With more than 160,000 dwellings identiﬁed as part of the vertical rebuild, the Earthquake Commission in New Zealand established a residential repair programme, with Fletcher Earthquake Recovery (EQR) as project manager.
The Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team (SCIRT), an alliance of multiple companies and organisations including the Christchurch City Council, was responsible for the ‘horizontal rebuild’ – the earthquake-damaged roads, fresh water, wastewater and stormwater networks.
EQR established hubs in whatever buildings were available – scout halls, disused sports clubrooms and Portacom villages in residential areas.
Datacom was called in to urgently help set up IT systems and infrastructure services. The core needs were speed, ﬂexibility and resilience.
The challenges of establishing an emergency infrastructure were immense:
A swift response was critical.
The initial EQR infrastructure after the September quake consisted of two servers; a terminal server for application delivery, and an infrastructure server providing email, ﬁle and print, and authentication and access management. A two-server infrastructure was ready for users within three days of the repair programme being set up.
Twenty-four hours after the February earthquake, when much of the city was down and in black-out, we provisioned ﬁve more servers for EQR in the Datacom Cloud to run critical systems. These ﬁve servers scaled to 30 within a few months and then to 87, supporting 800+ IT systems users at its peak to keep Christchurch running and to support EQR in resolving the massive widespread damage.
EQR on day one had 30 people in one hub and over the three years this extended to more than 700 people in 20 hubs across the city to service demand.
When EQR identiﬁed a new permanent site, our team started organising feasibility studies from network vendors to install a WAN circuit. For the majority of sites, Enable Networks were the preferred telecommunications provider, and were able to provide a circuit. However when they couldn’t, we had to get creative.
Our improvisations included:
The result was a ﬂexible, stable, fast and resilient infrastructure that supported a city in desperate need.
“During a time of uncertainty and great demand, the team at Datacom worked closely to provide the right resources at the right time."
Piers Lehmann, IT Manager - SCIRT
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