London East Build Blog – Weeks 20 to 22

Massive changes to report this time around, as the walling installation works begin at NLE, zoning the building into its final room layout.

This comes along side a range of other works that have seen a huge, tangible evolution of the site as we head into the final phase of the envelope installation.

Weekly overview

What a three weeks we’ve had on-site here at NLE. The walls have really started to take shape, with the first floor data halls now visible, along with some of the main access corridor and customer breakout / build room. We’ve also had the ground floor to first floor riser access holes cut into the mezzanine floor, ready for our future inter-floor service routes.

Our lift installation is now also underway, with the main vertical runners and lifting mechanism now in place. This will be enclosed by the shaft in the coming weeks, and the platform will be installed.

The ground floor of the facility has also had all fire protection for the mezzanine structure installed, which is another great milestone in terms of having that component of the envelope fully finished.

A look at the now finished EcoTherm skylight blanking
A view of an EcoTherm panel through the newly cut risers, of which there are now two in the facility
Mezz Casing
The mezzanine posts with new fire protecting caps installed
Mezz Casing
The mezzanine has also had its edge fire protection capping installed
Loading Bay Electrics
The loading bay and warehouse area had all new electrical distribution installed as we zone and split delivery
Loading Bay Electrics
Newly installed containment between the new loading bay distribution unit and the storage mezzanine
Safety Board
Our new custom site safety board and sign in station is now fully in place
This may not look like much, but this is the first new cable delivery to land on-site here at NLE, so worth snapping!
We’re very excited to have received a major equipment delivery this time around, in the form of our CREC units for Data Hall 1, and the plinths for all four halls
A look at the custom plinths for our new evaporative coolers, which have been designed for us to contain ease-access filters
The first of our CREC units, now on-site and ready for placement in due course
We’ve also received the extraction fans for Data Hall 1; Ziehl Abegg units as utilised to great effect at NLC, some of which have now been operating uninterrupted and without issue for over 5 years
These are the custom designed and built plinths for our backup CRAC units
We have another forklift on-site, taking us to three in use at NLE, though this time not one of ours – this is a super-heavy duty hire unit to lift the walling pallets up to the mezzanine level
The first insulated wall panel delivery arriving on-site
We’re glad to have such a large front compound here at NLE, not only for our eventual operating data centre, but also for material handling during the build
The first set of panel stacks now ready for installation on the first floor
The first panels being installed on the first floor
A full run of wall panels in place on the first floor
The dividing spine wall that will run between Data Hall 1 and Data Hall 2 on the first floor reaching completion
A look across to the now fully-enclosed Data Hall 2 space
The main spine / corridor wall on the first floor as it encloses Data Hall 1
Walling delivery number two
A look at the completed spine wall which encloses Data Halls 1 and 2, with the temporary door openings for site access – you can also see the early form of what will be our customer lounge, break out and build room on the right
The first floor access corridor starting to take shape, taken between Data Hall 2 and the customer breakout / lounge / build room area
A shot taken from inside the now enclosed Data Hall 1
Data Hall 2, facing the eventual cold corridor / cooling plant area at the rear
Some of the ground floor panels being installed between the mezzanine posts, to form Data Halls 3 and 4, along with plant rooms
Our lift installation has now started, with the main lifting gear now in place, along with the custom mezzanine tie-in bracket

We now have 25 tonnes of insulated wall panelling on-site, ready for installation. This will be followed by nearly 33 tonnes of raised floor, and several tonnes of hung ceiling flown overhead in each hall.

Those with a keen eye will notice that the current door openings cut into the walls would not be correct when factoring in our raised floor. These are currently temporary cut-outs for positioning and site access, and will have their height increased (along with base boards installed) later.

We’re incredibly excited to see the site reach this stage. Of course we still have quite a way to go, with several weeks remaining on the envelope stage alone, however seeing the rooms take shape on-site is a massive milestone.

What else has been happening?

Our new van is now almost finished, and we’re very excited to show you what she looks like! We’re very impressed with how she’s turned out.

We just have some final finishing touches to make, and we’ll show you how she looks.

What’s next?

We still have a few weeks of walling and fire protection installation works to completed on-site, while also flying overhead containment grids in each Data Hall to allow for above ceiling cable runs. Beyond this, the envelope installation works will continue, moving onto floors, ceilings and access.

Connecting the dots in data: Why do you need a colocation centre?

Have you ever wondered what a colocation centre is and what it can do for your business? If so, you’ve come to the right place.

