Jump to: The aim Core functions provided Service requirements for core function delivery Cloud-based approach Abacus inter-office communication dependency AWS hosting Azure hosting Major risks Service Owner, contact details and reference data Alternatives to primary service failing Who to contact


    Aim

    • To define the core functions of the Abacus business;
    • To identify what services these functions are dependent on;
    • To identify the owners and primary service and a plan to engage the alternatives should the services cease functioning;
    • To identify who to contact in case of emergency; and
    • To identify a communication protocol in case of emergencies both internally between Abacus offices and externally to clients and third parties.

    The emergencies could include:

    • Flooding;
    • IT Failure/loss of data;
    • Utility failure;
    • Fire or explosion;
    • Transport accident;
    • Extreme weather;
    • Loss of premises;
    • Staffing issues;
    • Worldwide Pandemics; 

    Core functions provided

    Abacus offers a range of functions to its clients. These include:

    • Software Support
    • Customer Services;
    • Circulation and Fulfilment Management Temporary data storage;
    • Analysis;
    • Design;
    • Development;
    • Testing;
    • Technical writing and other documentation;
    • Client Training;
    • Project management;
    • Web Hosting; and
    • Account management;

    To offer these functions, the company relies upon a number of services. These are critical to the business functioning and are outlined per business function offered.


    Service requirements for core function delivery

    Common services required between all functions offered

    • Office;
    • Power;
    • External network communication;
    • Internal network;
    • Phones network;
    • VOIP services;
    • Computers Workstations;
    • Networks, internet, VPN, transit servers; and
    • Communication between offices e-mail, VOIP phone etc.

    Further services required for development, design, analysis, testing

    • Central source code repository;
    • Central issue management system;
    • Central enterprise project system;
    • Third party applications (Visual Studio, SQL server, Microsoft partnership, Adobe Cloud);
    • Public Cloud based Suppliers (Azure and AWS)
    • Central Wiki development and support notes;
    • Remote VPN connections into Azure Cloud for remote working; and
    • Centralised collaboration communication tools (Microsoft Teams, Office 365 Stack).

     Further services required for Project Management, Sales & Accounts

    • Central enterprise project; and
    • Communication to Clients;

     Further services required to offer ongoing Support

    • Communication with Clients;
    • Atlassian JIRA Issue Management; and
    • Central Wiki development and support notes
    • Zendesk and other Cloud based applications
    • ADvance audience development system

     Further services required to continue offering Hosting

    • Access to Public Clouds (AWS and Azure)

     Further services required to continue offering Domain Registration

    • Externally hosted DNS Providers

     Further services required to support Accounts, Finance and HR

    • Accounting system on Cloud
    • Lotus notes admin and billing system; and
    • SharePoint and Office 365.

     Further services required to support Sales and Marketing

    • Lotus notes admin and billing system;
    • SharePoint and Office 365; and
    • Access to Salesforce SAAS CRM (not essential).

     Further services required to support Abacus Support Teams and Bureau services

    • Advance Audience management system
    • Atlassian JIRA issue management system
    • Zendesk Customer Services management system
    • Stripe, JudoPay and WorldPay Credit Card Payment systems
    • Bottomline Technologies for Direct Debit Processing
    • SharePoint and Office 365

    Cloud-based approach

    Abacus is almost entirely Cloud-based in order to ensure greater business continuity and to make access to internal systems independent of office infrastructure.

    The key systems already in or moving to Cloud-based providers are:

    Development

    • We have adopted Bitbucket for source control.
    • Design and development servers have moved to AWS cloud-based hosting service.
    • All test servers and development environments are set up at Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure
    • All development assets are held in Bitbucket

    Support and Bureau

    • The JIRA issue management system has moved to a Cloud based version
    • Email is in Office 365 the connection between Support and Developers will always be available
    • Zendesk is used to support the Bureau operation and ADvance support
    • Microsoft Sharepoint is used for documents sharing
    • ADvance is Cloud-based
    • WebVision Cloud is Cloud-based
    • Our Credit Card Service Providers are Cloud-based
    • Direct Debit processing:
      • Cloud-based
      • Additional Card Reader and Smart Card to be held off-site
      • One primary security contact smart card
    • Payroll service myepaywindow.com is Cloud-based
    • Zero Accounting is in Cloud-based
    • The Phone system is Cloud-based all operators can log in to their “Teams application” from any location and on approved devices.

    Administration

    • We have moved to Office 365 including moving Exchange to the Cloud and ensuring that email is always available, but this also provides access to the other Microsoft office functions so providing further availability. Sharepoint is increasingly used as a document repository.
    • We also utilise online banking systems provided by Barclays to manage payment and receipts.

    Sales

    • Salesforce is now being used to manage all sales functions and is of course Cloud-based.
    • Lotus Notes/Domino is Cloud hosted – currently migrating to Dynamics 365 Business Central.

