Rebranding to Netwise

As we head towards our 10th birthday this December, we’ve drastically changed the way we look, both to celebrate 10 years in business, and also to reimagine our brand for the next 10 years of doing what we love.

It’s fair to say that over the last 10 years, we’ve changed a lot. The earliest iteration of what would eventually become Netwise actually started life way back in 2005, in the loft of Matthew’s parents’ house, which had been converted to house a small collection of IBM tower servers. Over the next few years, this would lead into the beginnings of Netwise Hosting, which incorporated in 2009.

The early days, while always coloured with the build and ownership of private infrastructure, focused on almost entirely on enterprise dedicated servers, with a side-focus on small-scale per unit colocation for clients with their own hardware.

As the business quickly developed, and the move to building the company’s first private data centre came to the fore in 2011, Netwise would very rapidly move into the colocation space more completely.

Netwise is now a fully-featured turnkey colocation and connectivity specialist, operating from its flagship 11,000sq ft London Central data centre in Bermondsey – the second private facility built in-house by the Netwise team.


Our bold new look

Dropping the ‘hosting’ portion of our name is only the headline change here. Beyond this, the entire look and feel of our brand has been completely reimagined.

We’ve always been known for our signature orange, which we had front-and-centre for many years early on. This did then become more of an accent colour as we moved from London South to London Central, however it always formed a prominent part of our identity. Our longest-standing customers will likely remember our (extremely) orange data hall floor at the London South data centre!

The orange has now been muted slightly, and serves as the primary accent colour to our new headline shade, which is a purple-tinted grey.

This far better embodies the characteristics we’re known for, more now than ever before. These include quality, security, robustness and professionalism – with an injection of real personality, something our customers hold very dear to their relationships with us.

The design, both of the bold new corporate identity and exciting new website, comes courtesy of leading design studio Juice London. This process started many months ago, with plenty of on-site meetings here at the Netwise HQ to discuss the visual direction, delving deep into what Netwise is at its core, and how best to represent this publicly as we grow.

Juice also spent a huge amount of time completely rethinking the website, both for desktop and mobile users, with a deep-dive into UX and UI, giving users the cleanest possible experience when interacting with us online.

Visitors to the new site will also see that, as part of the new look, we’re now running almost exclusively with black and white photography (sometimes with a purple-grey overlay), which gives our facility a timeless robustness befitting of our current standing in the industry.

The new look is head and shoulders above our legacy design, and something that will serve us very well as we head into our second decade of doing what we enjoy most.


Let’s get technical

Let’s talk about the new website; a slightly deeper chat than normal, as we’re sure our more technical readers will appreciate the added information.

This was a ground-up rebuild, starting from scratch, using the Bootstrap (4) framework as a starting point, which gives the out-of-the-box responsive front-end goodness we needed for a speedy deployment. This, coupled with the comprehensive design plans we received from Juice London, allowed for the front-end to be built out very quickly.

The main front-end came together nicely across a two to three week period, running on the new domain which sat completely separate from the existing domain. This allowed us to quickly sketch out design adjustments and alterations for immediate testing, with our Git and auto-deployment working seamlessly in this test environment.

Once we had the front-end together, but lacking some of the more complex functionality required for the colocation calculator and status pages, we were able to bring our long-time collaborator and development wizard Josh, owner of software house Grizzlyware, in-house for a week of pre-deployment works.

Grizzlyware proved to be an invaluable partner in developing our new colocation calculator, which has again been built from the ground up, giving much improved functionality, accuracy, and intrinsic security.

For the final stages of development, we converted the site from a PHP-based, dynamic, server-side site to a completely flat, minified static site, built using Node.js / NPM and deployed in both staging and production versions. This has made the new site extremely fast to load, and relies less on server-side processing in delivering content to end users.

This also bolsters the security of our digital assets, given that the site is now built ahead of being pushed to production, without need for any intensive server-side processing ahead of content delivery.


Our future as Netwise

The future as Netwise looks as bright as ever, which matches our shiny new brand perfectly!

We’re entering into a period of rapid development and expansion; as we head into 2020, we’ll be firming up plans for our next major step, which will involve a second private, bespoke data centre.

To keep abreast of these developments as they happen, keep an eye on our new latest news section, which forms part of our new website.

Ready-to-deploy Cisco hardware

Those of you familiar with our London Central facility will likely be aware of our extensive in-house hardware stocks, which we keep on-site for rapid deployment within the data centre and beyond.

This has always included a wide range of hardware sets, such as base specification servers, power distribution hardware, and a large number of switches and routers.

One of three new bays in our warehouse

We’ve always exercised great effort in ensuring we hold adequate stocks to enable the rapid deployment and response times that we’ve become well known for.

Q1 2019 has seen us extend this on-site capability dramatically as we grow the procurement side of our operation in line with expansion and growth across the board.

We’ve become known as a ‘Cisco house’ here at Netwise, with our network operating entirely on enterprise-grade Cisco architecture, and as a result we’ve focused on this world-leading technology vendor as we’ve built out our on-site stock list.

We now hold over 250 different models, from basic access switches to high-end routing hardware and security devices. All items are fully tested and ready for immediate deployment.

The beauty of holding so much stock here at our London Central data centre is that we’re able to rapidly respond to the exacting requirements of our ever-growing client base, with instantaneous deployment within their racks. We’re also able to supply this hardware to customers all around the world at extremely competitive rates.

We are known for our unfaltering customer support, which covers every facet of a customers operational requirements. This has long included the supply and ongoing support of hardware as part of our colocation service set, so adding to this capability is an important step for us in our continued development and improvement plan.

Matthew Butt, Managing Director

Clients are able to directly request hardware stock lists and will receive first-refusal and the best rates on hardware held on-site.

