A look back at 2020

What a difficult year 2020 has been for everyone around the world.

While this year will certainly stand as one to forget for many, we’re going to remember 2020 for a long time, as a year of extremely exciting developments here at Netwise.

A look back at 2020

This has been our largest year of investment to date, having broken ground on our brand new London East data centre back in April. Unsurprisingly, this is by far our biggest single project to date, and will provide the capacity we need to continue with our upward growth projections as we head into the new decade.

While NLE has taken centre stage this year in terms of investment and development, it’s been a busy year aside to this, across a wide range of key areas.

Notable projects from 2020 include:

  • We started work on London East – we started work on our brand new London East data centre in April. We’ve been running our Build Blog ever since then – needless to say, we’re very excited about what 2021 will have in store for us and our new site.
  • Graham Cornell joined as Technical Manager – Graham joined as our new Technical Manager in January, and has been hard at work helping our growing roster of clients ever since.
  • THN became our first Supernode – in March, we upgraded our core node in Telehouse North, becoming the first on-net site to enjoy the roll out of our full Supernode architecture.
  • We added CLL to our POP list – the summertime saw the roll out of a brand new on-net POP / node at City Lifeline, one of London’s most important carrier-dense facilities – we took a pod of racks here, to secure our future in this location.
  • We took delivery of our first fleet vehicle – our first fleet vehicle joined us this year – number 001 – which has since received our full livery and chevron kit. This will be joined by further vehicles in due course, and makes the ongoing operation and maintenance of our multiple facilities much easier (along with client migrations).
  • We expanded into FRA and AMS – we’ve expanded our presence in Frankfurt, and have entered the Amsterdam market for the first time, all driven by client growth in these key European locations.
  • Our first private cage went live – we deployed our first private client cage at our London Central site in Q1, allowing one of our key clients to enjoy an entirely private space in Data Hall 1, complete with their own access control and build desk.
  • COVID-19 safe operations – in line with changing government guidelines throughout the year, we’ve always ensured fully-compliant operation of our sites, both in terms of our own team, and visiting clients.

Beyond the roster of notable projects above, we’ve also performed extremely well in our 19-20 financial year, which came to an end in October. Despite global economic issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re fortunate to operate in a sector which has seen accelerated growth and demand as organisations move to remote working.

We hope that our continued growth in what has been a very turbulent year provides the stability our customers need to operate with total peace of mind, thanks to the faultless operations of critical business systems around the clock.

We helped many new and existing customers pivot to fully-remote working environments back in April, which we’ve continued to do throughout the year.

Our growth this year has been testament to our rock-solid operation, which our clients continue to rely on for their critical IT infrastructure. We’ve been extremely proud to see so many of our clients continue to grow this year, providing world-class services to millions of end-users all around the world.


Looking ahead

We’re looking forward to 2021 just as much as everyone else, not least as we expect to return to a more normal home life, but also as we see the fruits of our labour this year come into full service.

In early 2021, we’ll be adding to our team, which we’re very excited to share with everyone in January.

A reminder of our exciting 10th birthday, which we celebrated at the end of 2019

We’d like to wish all of our stakeholders a fantastic New Year, and a prosperous 2021. We look forward to sharing it with you.

Does your business have a data disaster recovery plan? Here’s why it is necessary

Is your business ready to handle a data disaster? If all your electronic documents and information are lost, how will your business survive?

25% of small businesses in the UK don’t have a data disaster recovery plan in place. 80% of businesses that went through an IT disaster failed within 18 months of their data loss event.

Data is fragile. If your business doesn’t have an IT disaster recovery plan already in place, it’s time to create one.

Understanding a data disaster plan and why your business needs one is very important. Read this handy guide and you’ll have all the detail you need to start the process of creating and integrating a suitable plan. You’ll then be well-equipped to find and work with a data centre partner that serves the needs of your business to the highest possible standard.


What is a data disaster recovery plan?

To be clear, this article does not cover business continuity planning. A data disaster recovery plan sets out a business’s workflow in the event of a disaster that wipes out electronic data, documents, and information. Wider business continuity plans put in place the processes that ensure the physical business can continue should a disaster occur.

