COVID-19 Strategy: Remote Infrastructure Capacity

COVID-19 Strategy: Remote Infrastructure Capacity

COVID-19 Strategy: Remote Infrastructure Capacity

15th March, 2020

For many who are still weathering the business continuity challenges of COVID-19, and arguably the greater challenge of unprecedented demand for remote working, the spotlight now turns to infrastructure capacity. Thankfully at Options, our infrastructure capacity solution is firmly at the forefront of our response strategy, and something we’ve been cultivating and anticipating for years.

We have been monitoring our remote access infrastructure (powered by Citrix) very closely as clients and Options test and enact their BCP-WFH (Business Continuity Planning – Working For Home) capabilities. With over 9,000 users currently configured on Citrix, we have successfully tested main offices individually (Hong Kong, Singapore, London, New York and Belfast) and ran a global all-offices test.

We have thousands of users hitting this infrastructure every day, but we have definitely seen an uptick in the last 2 weeks. This is consistent across clients.

The breakdown by region ratio has also remained pretty consistent at 1:3:9 (Asia:EU:US).

Interestingly, we have used the Splunk “predict” command to help map out a predicted user count with an upper and lower 95th percentile range. It also takes into account the “seasonality” of the weekend dips and can exclude (or holdback) today’s data.

Traditionally, the weekly pattern has been a very strong Monday spike with a slight decline through Tuesday to Friday.  Splunk is predicting a flattening of this and overall trend upwards for the user count.  This would match our own predictions that more users will be working remotely, for multiple days at a time.

Finally, while user count is a broad stat it is a good leading indicator of stress on the overall remote access infrastructure – a multi-component and highly available system.  We estimate that currently the peaks in user counts are approximately 40% of the total user count that could utilise the remote access infrastructure. Based on our testing and analysis we are confident we have the capacity built into the platform to cope with the current and future usage.

Stevie Morrow, Chief Operating Officer

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