Whether you’re tired of managing your own IT infrastructure or you’ve simply run out of space to house more hardware, here’s everything you need to know about colocation centres and how they can help you.

What is a colocation centre?

In short, a colocation centre is a data centre that allows businesses to rent space for servers and other IT equipment. It is ‘colocated’ because the use of a third party remote facility is employed, rather than a private, purpose-built on-site facility.

These remote facilities offer a secure environment to house your critical equipment. In addition to space, they provide power, cooling, and connectivity for your hardware. This gives organisations an affordable way to expand and scale their IT infrastructure without worrying about physical restrictions or management.

You can rent the space you need and bring your own equipment to set up in the data centre. Then, you can remotely coordinate with the staff to manage the hardware from afar. Colocation services are ‘low-touch’ and can provide much-needed flexibility, allowing you to upgrade or downgrade as needed.

Some data centres also allow businesses to buy or rent equipment. They can then connect the equipment for you, so you can avoid the headaches that can come with complex system setups. Colocation centres provide a variety of services like this and tailor them to your exact requirements.

What services do they provide?

Colocation services vary by provider, but the core services typically include:

  • Space for IT hardware
  • Uninterruptible power systems
  • Physical security protection
  • Cooling systems and advanced environmental controls

The advantage of teaming up with colocation service provider is space. Colocation centres are designed and built to house sensitive IT equipment. While you can build your own space for IT hardware, it’s going to require a lot of time and money to do so.

On top of that, you need to create an environment in which you can precisely control the temperature and humidity.

With a centre dedicated to cooling, you can forgo building or expanding space within your business to house IT equipment. They handle all of the cooling and temperature controls, and are experts in doing so. These centres also have highly trained security staff to ensure no one can access the sensitive data on your equipment.

Security is paramount in the data centre industry. Many data centres have multiple levels of physical security, from video camera surveillance to biometric authentication. This strict approach to security will keep your kit safer than ever.

Data centres have backup power systems, too. In case of a power outage, the machinery can automatically switch to a redundant power supply. You won’t have to worry about inclement weather or other physical disasters pulling your network offline with an uninterruptible power supply.

Depending on the data centre, you can customise the services you want for your business. For example, you can choose from a range configurations to suit your needs. You may also be able to get services like equipment inspection, consultation from on-site staff, or regular inventory analysis reports.

Why do you need one?

So, now you know what a colocation centre is and what services you can get through one. But why do you absolutely need one?

When you outsource hardware management, you can save money and redirect your IT team’s time elsewhere. It allows you to be more strategic with your resources, which can directly affect your bottom line. Instead of worrying about hardware, your team can focus on your core business function.

As your business grows, you will inevitably need more space for servers and networking equipment. Even if you have enough space onsite today, you will gain more customers and more employees. The most cost-effective way to scale with that growth is to store your equipment offsite.

If you need to scale back, colocation services make it easy to do so. They have staff onsite to handle all the physical needs of your hardware, which allows your organisation to be more flexible. You can save money and scale up or down depending on your needs without having to worry about space.

Colocation service providers may also offer consultation. Their employees are experts in data centre management, so if you have questions, you can turn to them for advice. They can help you maintain and update certifications, ensuring your hardware is functioning at the optimal level.

Data centres used to be the territory of large enterprises, but nowadays, every business has a need for such a service. Colocation centres provide an affordable option for businesses of all sizes. You can find a plan tailored to your needs and expand without having to pay exorbitant prices.

When you choose to house your equipment in a colocation data centre, you receive all the advantages without any of the costs of maintaining a facility that size. You can decrease downtime and save on resources. But you should take the time to vet your colocation partner before picking one to do business with.

Find a data centre you can trust

With all the benefits provided by colocation centres, you may feel tempted to dive right in and pick one to start working with. But before you do, it’s important you choose a company you can trust. Ideally, you should partner with someone who can provide state-of-the-art services and facilities.

Here at Netwise, our London colocation centres deliver world-class services and an unrivalled experience in the marketplace. Our London Central data centre is one of the UK’s leading facilities, and can handle the resilience your critical IT infrastructure demands.

If you’d like to learn more, get in touch today. You can book a virtual tour with us or ask us anything about colocation and our services.

London East Build Blog – Weeks 18 and 19

Plenty more progress to report on this time around, as we head towards twenty weeks of work on-site at NLE.

Weekly overview

Focus this time around has been on preparing the space for the walling contractors to begin their installation works. This has included the removal of some legacy cable containment, the installation of new EcoTerm insulation on all skylights over the eventual first floor data halls, and the construction of our lift foundation.