The term disaster covers a multitude of potential events. Anything from terrorism to extreme weather and more can be included in this term.

Business stakeholders and investors expect data disaster plans to be in place so that in the event of the worst-case scenario, the business will not succumb to that data loss.

There are many different types of DR plan that your business can implement. These include prevention, detection, and correction plans. The best IT disaster plans naturally include elements of all three.

The prevention element of a plan aims to stop a disaster happening in the first place. Proper data storage, backups, and power protection are all part of the preventative approach. Outsourcing your data storage to top-quality data centers is a smart way to engage in proper disaster prevention.

Detection of imminent threats to your data is also highly important in avoiding a devastating loss. Routine system inspections should form part of any solid data DR plan.

Correcting data loss is an internal business function and should form part of any good plan. Investing in insurance against data loss will allow your business to correct any damage more quickly and completely. You’ll also need all key internal stakeholders involved in the data protection and recovery process to be ready for immediate action in the event of a data disaster.

Understanding these core elements of an IT disaster recovery plan will mean you’re in a good place to integrate such a plan to your operation. Having that plan in place ahead of a disaster, rather than scrambling to create one in the aftermath, is the smartest IT-related move you can make for your business.


Why does your business need an IT disaster recovery plan?

The threat of data loss is very real. Whether the threat is natural, environmental, or human, there are more and more instances of data loss in the UK every year.

Environmental disasters are less common in the UK than in some parts of the world. Outside of flooding, there’s a very low chance of a natural disaster, such as a hurricane or tornado wiping out your premises. A less severe environmental issue, such as a fire, will be more likely.

But in the UK, the biggest threat to your data comes from hacking. 88% of UK businesses have been subject to a cyber attack in the past year.

Dealing with the cost of losing your data and your business being unable to function as a result is a primary driver for implementing a recovery plan. If you lose your data and your business is unable to fulfil its responsibilities to its clients, it has the potential to cost a lot of money. The downtime your business experiences during a data loss event can also be highly damaging to your organisation’s reputation.

Chances are, you employ humans. Humans are wonderful creatures. But humans are also fallible. Your business needs a way to recover lost data quickly, because it’s all too likely that human error will, at some point, cause your business to lose data in one way or another. You can’t eliminate the possibility of a mistake, but a good data disaster recovery plan will help your business get back on track far sooner.

Hardware, much like humans, also isn’t perfect. Even without a natural or environmental incident, there’s a chance your hardware will simply fail. If your systems go down and you don’t have a recovery plan in place, it’s going to get expensive. You’ll have to replace or repair your machines, and you’re not going to have the data and documents you need to do your work.


What steps should you take to ensure your business can survive a data loss event?

Plan ahead. That’s the most critical component here. And that’s the point of a data disaster recovery plan.

Find a reputable data center that can assist with DR as standard. Talk to them about how your business can create a plan that’ll work properly for you in the event of a disaster. There’s a decent chance that your organisation won’t have adequate data recovery expertise in-house. Don’t try to do everything on your own, because you’ll likely need specific expertise and experience to make a plan that will work across the board.

There are steps your business can take to reduce the impact of any data disaster, even if you don’t have a recovery plan in place at present. These steps work no matter the size of your business, but are especially important for smaller businesses without dedicated IT departments or third party services.

Make sure you know your data. Work out which files and directories are crucial to the survival of your business. Assess your documents closely; you can assign a priority and importance score to the data your business produces / uses.

At the very least, you should have some form of data backup. Ideally, this backup will be offsite, in the cloud. But if for some reason you’re unable to do that, there should be regular internal backup functionality built into your workflows.


Make sure your business is ready for the worst

A data disaster will, at some point, impact your business. It’s simply a reality most businesses will have to face. The level of impact will depend on the quality of your data disaster recovery plan.

Creating and implementing a plan should be top of your to-do list.

Contact us today to learn more about data recovery plans, and how we can help you reduce downtime, reduce risk, and make sure your business recovers strongly in the wake of a data loss event.

