The launch of a brand new £4m data floor took place on Thursday 2nd February at Custodian Data Centres.
Around 100 guests attended the launch event at Custodian’s HQ at The Maidstone TV Studios in Kent. Local MP Helen Whately officially opened the new data floor alongside Custodian’s chairman Geoff Miles.
With a 100% uptime record since its first data floor went live in 2009, Custodian continues to grow using its own in-house design and build team. The new Data Floor 4 has been built as a series of data rooms that share common infrastructure, rather than one big floor.
“The rooms contain between 18-24 racks each in a single aisle, and offer a number of distinct advantages over large data floors,” explains Custodian’s commercial manager, Leonard Kay.
“To begin with, it is an extra layer of security for clients within a particular room; it allows us to control the environment much more closely which further increases efficiency. We can also offer private cages within a room by ‘slicing’ across the row with a cage door in each aisle. This doesn’t involve any lost footprint so is far more cost effective. Finally, any potential incident in a room is contained (fire suppression deployment etc).”
There are 12 rooms within the build, four on each of the three floors. Cooling is via a revolutionary fresh air/evaporative system, which can move 100m3 of air per second. The site’s dual water mains lend themselves perfectly to this system, giving a further layer of resilience. It also means that chillers are not required at all, which saves the site having huge amounts of power set aside to help the fresh air system on warmer day.
The Tier 3 data centre has become Kent’s most connected building, reaching London in sub-0.4 seconds. Custodian also owns its own dark fibre alongside multiple carriers, backhaul and IP transit connectivity options, including Virgin Media, Level 3 and BT.
Rowland Kinch, Geoff Miles and Robert Williams founded the data centre in 2009. CEO Rowland Kinch comments on the expansion: “We are very fortunate with our premises at Custodian, in that its bespoke technical campus and the building’s former use as a broadcast centre meant it fits nicely with our future data centre requirements.
“A new development has allowed us to deploy lots of the technical ‘learning’ we have undertaken with our first data floor. Network expansion and dark fibre were the next issues that would clearly define us as a serious player. SSE supported us with this and we decided to take the full dark fibre resilient ring from them via two of our London POPs in Telehouse North and Goswell Road.”
Commenting further on the data centre’s progression, Rowland adds: “With a full Cisco ASR platform and Smart Optics light/gen kit, this gave us all of the backhaul and DDoS mitigation options we needed to ensure we could compete with the main London players. Add this to what was our fairly comprehensive adjacent peering connections, ranking us sixth in the country, and we have constructed ourselves an industry leading IP and transit network.”