As always, there have been a wide array of additional works happening alongside the headline tasks, both at NLE, and in the continued growth of operations across the board. We’re in early-stage planning for further expansion in Telehouse, for example – more news on that soon!

The beginnings of our block lift base, which will bring the shaft and lifting gear up to the new raised floor height
The mixing area setup for laying the lift foundation
The materials that will make up the new lift base
The first course of blocks in place, pending final block brushing after completion
All three courses in place, along with the eventual board topper, which brings the finished height to exactly 450mm – to the millimetre across the entire top surface
Our EcoTherm panels being cut to size for each skylight
These insulated panels block incoming sunlight to what will be the overhead void in each first floor data hall, something we also rolled out at NLC during the build phase
A view of the EcoTherm panels as they begin to blackout the first floor
The existing overhead high-bay LED panels and all associated containment and cabling have now also been fully removed, ahead of the wall installation
The new internal runs for our gas supply have now also been installed

We’ve also had extensive work undertaken to reposition the on-site boiler, which included a full re-run of the building’s gas and water supplies. As a result, our office / NOC kitchen is now fully plumbed in, making the site much more pleasant to inhabit!

As always, there has been a huge amount of work happening behind the scenes. We’re now ready for our internal walls to be installed, along with all access doors, which have now been manufactured for us. Our personnel lift will also be installed in September, which required the block base to be fully in place, along with the associated internal walls that will surround the shaft.

What else has been happening?

Our new CREC units have now gone into manufacture, thanks to our long-standing friends over at EcoCooling. These ECT10800 units are manufactured entirely in Suffolk, at the EcoCooling design and production facility – so 100% UK made.

We’ve been sent some shots of these units as they run through the assembly line, something we’re always very pleased to see!

The EcoCooling plant in Suffolk, where our CREC units are being built for us
A look at some existing cooler stock at the EcoCooling plant
Our coolers are 100% made here in the UK

We’ve visited their production facility a number of times, and the level of innovation on display there really is something to behold. We’re very proud to again be partnering with EcoCooling for NLE, the third private design and build project we’ve had the pleasure of working with them on.

What’s next?

We now have a final week of closing preparation works before the next phase begins in anger, starting with the internal walls and doors. This week will include a range of tasks across the board, even including some work on our new van, which we’re very excited to show you once complete!

7 data management mistakes and how to avoid them

Accurate and reliable data has never been more critical in the business world. All the complex data challenges you face could be detrimental to the success of your business. You need to ensure that you have everything under control.

About 98% of companies use data to improve their customer experience, and to be a part of this, you need to avoid some common data management mistakes. The modern customer comes with high expectations. There’s regular pressure to improve transparency, and even more need to ensure customer privacy.

You not only have more data, but you have access to the technology required to convert that data into actionable and meaningful insight. The question is, how do you leverage data to improve customer experience, and ultimately grow your business?

How do you even track this data? In this article, we’ll explore some of the most common data management mistakes and help you understand how to avoid them.

1. Lack of centralisation and visibility

We have already established how important data is to a business.

However, you’d be surprised to learn that only a small percentage of companies integrate their sales, marketing, and finance data and make it accessible in a centralised location. The problem is, if you only have access to a part of the data, it’ll be hard for you to make informed decisions.

You won’t be able to visualise the bigger picture, because some of the most vital data will be missing. Centralising access to data in your organisation is essential. Relevant parties will have access, and this could be the difference between how successful or unsuccessful you are in a data-driven economy.

2. Not understanding the potential of the data you have

The amount of data produced every day is a mind-blowing 2.5 quintillion bytes, which stands to increase with the growth of IoT.

The thing is, your business is sitting on a mountain of data on everything from your customer’s buying behaviours to their preferences and your operational effectiveness.

However, chances are, you’re not analysing this data to its full potential. Consider all the data you get in your company and how it can help you anticipate customer needs. How you can identify opportunities that will improve the efficiency and overall performance of your business.

3. Not having a dedicated data management team

Apart from the kind of tools and technology you use to manage your data, it’s equally as important to have a dedicated data management team. Even if you choose not to make it explicitly dedicated to data, the one thing you need to understand is that the team must be well-trained and experienced in data collection and management.

They should be aware of privacy policies and understand data quality, protection, analysis, and implementation. Creating and maintaining a dynamic data management team for your company is an essential part of effective data management.