A look back at 2019

As should always be the case for any growing enterprise, this year has unquestionably been our most successful to date. Here’s a look back at the year gone by; 2019 at Netwise.

Investment continued unabated this year, in line with our steadfast approach to ongoing improvement across all aspects of the organisation. This includes works in both customer and non-customer facing areas, to ensure our London Central facility remains the premier choice for world-class colocation services in the capital.

We’ve also seen the greatest level of growth we’ve ever experienced in the on-boarding of new client projects, across both new entrants to our facilities and network, alongside the impressive continued growth enjoyed by our existing customers.

Notable projects from 2019 include:

  • Deployment of Pods 4 & 5 – we took Data Hall 1 to 100% available capacity this year, with all five containment pods now online and servicing an exciting range of new and existing customers.
  • Generator system expansion – in-line with growth experienced in our technical spaces this year, we undertook a major upgrade of our backup generator systems to ensure we maintain power delivery resilience as we continue to fill out our London Central facility.
  • We rebranded – in the summer, we rebranded, dropping the ‘Hosting’ portion of our name and drastically evolving the look and feel of our organisation, to better suit our current position in the market.
  • We turned 10! – this December, Netwise officially turned 10 years old, having incorporated in 2009. We celebrated in style at Swingers West End, with a wide range of customers, suppliers, family and friends!
  • GitHub partnership – this year, we announced an exclusive and unique partnership with GitHub Education, bringing world-class colocation services to their famous Student Pack for the very first time.
  • Cisco hardware on-site – we drastically expanded our on-site hardware stocks in 2019, now holding over 250 different Cisco model lines at our London Central facility, ready for immediate deployment both on-site and off-site.
  • Team expansion – we undertook a complete reshaping of our out-of-hours team early this year, with five new engineers joining the extended workforce. We’ll also be welcoming new Technical and Sales Managers to the day team early next year.
  • Connectivity growth – we now provide a wide range of connectivity services on our ever-growing metro network to a number of notable international carriers, including PCCW, RETN and IDE Group.
  • The next stage – we’ve massively fleshed out plans for the next phase in our development cycle, as we look towards accelerated growth and expansion over the next three years – watch this space!

As you’d probably expect from looking at the above, we’ve also exceeded our performance targets for the year by considerable margin, which ensures the stable, reliable ongoing operation of your mission-critical data centre services.

This is an extremely important factor to bear in mind when deciding who best to work with on long-term projects of this nature. Providing this peace of mind to our clients is something we are hugely proud of.


Looking ahead

2020 is set to be a year of major change as we look to execute plans for the next stage of our growth strategy.

We’re hoping to publicly announce these plans early in Q1.

Alongside these sweeping expansion plans, we’re also looking forward to the excitement of business as usual here at Netwise; introducing a range of interesting new customers to our facility and network in 2020, a number of which have already been arranged for execution in Q1.

We’d like to wish all of our stakeholders a fantastic New Year, and a prosperous 2020. We look forward to sharing it with you.

A look back at 2018

Better late than never! Here’s our look back at 2018, yet another extremely successful and pivotal year in our history.

Investment in our operational capabilities continued full-force in 2018, with many areas seeing notable spending to improve and expand what we are able to deliver to end-users.

We’ve also helped a myriad of exciting new (and existing) customers with their own expansions, empowered by their mission-critical deployments inside of our world-class facilities.

Key projects and events for the year include:

