Danfast is a key supplier of a diverse range of products including plumbing, heating, electrical and general consumables to the portable and modular buildings sector, including caravans, holiday homes, tourers and lodges. The company has ISO 9001:2008 certification for Quality Management Systems, has around 20 IT users and prides itself on consistently delivering a quality service for its customers.
Number of Employees: 20
Partnered with OGL since: 2000
Company Location: Hull, East Yorkshire
Company Website: www.danfast.co.uk
Flooded Danfast premises requires full-scale deployment of Data Recovery strategy
On December 5th 2013, long-standing OGL customer, Danfast, based in Hull, was victim to a tidal surge from the River Humber which was documented as the UK’s worst tidal surge in 60 years (Hull Daily Mail, online 2014).
Situated in English Street which runs alongside the Albert Docks, the Danfast offices were flooded by water from the Humber which had surged into the docks caused by severe gales and storm-force winds blowing over the North Sea. As a result, in a matter of minutes the property and many others surrounding it were deluged with water.
“During the flood, we lost all of our IT infrastructure,” said the company’s Operations Manager, Chris Wright. “All of our servers were submerged, as were all of our switches and patch panels.”
For Danfast the reality of the situation was daunting with the premises in 3-5ft of flood water which meant full implementation of the firm’s disaster recovery plan was required.
Kurt Barone, OGL’s Account Manager for Danfast, said: “Danfast have been a customer of ours for a good number of years, starting out as a ProfIT customer 15 years ago, before upgrading to the prof.ITplus system and subsequently contracting us for hardware support and disaster recovery.”
Chris continued, “We use prof.ITplus for all aspects of our business from sales, purchasing, stock management, marketing through to CRM and accounts. The system stitches all of these aspects together to give us a total business solution. We run our business from prof.ITplus.”
As a responsible business, Danfast’s prof.ITplus system and all data contained within it is replicated every night to OGL’s maximum security offsite cloud data centre.
Colin Dennis, OGL’s Hosted Service Delivery Manager said: “Having received a phone call from Chris at 9am on Friday morning to say their onsite IT appliances were completely destroyed by flood, by 6pm on the Friday night we had produced a virtual copy of their server at the data centre so Danfast employees were able to log into prof.ITplus virtually from any internet connected device.”
Chris echoed: “From my initial phone call to us having access to our remote data, the whole process was very swift and well within the terms of our agreement. It was pleasing for me to see that the data restored was up-to-date and allowed us to start to make contact with our customer and supplier base to inform them of the situation.”
“This also put us in a position to restart deliveries to our customers within a few days of the flooding after we had cleared up the devastation.”
OGL’s disaster recovery product offers a fully managed service with nightly data backups to the cloud offering a Recovery Time Objective (RTO) of 24 hours which is backed by a financial service level agreement.
OGL carry out file restores for customers on a daily basis due to human error or hardware failures but dealing with a devastating incident such as the Hull tidal surge is, thankfully for our customers, a rarity for OGL. It was an even rarer occurrence as another OGL customer suffered the same misfortune a little further down the road from Danfast meaning OGL’s Hosted Services team were very busy carrying out full restoration of two companys’ data that same day.
Six months on, Chris remarked: “I think that both OGL and Danfast have learnt from the experience. The finer details of the recovery process were not something we had considered closely and despite having a disaster recovery plan, the reality was very different when faced with devastation to the degree that we did.”
“I am aware that OGL offer chargeable ‘test runs’ on the recovery of data and, with hindsight, feel Danfast would have benefitted from this. Despite that, OGL provided exactly what they said they would and remote access to our data within 24 hours was very important to Danfast’s survival as a going concern.”
By February 2014, Danfast were fully operational again having re-installed onsite prof.ITplus on new servers which were located to an upper floor of the premises to prevent flooding causing an IT disaster again.
Access to a virtual copy of prof.ITplus remained fully accessible whilst the Danfast premises were out of bounds and meant, very happily for all involved, the business did not have to grind to a complete halt.
Case study produced: 2014
"OGL provided exactly what they said they would and remote access to our data within 24 hours was very important to Danfast's survival as a going concern."