Head of Response and Resilience
Pro-Cloud BlueLight powered by Rackspace using ‘Always On’ Microsoft server technology.
On initial Pro-Cloud BlueLight discovery meetings we will recommend that the fire & rescue asset management software is hosted in the ‘Cloud’ through our own EU hosted servers.
Our cloud based software solution is a fully redundant server architecture provided/managed by the market leader, Rackspace. We use redundant web, directory and database servers incorporating RAID 1 on all disks. All critical data is housed on SAN devices with redundant disks.
System availability is excellent, always achieving zero downtime through full failover on duplicate sites across the UK, planned downtime is outside working hours. Rackspace also manages Pro-Cloud BlueLight’s server hardware.
Physical security at the Rackspace hosting data-centre includes locking down and logging all physical access. They provide:
• Access to authorised personnel only
• Badges and biometric scanning for controlled access
• Security camera monitoring and access logging
• 24×7 onsite staff and unmarked facilities
• Physical security audited by independent firms annually
Our database has two servers, connected via fibre to a SAN. The nodes work in an active/passive arrangement, one taking over instantly in the event of failure. The SAN runs over multiple disks in RAID which has a full backup weekly / with additional incremental backups. Backups are monitored daily with critical systems backed up off-site. This is replicated on an additional site with incremental restores. Infrastructure and system data is backed up daily.
Our Rackspace Service Level Agreement ensures, in the event of a total server failure, that a replacement unit will be rebuilt in 4 hours. End-point backups are handled by Druva In-Sync for laptops and encryption. Desktop PCs provide network storage, which is held on a second secure SAN (also managed by Rackspace).
Head of Response and Resilience
“During the Covid-19 pandemic, St John volunteers have already given hundreds of thousands of hours of their time, supporting the NHS in caring for patients on board ambulances, in hospitals and as part of vital community projects such as this year’s seasonal flu vaccinations, and that work continues. St John Ambulance is proud to have been asked to support NHS staff in getting ready to deliver a COVID-19 vaccination programme when a vaccine becomes available and whilst this has been an ongoing and discreet activity, knowing we have a solution such as Pro-Cloud to support the operation is vital. Pro-Cloud has been a great project to lead on behalf of the charity. The support received from the whole team at CSS has been outstanding throughout the tender, and pre implementation phases.”
National Equipment Manager
“They have proven to be reactive to our requests for small changes in processes and capabilities and delivered on three specific development work streams. We have created over 415 locations and in the region of 300 vehicles. Two of our key tasks for the system, along with traditional asset management is to manage our National Medicine Supply & National Uniform Services. The Medicine Service is all stocked & recorded and will soon be rolled out across the country. Now we have started our full onboarding process, which is likely to take around 6 months of hard diligent asset checking, we do know that it will put us in a stronger place to deliver our wish to stand together with humanity as the countries National Health Auxiliary.”
National Equipment Manager
“NYFRS evaluated several asset management systems on the market prior to its decision of awarding BlueLight the contract based on its potential compatibility of use within the fire and rescue sector. CSS & NYFRS have worked closely & continue to work in developing BlueLight as an essential asset management tool with a smooth end user experience for the wider service. The transition away from a database paper based system to a ‘live’ asset managed platform has already had a massive impact through accurate catalogue data, stores management, control of external testing & operational lifespans of equipment in the field through to appliance inventories and scheduled testing on station. NYFRS supplies personnel & crews on station have all embraced the BlueLight system and are seeing the benefits of their own personal ownership of the system. The end user engagement in BlueLight was at the forefront of the NY project ensuring that the system was easy to use thereby maintaining its data accuracy.”
Staff feedback: “We are confident that the investment we have made, supported by the good relationship we have developed with CSS (Europe), will soon begin to pay for itself as well as greatly improving visibility and assurance that we are getting the best out of our operational assets and minimising our whole-life costs. So much so, that we are already making plans to utilise the BlueLight system to manage other assets across our organisation. Based on progress to date, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend another FRS to invite CSS (Europe) to tender for their AMS.“
“It was clear from the tendering process that Pro-Cloud AMS was a quality product that could meet our requirements and provide a value for money solution. Since awarding the contract, the team at CSS (Europe) have proven themselves to be both responsive and supportive in their approach to working closely with our project delivery team to develop their core Pro-Cloud system into the BlueLight solution that is tailored to meet our specific needs as a fire and rescue service.
Although we are still in the rollout phase, we are pleased with how CSS (Europe) have struck the right balance between being receptive to feed back from our staff and providing their own constructive challenge back to us about how we can streamline and improve the existing processes we use to managing our operational equipment assets that are so critical to our role protecting the communities of County Durham and Darlington.”
Area Manager, Head of Assurance & Assets
“CDDFRS has found that BlueLight tasks and tests are relatively easy to set up and use as their guides are comprehensive in a step by step approach. We have over 35000 assets with over 500 individual tests set at frequency ranging from 1 day to 5 years. We like the fact that you can complete and generate a task on any Android or IOS device. We can monitor results and get notifications of any task test results.
Before we had BlueLight if equipment had been swapped i.e. move location, we would spend time and resources to ensure items were placed back in its original location. But now the item can stay in its new location as history and test stay with it and will now show up in its new location.
This has been a step forward for us moving a paper-based system to a digital system. Allowing us to go paper light, freeing up time and resources which are needed for efficient and effective working.“
Assurance & Assets