Demand for datacentres is rising as businesses embrace increasingly complex hybrid solutions and data volumes continue to grow exponentially. In addition, the Covid-19 pandemic has demonstrated the benefits of off-site facilities to ensure business continuity when on-premise facilities are not easily accessible, and this has driven up demand yet further. Environmental factors are becoming increasingly important in the selection of datacentre facilities. Whilst many businesses acknowledge the benefits of moving their IT infrastructure and workloads off premise, they are not prepared to do this at any environmental cost, so our green credentials have contributed to growing demand for our sustainable, service-based colocation.
Beginnings: From portacabin to data centre in the space of one year
Datum originated as the sister company of a high-end managed service provider and these roots have contributed to Datum’s service-focused approach.
- 2N power, N+1 cooling (Tier 3 equivalent)
- environmentally intelligent adiabatic cooling
- certifications to all expected ISO certifications and operationally to DCA Level 3
- sustainable power procurement (most recently including 100% renewables and carbon offset)
After a stringent selection process, we commissioned Keysource to carry out the design and build of FRN1 based on Keysource’s extensive experience with modular design and build. The construction of these facilities was to be a staged development that would allow capacity to be expanded over time to meet customer demand without impacting performance.
Our Farnborough facility was designed and built from the ground up to provide secure, resilient and environmentally intelligent colocation and first-class service. By January 2013, the first phase of the development (the ground floor of FRN1) was completed. The two ground floor data halls provide capacity for 500 racks at an average density of 3.5kW per rack with the capability of operating at high density (up to 30kW).
Since 2013, we have attracted an impressive client list including organisations from the public and private sector serving a wide range of vertical markets including finance, IT security, defence and engineering, and including companies from the FTSE 250 and Fortune 500. After a few years, it became clear that demand for our service-based colocation required us to move on to the next phase of development.
Next steps: The build-out of the upper floor of FRN1
On 24 March 2020, the day after the announcement of the first national lockdown, the build-out of the upper floor of FRN1 began.
FRN1 had been engineered to be easily scalable up to 1,000 racks incorporating a total of four halls on two floors. Due to our fruitful and ongoing partnership with Keysource, who had carried out the design and construction of our ground floor facility, Keysource were commissioned to manage the next phase of our development.
The initial pre-construction services provided by Keysource developed a detailed specification and delivery methodology for the construction phase.
In the same time period as my employment at Datum …., the company has gone from two staff and a portacabin, to being shortlisted for the Best Performing Company (Data Centre & Hosting Services) award in the 2020 Megabuyte awards – that’s an achievement in itself. And now we are taking it one step further.
- Matt McCluney
Like the ground floor, the newly built-out upper floor of FRN1 comprises two data halls. The first of these was completed in October 2020. It was customised to the requirements of the anchor tenant and provides 250 racks at an average density of 3.5kW per rack with the capability to operate at high density (up to 30kW). The second hall (a further 250 racks) is currently shell and core and will be built out to Datum’s standards or to a client’s specified configuration, depending on requirements.
What’s next? A new facility based on our successful formula
To facilitate our seamless expansion on our Farnborough site, and to cater to demand from businesses looking for a resilient and scalable foundation for their business-critical IT, we are excited to have the next stage of development in our sights.
We have secured planning permission for the creation of a new state-of-the-art facility (FRN2). This facility will be link-detached to FRN1 and designed to Tier 3+ resilience. FRN2 will give us capacity for a further 1,000 racks across four 1MW data halls. Like the upper floor of FRN1, space in this new facility can be built out to our enterprise grade specifications or can be made available for custom technical design (including larger footprints for businesses seeking sizeable data centre placements) while retaining the benefits of our high service levels, a secure location within Cody Technology Park and established connectivity.
I am delighted with the significant expansion of both our client base and capacity in 2020 and we expect this to continue in 2021. With planning for a further facility, Datum is well set to serve the needs of medium and large enterprise as they accelerate their digital transformation and look to a future based on hybrid infrastructures of colocation and cloud.
- Dominic Phillips
If you're looking to overcome current or future IT challenges, and future-proof your organisation, why not speak to a member of our team about our colocation services?