While some of our clients may not need our services as much at present, others may need our services more. For customers using a scalable cloud solution like Cloud Containers it will be easy for you to scale your utilisation of our infrastructure up and down as needed and we are here to help and support you through these tumultuous times.
What does this mean for overseas clients?
For Cloud Container customers around the world, and users of our Sydney services, we don't expect there to be any noticeable change in service. We have scaleable contingencies in place for these services which will not be affected by the current situation. We also have remote-hands services available at Sydney and these arrangements will be unaffected.
What is the impact for ordering new hardware?
We have confirmed with our suppliers that they will be continuing to supply equipment and we have been listed as an ‘essential service provider’. We will be continuing to provision new AMD NVMe equipment as planned with additional servers arriving in the next few days. We have good amounts of capacity available on our nodes for virtual servers and Cloud Containers. We also have good stocks available for dedicated servers, so if you need additional capacity, we will be able to deliver that.
What does this mean for colocation customers?
The SiteHost data centre will be staffed and routine maintenance will be completed as normal by our skeleton team. However, there will be no escorted data centre access for colocation clients over this lock-down period. Our engineers will be available for remote-hands service if needed and if you have equipment that needs to be installed or removed for you, we can arrange to have that couriered / delivered to / from where it needs to come from.
How do I get in touch?
You'll still be able to get in touch with us by email or phone and have any of your hosting concerns addressed. We'll still have our 24/7 emergency support available as well.
How are we helping our team?
We’re aware that not having social contact can be hard on our team so we've set up a permanent live video chat that the team can join at any time, so that at a moments notice if they/we need to talk with each other we can, this helps us and our our team not feel cut off from each other or the outside world.
We’re also encouraging our team to stay fit and healthy while also maintaining social distancing. One example of this is Te Omeka who is doing a set of burpees every 2 hours to keep sharp.
We’re having daily catch ups with each team member to find out how they are coping and hopefully this helps our team know that they are well supported.
We know the next four weeks will be hard on everyone, but we also know that our team and New Zealand is up to the task ahead.
Nathan, Quintin and the whole team at SiteHost