In the spotlight: The UK’s biggest data centres
01 July, 2015
The Data Centre Risk Index 2013 (DCRI) found that the lowest-risk European country in which to locate a data centre is the UK. The DCRI report examined 30 of the most vital global markets and the risks likely to affect their operation of data centres. The UK’s top ranking is thanks to the country’s political stability, international internet bandwidth capacity and its data centre resilience.
Presently believed to be the world’s second biggest data market behind the USA’s West Coast, London accounts for 49% of the country’s data centre impression.
With 83% of the UK’s population connected to the internet and the country registering the biggest IP traffic per capita in Europe, we look at some of the biggest data centres operating in the UK. They serve a range of key industries including communications, game development, telecommunications (valued at over £45 billion) and have a combined staff of more than 275,000 people.
Despite being renowned for its high prices, the capital has still seen a rise in the number of new data centre builds such as Telehouse Europe, TeecityGroup and Equinix.
As one of the biggest companies in the country Telehouse Europe’s first purpose built centre ‘Telehouse North’ in London Docklands has been operating since 1990 and has become a key player in the centre of the UK market. In 1994 the company became the home of the Internet Exchange and secured its place as one of the more important internet hubs in the country.
Away from the capital, the UK houses one of the world’s biggest data centres, The NGD Data Centre Europe. Based in Newport, South Wales and covering 750,000 square feet, the centre can potentially house 19,000 server racks and is protected by bomb-proof glass.
Companies like Logica and BT have combined contracts totalling over £20 million according to owners Next Generation Data. The three tier building has its own substation which provides enough power to supply 400,000 homes and is protected by infrared detection, biometric recognition and triple skinned walls.
With most centres failing to cover more than 200,000 square feet, NGD’s data centre overshadows many in size - but pales in comparison with some of the colossal centres built by the likes of Google and Microsoft.
Research conducted by Campos Research & Analysis for Digital Realty, a data centre provider, found in 2014 that London was rated by 29% of respondents as the most popular location for situating a new data centre, ahead of Paris (24%) and Frankfurt (21%). So it’s good news for the British data industry!