Adam Continuity has launched Wales’s first disaster recovery operations centre shortly after extending its three-year contract with Wales and West Housing Association.
With 9000 properties under management, 25,000 residents to support and 300 staff, WWHA has made a long-term commitment to its business continuity and disaster recovery strategy.
Cardiff-based WWHA’s previous supplier had offered fixed site recovery in Bristol and Birmingham or in mobile offices in Wales. However, it was not practical for the organisation and its staff as recovery needed to be local and fast; if an actual disaster occurred, it would not have been practical for staff to commute to Bristol or Birmingham from Cardiff.
Nehad Ayoub, senior information systems officer, WWHA, said, “I was reluctant to move from our existing supplier, but Adam Continuity’s Duffryn (Ystrad Mynach) site was a big positive benefit for us. Recovery for us has to be far away enough to be safe, but close enough to be practical. The Duffryn site satisfies both requirements. The bottom line is that we choose how to recover but with support and useful suggestions from Adam Continuity. The equipment is always a good specification – as good as or better than our contracted configuration. The equipment and site are always in working order and clean; our users notice things like that and it raises everyone’s confidence.”
WWHA therefore needed a supplier which could offer it somewhere closer to carry out disaster recovery exercises. Adam Continuity’s Duffryn site in Mid Glamorgan is a live site and not just open for exercises; although other companies can offer local sites in Wales, they are not necessarily ready for use or specialised disaster recovery locations. As part of its business continuity strategy, WWHA holds regular live rehearsals at the Adam Continuity facility. WWHA’s account manager attends each rehearsal, supported by specialist engineers who suggest new approaches and let WWHA try different methods of recovery.
Gareth Williams, head of information systems, WWHA, said, “A local site is a far more realistic proposition for both exercises and recoveries. The recovery building looks and is secure, which is an important psychological factor in disaster recovery. Just by standing still, and retaining a dedicated account manager, Adam Continuity is a few notches above many other suppliers who only want to speak to you through their call centres.”
Commenting on the launch in January 2009, Wayne David, parliamentary under secretary of State for Wales, deputy minister for Digital Inclusion and MP for Caerphilly, said, “This is an excellent company and the fact that this facility is in Ystrad Mynach is a vote of confidence in the local economy and Wales as a whole.”