    Abacus inter-office communication dependency

    Abacus currently has two UK offices, these offices are in:

    • London
    • Portsmouth

     In terms of third-party suppliers, Abacus has some reliance on:

    • Amazon AWS – who provide hosting services including the new Webvision Cloud
    • Microsoft Azure - who provide hosting services including the new AD SaaS environment;
    • The cloud application providers mentioned, e.g. Atlassian, Salesforce, Zendesk, PTX , MyEpayWindow, Zero and Bitbucket.
    • Microsoft Azure - who provide hosting services for internal operations such as User Management and Secure Access Control, Internal operation servers – billing, project management and document management

    Interoffice communications is office dependent and is listed below

    London – Portsmouth

    The Portsmouth office provides design, programming and support services. They interact with clients regarding design and programming services and customer support, and interact with London programmers and servers.

    Some services that Portsmouth use are Cloud-based and so not reliant on the VPN, for example Office 365, Adobe Cloud, JIRA and design development servers. Should the VPN connection fail then fall back would be to work locally on the local machines via the Internet and to ask for files to be emailed from London. 

    All staff from either office are able to completely work from home and have no dependencies on being within the office. There are numerous communication channels that are available for staff when at home.

     Inter office communications are driven by Teams, in the event of that failing we would rely on emails.


    AWS hosting

    Abacus host Enterprise Client Webvision products, related utilities and the Webvision Cloud service on AWS. Abacus Access the AWS infrastructure via the AWS Management console, access to this requires a systems administrator to create an IAM account. Two factor authentications are also required. Access to the portal is highly restricted and controlled via the policy and procedures outlined in the ITSM 

    The AWS Cloud provides a broad set of infrastructure services, such as computing power,

    storage options, networking and databases that are delivered as a utility: onDemand, available in seconds. Abacus have built all Web platforms using the Best practise approach AWS suggests. Using multi AZ zones, spreading services across regions and using resilient cloud services such as S3, Reddis, Elasticsearch, AWS EC2 virtual servers and RDS the relation database service.

    The typical Abacus Webvision Cloud design is as follows:

    wvc security


    Azure hosting

    Abacus host the ADvance, Webvision and other software services on Microsoft Azure. Abacus utilise the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) from Azure. With IaaS, Abacus provision the VMs we need, along with associated network and storage components. We deploy Abacus software and applications onto those VMs. Microsoft manages the infrastructure. Abacus manage the individual VMs and Services.

    Abacus Access Azure via the Azure portal, access to this requires an Active directory account supplied to by systems personnel. Access to the portal is highly restricted and controlled via the policy and procedures outlined in the ITSM. As with AWS Abacus have adopted a similar approach. Multiple Frontend web servers reside in different regions ensuring that if regions fail the AD product can still function. The databases are hosted in Azure SQL services supplying a highly resilient platform. Load balancers are setup as an active passive failover design offering further resilience and ability to redirect traffic to other regions if required.

    Azure Hosting Large


    Major risks

    Hosting Centre Failure

    We believe that sufficient DR contingency is in place as above. All primary systems are located within Azure and are backed up using Azure DR local policies

    Those hosted Client systems reside in Amazon AWS are hosted across multiple AWS servers and environments, utilising RDS and S3 storage and DR is inbuilt into the environment.

    Disaster Recovery planning is in place, 24/7 support for infrastructure, hardware and network.

    London Office Unavailability

    This would prevent access to local PC’s, access via internet, telephones, local NAS data, and inability to access power failure would disable local PC’s. This affects: 

    • Access to local data (NAS data);
    • Access to local machines

    All critical applications, operations and data are accessible via virtual workstations within Azure using the Azure VPN technology, on premise data is backed up to Azure and AWS on a daily schedule using sync agents from the Local File Storage NAS devices, alternative offices will be provided by Regus, i.e. in the short term at any Regus office.

    The Portsmouth office can be used as a secondary location for staff and for on-premise equipment when a disaster situation has been declared.

    Abacus have moved all applications to Cloud environments at Azure or to Cloud Suppliers.

    • Version control (moving platforms);
    • Zendesk support
    • JIRA issue management
    • Bottomline Technologies
    • Payroll

    Staff can work with laptops and smart phones from home, using Cloud VPN technologies to access core business services as outlined above.

    All operational servers and development servers are in the cloud, failure to access these would affect ability to service clients and generate revenue. The final on-premise service to be moved is Abafile company information systems.

    AWS Hosting

    We believe that sufficient DR contingency is in place as above - however, in the case of the loss of multiple availability zones – in this scenario it will mean access to Abacus services on AWS will be lost. Abacus mitigate this by designing the solution in multiple availability zones but if more than one location (Datacentres) goes down at the same time then Abacus solutions will go offline.

    Azure Hosting

    We believe that sufficient DR contingency is in place as above. However, in the case of the loss of multiple regions it will mean access to Abacus services on Azure will be lost. Abacus mitigate this by designing the solution in multiple regions but if more than one location (Datacentres) goes down at the same time then Abacus solutions will go offline.

    Portsmouth Office Unavailability

    Inability to access internet failure, power failure etc.

    Staff could work from home or London but lose access to local work in progress. Systems are backed up and off-site so could be set up elsewhere.