We know the Cisco eco-system inside out, as part of our own network provision, so we have elected to stock this vendor first and foremost to enable the very best in our ongoing support capabilities.

Matt Seaton, Senior Manager

If you’d like to learn more about what we can supply to you, as part of a world-leading colocation service or otherwise, please do get in touch.

A look back at 2018

Better late than never! Here’s our look back at 2018, yet another extremely successful and pivotal year in our history.

Investment in our operational capabilities continued full-force in 2018, with many areas seeing notable spending to improve and expand what we are able to deliver to end-users.

We’ve also helped a myriad of exciting new (and existing) customers with their own expansions, empowered by their mission-critical deployments inside of our world-class facilities.

Key projects and events for the year include:

  • Network Upgrades – we upgraded our outward-facing transit pathways, taking us to over 50Gbps of available capacity. We also upgraded our Aggregation and Core switching layers.
  • Cooling System Developments – we onlined our newest evaporative cooling stacks in line with growing demand, as well as installing a new temperature and humidity matrix, and improving the integration of our supplementary A/C systems.
  • Improved Filtration – a full overhaul of our intake filtration methodology came into effect in 2018, switching to bag filters on all three intake filter bays in Data Hall 1, increasing inward airflow and bettering the air quality inside our cold corridor.
  • Growing into Pod 3 – we welcomed a wide range of new customers into Pod 3, the newest addition to Data Hall 1.
  • Bolstered Security – with an additional 5x external PTZ cameras, along with increased on-site security personnel.
  • Further Monitoring – we’ve added a range of new monitor end-points to our network-wide system, taking us to nearly 17,000 alerting metrics across the board.
  • Growth in Connectivity – a range of exciting connectivity-focused projects in 2018 dramatically grew our service set in that area, helping a number of major organisations better connect with their customers and the wider world.
  • TV Capabilities – we added the ability to connect direct-from-air TV services from UK broadcasters straight into client racks.
  • Plus Additional Projects – countless smaller projects throughout the year.

Beyond all of this, we’ve also exceeded our financial targets for the year, taking us to new ground in terms of what we’ll be capable of delivering to end-users in 2019.

We’re excited to say that the deployment of Pods 4 & 5 in Data Hall 1 are now firmly on the horizon, with final fit-out and readiness for client installations expected later this year.

Looking ahead

2019 is already set to be another enormously successful year for Netwise, with many exciting new projects already green-lit for delivery in the first few months of the year.

We enter 2019 with a number of major developmental projects already in motion for Q1, and excitedly bring on-board new clients in the artificial intelligence, crypto, digital research, voice communications, investment management and storage technology industries.

Despite being a little late, we’d like to wish all of our stakeholders a fantastic New Year. We look forward to sharing it with you.

Alex Preston joins Netwise Hosting

We are very pleased to introduce you to the latest member of our ever-expanding team; Alex Preston.

Alex Joins Netwise

Alex is our new Facilities Manager, keeping our world-class data centres in tip-top operational shape for our rapidly growing roster of clients.

Alex joins us from a long-standing position with Atkins, the internationally recognised design and engineering firm famed for many large-scale projects worldwide. With him, he brings a wealth of experience in both corporate operations and design / engineering. Alex will be a valuable asset to Netwise in both the operational excellence of our facilities, as well as the design and build processes as we continue to fit out our London Central data centre to capacity, and critical involvement as we look ahead to future build projects.

You’ll find Alex working as part of our day management team, keeping our existing infrastructure working flawlessly for our customers, and developing new systems and techniques for future fit outs and various individual projects.

We will be continuing to expand our team as we head towards 2019. If you may be interested in technical roles in a vibrant data centre environment, please do get in touch with us.

Full speed ahead for Data Hall 1 cooling system

This summer, we’ve been hard at work taking the high-tech cooling system in Data Hall 1 to its final specification, ready for full capacity.

Our entire facility follows a modular build methodology, which includes our unique evaporative cooling system. Everything is installed in A+B resilient pairs, which includes the cooling stack design employed at our London Central data centre. These act as the lungs of our data centre, breathing cool air into the overhead plenum.

Until now, we’ve had lot’s of headroom on the existing two stacks, comprised of four wet box units. Last summer, we rolled out a fully-integrated AC system to supplement this evaporative units, both for added operational resilience, as well as further cooling capacity should it be required.

Intake Fan

Each of our stacks have intelligently controlled intake fans and active damping

We’ve now added the final two stacks to the system in Data Hall 1, taking our cooling capacity to maximum load. This further improves resilience on the system as a whole, and also provides a great deal of additional cooling as we continue to welcome new customers into our world-class data centre.

CREC Units

Our unique, highly-efficient cooling stack design

Part of this additional capacity includes the tripling of available extraction outlets, which gives us greater control over the pressure differential between hot and cold aisles.

At full speed we are now able to move 208,000 cubic metres of four-times filtered, climate controlled air through Data Hall 1 per hour. That’s a lot of air, creating a flow of freshly tempered air which refreshes hall-wide every 45 seconds (on average).

Extraction

Our extraction capabilities have been heavily bolstered

Extraction Fans

We now have nine high-powered extraction fans

Further to this, we’ve also installed a new probe matrix overhead, meaning we now have temperature and humidity mapping capabilities across the entire data hall floor. This both feeds into the control systems which manage the cooling system, as well as our own monitoring and management systems for greater insights into heat and flow control.

Later this year, we’ll also be adding in further granular monitoring on the circuits which feed our cooling systems, which will allow us to see our PUE as it dynamically adjusts in real-time.

The cooling system in Data Hall 1 is now at full capacity, which is fantastic news as our ever-growing roster of clients continue to deploy new systems in our facilities.

Learn more about our world-class London Central data centre.