Orpheus Internet has always wanted to be secure, reliable and to offer the very best of service to our customers. On the weekend of July 1st 2018 we failed to meet those targets for the first time since I took over the company a decade ago. I have spent some time since then reviewing what we did and how we fared during this service outage. On the whole I believe that we gave information, responded quickly and resolved the problems effectively. HOWEVER we could have done better and this is where this project will start from.
Let me start with some backgound information. We have wanted to duplicate our servers for some time now and have begun building a system/solution to accomplish this. We have also been requested to host/co-locate 3 or 4 of our customers' servers and to provide virtual services. We have looked at taking space in various locations but the monthly costs of these have been too prohibitive, delaying us time and again. If we could run parallel systems to the primary ones in London then, if a server should go down, it would be possible to bring up the secondary server to replace it without impacting our customers. How could we do that?
Simple, create a small, dedicated DataCentre near where we are based. We have found two buildings in a favourable location with a one off fee for their ongoing use. These buildings (with some work) will serve to house the equipment we need. Of course there is work that needs to be done first - security needs to be added and some old windows blocked up. A standalone supply of electricity is vital, so I have asked the local company how much it would cost and was shocked to hear approx £4000. Ouch! Back up UPS for various items, a petrol/diesel generator, an alarm system etc.. Also in addition to the current server, another one will be needed to completely duplicate our London operation. A double telephone line with EoFTTC on one and a standard FTTC failover on the other (Orpheus will provide this). We already have one ARM server going live which will be the first customer for this new location. There are two other servers due in the next 12 months. We have a location, custom and a good plan but the cost is more than Orpheus or I can currently afford.
We have been through the process of talking to various lenders and whilst they agree it is a solid plan they are not lending to small companies, this market sector etc.. Another option would be to substantially increase all our prices and wait patiently until we have accrued enough to cover the costs. This would be a poor deal for many customers and delay the project substantially. So we come to our idea, that has been successfully used across the world recently - talk to our customers about crowdfunding this project.
Over the last few days I have spoken with many customers. I have taken the opportunity to explain and discuss what I have laid out here and the response has been very positive. The way this will work is that our customers promise to donate or long-term-lend (arrangements to be made to suit individual lenders) to fund this venture. Once we have achieved the goal, only then will we ask for the actual money. If we fail to reach the target then the project as described will not happen and no money will have been exchanged. A simple but bold idea to help Orpheus achieve a truly worthwhile goal which will enable us to push forward and provide excellent services for our customers on a continuing basis.
If you decide to participate in this project please call/contact me 01702 462385 or E-Mail:
Our goal based on current quotes is £15,000 as at 03/07/18
Total promised £3850 20/07/18
9 People donation 20/07/18
1 PersonL LT-loan 06/07/18