The Northampton Data Centre launch 14th April 2011
One of the necessities of a modern data centre is discretion as the information held and activities carried out can have a significant commercial value. As a contemporary hi-tech building, for the first and probably only time in its life a clearly visible (but temporary) sign was in place.
Node4’s newest data centre, launch took place on 14th April on the back of local BBC coverage the day before. The champagne launch reception was attended by over 100 people comprising local dignitaries, members of the press, customers, prospects and staff, and marked a moment in time when 9 months of planning & building, and £8m worth of investment finally came to fruition. Guests were treated to a tour of the facility which showed the impressive equipment needed by Node4 to deliver 100% level of service and help ensure it maintains its ISO/IE27001 accreditation.
To add further interest to the event, on the ground floor visitors were also treated to the opportunity for a close look at a £100,000 British Superbike from Motorpoint Yamaha team, with its professional rider James Westmoreland and mechanic on hand to discuss various aspects of their involvement. While upstairs a pair of expensive touring cycles (£8,000 apiece), were on display - all made possible by Node4’s sponsorship activities with Procycling.
This the latest and largest of Node4’s data centre network and boasts 41,000 square feet, 720 racks and the latest security and disaster recovery/prevention equipment. Northampton was selected as the location to consolidate Node4’s presence in the Midlands, while being near enough to London, to tempt capital-based companies with its unparalleled facilities but out-of-city prices.
Speaking on the event, Andrew Gilbert, Managing Director of Node4 said,
“We are very proud to be extending our remit to the Northampton area today where we hope to provide the local business community with a hub for technology and inspired IT solutions. This data centre is our most sophisticated yet and I would like to congratulate my team on their sustained hard work and effort in helping to making this day happen. We hope to provide local businesses with cost-effective and bespoke IT solutions to any budgetary requirements with the best value for money in the industry.”
The strategy is already proving popular and Pete Hill, partner channel manager at C4L commented,
“The data centre looks fantastic with the facilities looking very modern and up-to-date. We are already a Node4 customer and it has certainly put much investment and planning into this latest addition to its UK data centre network. The location is quite interesting in that although it is out of London it is still close enough to attract London businesses, while being able to deliver the lower costs associated with being out of the capital.”
Pete’s comments were representative of most guests, which for many, was a ‘first-time opportunity’ to visit a secure data centre. The external security measures include perimeter fencing, CCTV, photo ID, 24/7 manned security and an anti-tailgating pod, which prevents more than one vehicle passing through the entrance gate at any one time. Internal measures include swipe card access to sensitive areas and ‘expected visitor’ lists. Concrete blast walls are in situ between halls and air conditioning, fire suppression, emergency power back-up are all up to the highest specification.
There are two distinct parts to the data centre, the server rooms and the staff area which is modern, and well laid out to provide security and flexibility in the shape of meeting rooms, a social area, command and control area and reception.
Simon Campbell-Whyte from Colo Finder said,
“We already work with Node4 and know the quality of work and facilities it provides. Early impressions suggest the Northampton facility will be no different.”
Northampton is only an hour away from London and the Mayor for Northampton, cut the ribbon that marked its official opening. Mayor Councillor Marianne Taylor said,
“The hi-tech building has a great feel about it and it has been designed to be both functional and beautiful, which with my art background is something I appreciate. The decision to site Node4’s new data centre here will be of long-term benefit to the whole of Moulton Park and Northampton as it attracts business from as far afield as London, and as Node4’s business grows, this will a have a positive effect on employment in this area.”
This the fourth data centre to be commissioned by Node4 and there are more in the pipeline. At a time when many businesses are suffering from the recession, IT and the need for data centres are experiencing strong demand as ‘driving technologies’ such as cloud computing, the need for increased storage in the digital world and managed services and outsourcing grow in popularity.
The reception drew to a close at about 15:30 and as guests left fortified by the canapés and champagne it was clearly a success judging from the parting comments. The launch event completed, the sign was removed, the doors locked and once again resumed a discrete presence that will now continue for the years ahead.