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The benefits of moving data storage out of the city

The benefits of moving data storage out of the city

Our CEO, Greg McCulloch, discusses HPC and benefits of moving data storage out of the city.

What are the benefits of moving data storage outside of metropolitan areas?

The problem with Tier 1 locations (which are usually in high density urban areas) is, they’re expensive. JLL’s Q4 2017 data centre market review(1) found that colocation prices in Tier 1 cities (Dublin, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam and Paris) saw a 5% price increase in most cities for latency-dependent services, like financial trading, milliseconds could mean the difference in a few million pounds, so a city location may be the only option. But what about all those non-latency sensitive applications, such as disaster recovery, back-up or scalability requirements.

For those looking to cut costs, moving non-critical IT requirements outside of their existing Tier 1 location could be an extremely effective measure. Data centres outside of these key metropolitan areas have lower cost of power and access to more efficient cooling methods (such as Direct Fresh Air Cooling), therefore can invest in higher performance computing at a lower cost. These savings can then be passed onto the customer.

(1)JLL EMEA Data Centres Q4 2017 Market Review

How do you see the data centre industry (colocation in particular) in ten years?

Given the focus businesses are giving to advanced technologies like artificial intelligence and IoT, as well as the increasing reliance and frequency on crunching data to provide a competitive business edge, the data centre industry has no choice but to undergo a radical transformation. Your more ‘traditional’ legacy data centre is a generic concept and standard architecture which has been built for dealing with lots of small problems in series; serving a web page or a file, for example. However, the modern enterprise computing problems involving such vast amounts of data look a lot like the supercomputing problems academia and research have been facing for some time.

We’re going to have to see a greater deployment of High Performance Compute (HPC) ready colocation facilities to cope with the vast amounts of data that businesses are producing. This isn’t really something that’s common in many colo facilities, so as businesses look to crunch more data, we expect to see a greater deployment of HPC facilities.

What are the benefits of HPC?

High Performance Computing, or HPC, combines computing power in a way that’s not typically associated with standard server infrastructures. It requires denser banks of computer resource to minimise latency and increase capacity, whilst minimising floorspace. In a data centre, optimising for this will happen by redesigning server racks, for example removing the need to have cooling slots between processing units, so more servers can then be fitted into a rack. Of course, this is only provided that the data centre in question can provide the power and alternate cooling systems needed to support higher adjoining rack stacking, whilst also limiting the cost for the end user.

Why should businesses consider Aegis DATA?

We’re a purpose built HPC facility, meaning our customers can benefit from the smaller footprint and higher computing power. As we’re outside of London we can exploit more cost-effective power services as the demand for power is much lower in Godalming. Our location means that we aren’t paying the higher land costs associated with condensed areas like London or Frankfurt, costs that aren’t recouped at our customers expense. Our low latency connectivity to Tier 1 and Tier 2 carrier interchanges means we still have all the connectivity to key London facilities without the location expense for the customer. It also means we have the space available to expand or modify our facility, allowing us to accommodate for newer technologies in years to come.

Our site has the capability to grow in line with our customers’ requirements, so we can offer a bespoke service to our customers that suit their needs, rather than our customers’ needs suiting us. In addition to be HPC ready, our site in Godalming is also ‘OCP Ready’ (Open Compute Project), highlighting that our facility is designed to accommodate new technologies that don’t conform to the ‘standard’ data centre specifications. We can fit and power wider racks outside the norm and use our HPC suitable cooling and power capabilities to power up to 25kW of adjoining rack stacking.

Our facility is cooled through direct fresh air cooling (except for the odd hot summers day when our fans kick in to play – which let’s face it, is not that often!). Here in the UK, we’re faced with the mildest of weather, summers that aren’t too hot and winters that aren’t too cold which is perfect for Direct Fresh Air Cooling (DFAC). This helps keep our PUE at 1.2, a SLA that many data centre providers in London will be hard pressed to offer.

Security is obviously of paramount concern to any business and at Aegis DATA we take it to the next level.  With our sophisticated multi-layered access controls, intruder detection and monitoring systems and bespoke data hall security solutions, we go beyond the industry standard to help ensure your server estate is safe and secure; 24/7, 365 days a year.

In summary, at Aegis DATA we work with our customers to provide an ultra-efficient, cost effective and HPC colocation data centre to support our customers mission critical IT.

In summary, at Aegis DATA we work with our customers to provide an ultra-efficient, cost effective and HPC colocation data centre to support our customers mission critical IT.

— Greg McCulloch
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