  • Network Upgrades – we upgraded our outward-facing transit pathways, taking us to over 50Gbps of available capacity. We also upgraded our Aggregation and Core switching layers.
  • Cooling System Developments – we onlined our newest evaporative cooling stacks in line with growing demand, as well as installing a new temperature and humidity matrix, and improving the integration of our supplementary A/C systems.
  • Improved Filtration – a full overhaul of our intake filtration methodology came into effect in 2018, switching to bag filters on all three intake filter bays in Data Hall 1, increasing inward airflow and bettering the air quality inside our cold corridor.
  • Growing into Pod 3 – we welcomed a wide range of new customers into Pod 3, the newest addition to Data Hall 1.
  • Bolstered Security – with an additional 5x external PTZ cameras, along with increased on-site security personnel.
  • Further Monitoring – we’ve added a range of new monitor end-points to our network-wide system, taking us to nearly 17,000 alerting metrics across the board.
  • Growth in Connectivity – a range of exciting connectivity-focused projects in 2018 dramatically grew our service set in that area, helping a number of major organisations better connect with their customers and the wider world.
  • TV Capabilities – we added the ability to connect direct-from-air TV services from UK broadcasters straight into client racks.
  • Plus Additional Projects – countless smaller projects throughout the year.

Beyond all of this, we’ve also exceeded our financial targets for the year, taking us to new ground in terms of what we’ll be capable of delivering to end-users in 2019.

We’re excited to say that the deployment of Pods 4 & 5 in Data Hall 1 are now firmly on the horizon, with final fit-out and readiness for client installations expected later this year.

Looking ahead

2019 is already set to be another enormously successful year for Netwise, with many exciting new projects already green-lit for delivery in the first few months of the year.

We enter 2019 with a number of major developmental projects already in motion for Q1, and excitedly bring on-board new clients in the artificial intelligence, crypto, digital research, voice communications, investment management and storage technology industries.

Despite being a little late, we’d like to wish all of our stakeholders a fantastic New Year. We look forward to sharing it with you.

A look back at 2017

Time certainly flies, as we’re already bidding farewell to another successful year here at Netwise.

2017 has been a year of substantial investment here at our London Central data centre and headquarters. This is in keeping with our ongoing commitment to constant reinvestment, which we maintain for the improvement of our facilities and the experience of our customers.

Reception

Over the course of the past 12 months, we’ve invested enormously in our infrastructure, upholding our position as London’s leading independent data centre operator, a position we will sustain as we continue to meet growth forecasts here in the capital.

The key projects undertaken this year include:

  • Data Hall 1 Expansion – bringing Pod 3 online, and readying Pods 4 & 5
  • Switch to Renewable – all electricity now from renewable sources
  • Power Capacity – upgrade of transformers to double on-site capacity
  • Generator Supply – on-site diesel storage increased by 3,000 litres
  • V3 Network – deployment of new ASR9k routing fabric
  • IX and Carriers – turn up of LINX services, peering, and additional carriers
  • Looking Glass – deployment of new network testing interface
  • Perimeter Compound – full enclosure of facility with razor wire and turnstile
  • Additional Cooling – supplementary / supporting A/C system
  • ISO Accreditation – 9001 & 27001
  • Customer Amenities – the launch of our new Customer Lounge and DR Suite
  • Plus Additional Projects – countless smaller projects throughout the year

As you can see, we’ve been very busy.

This has all happened alongside our continued operation in the delivery of world-class data centre services to our ever-growing roster of enterprise clients, now spread across 13 countries.

We will enter 2018 with an additional 35% rack capacity in Data Hall 1, and a clear road map for both the continued deployment of the remaining capacity in Data Hall 1 and the development of Data Hall 2.

 

The switch to renewable energy

The largest single story of 2017 was undoubtedly our switch to renewable energy here at our London Central facility.

This holds a more prominent place in the story of our development this year, as not only was it a positive step forward for our organisation and our customers, but also for the sustainability of our planet.

By 2025, it is expected that 1/5th of the world’s power consumption will be drawn by data centres, with 100 billion connected devices anticipated globally. While that in itself is very positive for the future of this industry, it also highlights the responsibility we have in leading the push to renewable energy.

You can learn a little more about why this was such an important move for us here:

 

Looking ahead

There are already a number of highly interesting projects lined up for the year to come, including some pioneering new technologies that may well pave the way for the future of data centre services everywhere.

Despite our sizeable investments over the past 12 months, we’ve maintained our fantastic profitability ratio, which lays the groundwork for another impressive year in 2018.

Until then, we’d like to wish all of our stakeholders a very happy holiday season, and a fantastic New Year.