Few days ago, a big container took up five parking lots 🙁
An impact that was further exacerbated by an advance warning from an internal circular saying that we have to park in the field (luckily not rainy season) tomorrow. Why?
Alas, it’s an exclusive event by invitation only (so don’t bother). No wonder one box will do. Looking at the agenda, looks like it’s one big gig by Tew Kiat, who has been running this Business Continuity thing for as long as I knew him.
But I want to get into the container to see! I wonder what is inside. Yesterday, there were two independent conversations about this with some other colleagues, and it goes like this:
A: Wah this box damn big sia…
B: Where got big?
A: Hey you know how many servers you can load into it or not?
B: Aikjeoh… not servers la PEOPLE! I think there are probably dumb terminals inside.
What does the CIO in midtown Manhattan do when she runs out of roof space or power? How does an aid agency deliver basic connectivity to 5,000 relief workers in a tsunami stricken metropolis? What does an oil company do when they want to move high performance analytics onto an offshore platform or supertanker? Or a large web services company do when they want to cookie cutter their infrastructure next to a hyrdroelectric plant for cheap power – within weeks, not years?
B was thinking about a movable staff, i.e. office space that can be used for front line staff, e.g. customer service hot-line for businesses when their premises are defunct. I was actually thinking of scenario by B too, knowing that SCS runs the very same thing over in Synergy already. But the thing looks like a CONTAINER!
So out of curiosity, I went to peek.
And B was right.
There’s one door with pin / card access, 2 air-conds, one Long table with 8 chairs, 8 PCs all with flat screen displays (can’t see any brand names as the box was locked), 2 windows with the blinds down, one mobile toilet (what a complimentary product!) and one power generator.
What I couldn’t figure out is how the connectivity part happens. Wireless@SG? What if THAT is dead?
It is still very weird to me that this is in a container box. Are we loading them on a ship? The general paranoia in Singapore is that Malaysia is going to attack them, after experiencing the same thing during WWII, where all the guns are pointing at the wrong direction. So, to escape they must to go by the sea…
The second conversation:
C: Alamak, there’s already not enough parking in SCS, this one box took up 5 lots, no wait, 6 including the generator!
D: Yalor, why can’t they put it on the field?
C: Or take up CEO’s parking lot la, better publicity what, then can access wireless from office compound.
D: And bath and make coffee in the pantry.
This Singapore concept of a Business Continuity is really weird sometimes, at least to me. I have help drafted one plan before for a previous project where, should the Central Business District (CBD) area have any no 3 no 4 (e.g. kena bombed by terrorist la, kena earthquake or tsunami la, kena pandemic flu la etc.) then these same staff will instead come to work in SCS premises, which is in Bedok and Jurong.
- Terrorism: if a building kena bombed, the country is probably going on high alert, half the employees of the unfortunate company will be called back to arms, the rest (females) will be either half dead as part of the catastrophic act, or fleeing the country, etc.
- Tsunami: All offices that can pay for this service are above ground level la. They will be able to continue operations in their premises right? no?
- Flu: You want to bring these potentially contagious people into SCS compound!?!?
Okay I know I’m joking, there’s a need obviously, but I don’t see why businesses should react this way, instead of off-shoring these backup services, e.g. enable an Indian or Chinese office in the case of a disaster. Oh wait, Singapore companies have not figured out how to do that yet. Or have they? Or is it that they are worried that Taiwan kena earthquake again so everything have to be self-sufficient?
Alright – enough of me. Speak up and leave a comment