Data Centre Visit

On Monday morning (14 April 2014), a group of MSc Information and Network Security students, along with a couple of lecturers, visited the University’s national industry award shared Data Centre.

The visit consisted of a tour of the building and the inside of the data centre (server and network racks) and a presentation on the security measures put in place.

The £1.2 million North East of Scotland Shared Data Centre has taken first prize in the Public Sector category of the European User Awards run by Computer Weekly magazine.

Judges described it as an example of true data centre transformation, which stood out from other entries in the category for many reasons. The project will be featured in depth in a future issue of Computer Weekly.

Eighteen months ago the University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen College, and Banff & Buchan College agreed to pool resources and jointly invest in one state-of-the-art shared data centre.

Following the ten-month project, the new data centre, based at the King’s College campus of the University of Aberdeen, now hosts the IT infrastructure for the four institutions. The project has reduced the sector’s carbon footprint by more than 1,400 tonnes annually, as well as slashing energy bills by more than a quarter of a million pounds each year.

Using the external supplier Workspace Technology Ltd and specialist inhouse staff, the major objective was to spearhead a shared-service approach, while delivering significant institutional savings by allowing institutions to vacate current environmentally unfriendly facilities which were unsustainable based on current performance and future requirements. The capital funding for the upgrade project was provided entirely by the four partner institutions.

The project involved re-locating all 400 servers in the previous University of Aberdeen’s data centre and hundreds from the other partner institutions, re-locating and re-wiring over 100 live network components and two full Janet racks, replacing all flooring and ceilings and major external construction work.