U.K. Data Center Market Expansion: New Facilities Pop Up Over the Summer

23 Jul 2014 by Datacenters.com Technology

"There has long since been pockets of geographically-focused activity in the data center market. When a region is attractive to one computing company, chances are good that others will follow suit and look to locate in the same area. Such is the case in the United Kingdom recently, where a number of new data center projects have been taking place across the country, and particularly in London.

iomart Group's New Maidenhead Data Center
One organization growing their service footprint in the region is iomart, which recently opened a newly expanded data center in Maidenhead with the help of U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May. The customer-defined facility represents the first major deployment of Cisco Dynamic Fiber Automation and Bi Directional Transmission technology.

Overall, the facility has the capacity to hold up to 30,000 physical servers as well as 500,000 virtual servers. May was on location to open the facility, and iomart CEO Angus MacSween noted that it was beneficial for her to see in-person all the technology the company uses to support its Web hosting and data storage infrastructure.

""Data centers are an important part of the global economy, so I'm delighted to be opening this new facility for iomart,"" May said. ""The technology on show is impressive and will allow businesses to be better connected than ever.""

IBM SoftLayer London Data Center
Another group in the process of U.K expansion is IBM, which recently invested $1.2 billion in expanding its newly acquired SoftLayer brand, according to Business-Cloud. As part of these efforts, the company opened its Chessington, London, data center in early July. SoftLayer noted that there is already customer interest in the new facility, including from London South Bank University, which is in the process of migrating its systems to the data center.

""We already have a large customer base in London and the region,"" said SoftLayer CEO Lance Crosby. ""We're excited to give those customers a full SoftLayer data center right in their backyard. with all the privacy, security and control the SoftLayer platform offers.""

In total, the new London data center will house more than 15,000 physical servers to provide cloud infrastructure services. The equipment is being held in four separate pods within the facility, and as one pod reaches capacity, the company will begin the process of moving to the next pod.

The data center also represents a critical link in the chain associated with the Watson Content Cloud data set, Business-Cloud reported. IBM is finalizing a government deal to provide data sets.

""SoftLayer Lond'‹on would not only seem to be the obvious place for this to be hosted initially but would enable IBM to continue to push its education and startup agenda by providing access to Watson Content Cloud to the Open Data Initiative as well as other startup competitions,"" the source stated.

DigitalOcean London Data Center
Cloud hosting provider DigitalOcean also opened a London data center in July. According to WHIR, boosted demands from U.K.-based developers and the growth of the country's technology industry provided the right market conditions for the new facility.

The data center, called LON1, is the organization's third facility in Europe and represents an ideal location, noted DigitalOcean co-founder and CMO Mitch Wainer. Due to rising client demands in the region, coupled with the expanding IT sector, London was an ""obvious choice.""

""London is going through a tech renaissance of sorts, similar to what NYC has recently experienced, so it's important for us to be there to provide those innovative businesses with the infrastructure they need,"" Wainer told WHIR.

The London data center site also helps the company maintain compliance with data location regulations in connection with the European Data Protection Directive.

""We wanted to provide U.K. devs with a native location to serve their customers,"" Wainer said.

ASPHostPortal.com Opens Its First London Data Center
Yet another operator expanding their reach in the U.K. is ASPHostPortal.com, a Web services company that will open its first London data center in early August. The facility has the capacity to hold over 10,000 physical servers and is targeting customers looking to fulfill U.K. data residency needs.

The data center will offer local customers a number of computing services, including Web hosting, infrastructure, storage, networking, bare metal and virtual servers. The London facility complements the organization's other data center in Amsterdam, and the vendor is now offering high transfer speeds and no charge bandwidth for replicating or integrated data across the two locations.

London was also an attractive location for ASPHostPortal.com, as recent statistics show that one third of the largest companies across the globe are headquartered there. The region also has a growing technology community including startups, incubators and entrepreneurs.

""We already have a large customer base in London and the region; we're excited to give those customers a full ASPHostPortal.com data center right in their backyard,"" said ASPHostPortal.com manager Dean Thomas."


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