    London and Portsmouth Office Unavailability

    This would prevent access to local PC’s, access via internet, telephones, local NAS data, and inability to access power failure would disable local PC’s. This affects:

    • Access to local data (NAS data);
    • Access to local machines

    With minor changes to infrastructure configuration core services can be made accessible to virtual machines already running within the cloud platforms such as:

    • Local NAS
    • WIKI
    • Lotus Notes

    All critical applications, operations and data are accessible via virtual workstations within Azure using the Azure VPN technology, on premise data is backed up to Azure and AWS on a daily schedule using sync agents from the Local File Storage NAS devices, alternative offices will be provided by Regus, i.e., in the short term at any Regus office.

    All staff will be asked to work from home, all staff can work from however home some in limited capacity, but most can work as normal.

    Access to the following services is available when staff are working from home:

    • Bitbucket
    • Zendesk
    • JIRA
    • Bottomline Technologies
    • Payroll
    • Azure
    • Aws
    • Saleforce
    • Office 365/SharePoint

    Staff can work with laptops and smart phones from home, using Cloud VPN technologies to access core business services as outlined above.

    All operational servers and development servers are in the cloud, failure to access these would affect ability to service clients and generate revenue. The final on-premises service to be moved is the Local NAS devices storing company information. This is in progress and is to be completed by the end of Q1 2022


    Service Owner, contact details and reference data

    ServiceAbacus OwnerProvider & Contact Details

    Office

    Margaret Connolly

    Office services: Regus

     

    Power

    Margaret Connolly

    Provider: Regus

     

    External internet connection:

    Damian Hatcher

    External Telco provider:

    London – Microsoft/Regus

    Support contact Tel. No - 0344 800 2400

    Support email – support@microsoft.com

    Portsmouth - Technopole

    Service ID: Managed service provided

    Support contact Tel. No. 023 9265 8200

    Support email – s.pittman@oxin.co.uk

    Internal network

    Damian Hatcher

    Hardware supplier for replacement routers / switches and firewalls:

    Company: CCS Media

    Contact: Marco Freitas

    Contact number: 01709787551

    Contact email: marco.freitas@ccsmedia.com

    Phone network

    Damian Hatcher

    London:

    Telephone Primary Number: 02077669810  

    Telco Provider: Claranet

    Support contact Tel. No. 0330 390 0500

    Portsmouth:

    Support contact Tel. No. 023 9265 8200

    Support email – s.pittman@oxin.co.uk  

     

    Computers

    Damian Hatcher

    Hardware supplier for damages Servers/monitors: AMTEC

    Contact Number: 01202 597400

    Contact email:admin@amtecgroup.co.uk

    Email Services

    Damian Hatcher

    Hosted in Office 365

    Central source code repository  (VSS)

    Pantelis Chatzimichalis

    Hosted in Bitbucket

    Central issue management system (JIRA)

    Stephen Cave

    Support Site: https://support.atlassian.com

    Support contact: Login to contact support

    Central enterprise project

    Stephen Cave

    Version: 2020

    Server located on: Azure

    Network located on: Azure - UK South

    AWS

    Francisco Amaro

    Key contact: Damian Hatcher

    Contact Number: 07909992374

    Microsoft

    Francisco Amaro

    Key contact: Damian Hatcher

    Contact Number: 07909992374

    External hosting company

    AWS/Azure

    Key contact: Network Operations Centre

    Tel No. - 01372 824444

    Email - noc@cloudcomputingcentre.co.uk

    Services hosted: Hosted Web services

    Domain registration company

    DNS Company Godaddy/AWS/Azure

    Key contact: Damian Hatcher

    Contact Number: 07909992374


    Alternatives to primary service failing

    ServiceService Alternative

    Office

    Work from alternate Abacus office

    Work from home

    Work from an internet cafe

    Most staff have smartphones/devices

    Most have personal or company laptops with VPN

    Access hosted services remotely to administer servers, restart hosted applications, administer user machines

    Power

    Same as if the office becomes unavailable

    External internet connection

    Use back up wireless connections to access services

    Work from alternative office

    Clients sites hosted externally

    Could liaise with clients via phone

    Could provide support services via wireless dongle connection

    There is no dedicated line between the offices but both have fall back connections to the Internet.

    The offices have different Internet providers, Technopole and Regus, providing some cover.

    Backup external internet connection

    Wireless connection

    Internal network

    Wireless alternative

    Phone network

    Move between offices and reroute calls

    Portsmouth support to move to London

    E-mail communication could continue

    Smartphones can be used

    Mobiles can be used

    Computers

    Spare machines are always available

    Email

    Laptops and Smartphones can be used

    Central source code repository (VSS)

    Held in Cloud Service Bitbucket

    Central issue management system (JIRA)

    Held in Cloud Atlassian Service

     

    Central enterprise project

    Backed up daily on Azure Cloud

    Domain registration

    Utilise Nominet, GoDaddy, AWS and Azure


    Who to contact

    NameRoleE-mail Address

    Stephen Cave

    Operations Director

    Stephen.cave@abacusemedia.com

    Jon Alford 

    Platform Director

    Jon.alford@abacusemedia.com

    Francisco Amaro

    Chief Architect

    Francisco.amaro@abacusemedia.com

    Damian Hatcher

    Head of Systems

    Damian.hatcher@abacusemedia.com