I’ve been asked to write a short entry on what the systems team have been getting up to of late.
Innovation is one of the watchwords here for everybody, but innovation alone does not a service make. We spend a lot of time behind the scenes working on elements of our service such as reliability, security and availability.
As some customers will have noticed, we suffered a major disruption to our service on the evening of August 24th. At the time, we were operating out of two UK datacentres with failover between the two. We were already in the late stages of implementing additional resilience into our network, but the outage came at a really unfortunate time and for reasons I won’t go into here, affected network transit at both of our datacentres at the same time. The morning after the outage was pretty chaotic, but one thing was clear – we really needed to accelerate our planned network changes.
We had recently added two new datacentres to our mix of locations, with a significant investment in new hardware as part of a project to implement a more resilient, carrier and datacentre independent network model.
In order to maintain a level of service that we are proud of, we’ve accelerated that project and we brought both data centres online this week.
There’s been a lot of work gone in behind the scenes to make this work. We are now a fully-fledged RIPE NCC member (https://www.ripe.net/) allowing us access to our own Internet Protocol(IP) numbering – which gives us the facility to route our traffic to any of our 5 datacentres in the UK and Ireland. We’re routing all of our web traffic now across all datacentres in real time now, so our control panel will stay online regardless of any issues. For those of you subscribing to our cloud contact centre, we’ve load balanced the traffic for the Quvu contact centre across multiple sites and we’ve added additional core voice services out of our new datacentres.
Alongside this, we’ve added additional capacity, so that there’s always room for our customers to grow.
We’re also hardening our protocol stack, to make us even more resilient to the type of Internet based attacks that are, unfortunately, becoming more commonplace.
We’ve increased the size of our systems team and I’m really glad to have Zoey and Patrick join the team. They’re both already working really hard to deliver what are exciting and seminal architecture changes.
Patrick has a background in Linux systems and networking, and has been focusing on provisioning all of the new hardware for use and installing necessary software.
Zoey’s background is in the gaming industry, working with scalable network technologies, and she has been focused on the failover sequence and ensuring a seamless transition.
All in all, quite a busy month, but we’ve all enjoyed pushing the envelope to help us deliver an industry leading level of service.
Robert Thornton, Technical Director