Find the right team to ensure you get actionable and insightful results.

4. Failing to comply with global data privacy regulations

Businesses have gone global with the use of the internet, and you’re possibly reaching out to customers all over the world. Even if you’re not doing so now, it’s probably a part of your business plans as you expand, right? In an era of globalization, other countries will also have an influence on the economy, and how businesses function and process personal data.

Even if you were to choose to serve European customers only, you still need to comply with Europe’s Global Data Privacy Regulations. Failure to comply could lead to significant fines. This means that you should adhere to international data privacy rules in all the countries your business operates in.

5. Failing to secure data

One of the most essential aspects of data management is having the right data security measures.

We’re living in a world where cybercrime is thriving, and so are hackers, malware, viruses, ransomware, etcetera. You are also faced with both internal and external threats, so you must find a way to secure your data effectively.

The bigger challenge here is that you may need to copy confidential information to mobile devices, employee hard drives, and USB devices. The issue here is that these devices are portable and prone to loss, theft, and damages.

If such devices got lost without proper passwords, data backups, or proper encryption, your sensitive data could get into the wrong hands, putting your company and customers at risk.

Company servers also need to be extremely secure and having a data security team can solve this. Ensure there are no vulnerabilities, and only authorised personnel have access. You can hire a professional company for a quarter, half, or full rack colocation service for all your data.

6. Being lax about data quality

The one variable that truly has an impact on the success of your marketing campaigns is the quality of the data you have.

It’s impossible to deliver the right messages to the right target market unless you have quality data. Besides, everything right now is in constant flux, so it’s impossible to use bi-annually or even quarterly lists.

A part of your data is inaccurate, inadequate, incomplete, or unavailable. This can result in a wasted budget, missed opportunities, and failure to meet your objectives.

This is one of the most common data management mistakes you should avoid. It’s possible if you find the right data management tool that will help you collect complete and clean real-time data.

7. Tracking the wrong metrics

Can you show how your marketing strategies contribute to your overall business revenue?

A very small percentage is able to, but the thing is, it’s essential for you to tie your marketing efforts to performance. This will require you to track metrics that impact your business.

Before you can get any meaningful insights, it’s vital that you consider what you need to know. First, identify what problems you want to solve, what goals you want to achieve, and the metrics you need to measure.

The worst data management mistakes to avoid

There you have it! These are some of the top data management mistakes you should avoid because they’ll only drag your business behind. There is so much that goes into data management, and you need to ensure that you have the right tools and the right team as well.

If you’d like to know more about data collocation, please get in touch with us, and we’ll be glad to tell you more and help you out.

London East Build Blog – Weeks 16 and 17

Another two weeks are now in the books at NLE, with plenty of progress to report as we head further into the envelope construction.

Weekly overview

We’ve made great progress on our new compound perimeter security fencing, with our huge sliding vehicle access gate now in place. This joins the new pedestrian access gate, with the installation of our turnstile coming up next (after being sandblasted and powder coated in our desired shade).

There have also been many bodies on-site as works continue on the envelope, both for development meetings and for some minor adjustments to the mezzanine before the walls begin to go in later this month.

Another busy fortnight at NLE, with many engineers and consultants on-site
The front compound is large enough to hold plenty of working trades at the same time
A look at one of the more complex parts of the new perimeter fencing
The new pedestrian access gate, which will complement the main access turnstile which will sit alongside it
Much like the pedestrian gate at NLC, the gate also functions as a fast exit path, with push panic latch and security enclosure
A look at the new pedestrian access gate from outside the compound, with the turnstile due for install just to the left
The main supporting legs for the new sliding vehicle access gate in place
The completed sliding gate as seen from outside the compound
The old palisade bays and gates, ready for recycling / safe disposal
Rooflight Blanks
These sheets of insulation will be used to blank off the skylights, in the same way this was handled as NLC
The main access staircase for the mezzanine had its full checkerplate and up stands installed this week

As you can see, we’ve had another great couple of weeks at NLE. The intense heat did delay some of the fencing installation, but progress was not hindered much at all, as we’ve spent lots of time on planning and orchestration of the next phase – that being walling.

The rear compound will also receive the full security enclosure treatment in the coming weeks, along with full razor wire to both sides of the facility, taking us to full enclosure of the site. We’ll also be fitting the motor to the main sliding gate in the near future, which will be tied into our access control system, along with the turnstile.

What’s next?

Towards the end of this month, our walling contractors will be on-site to begin splitting the facility into its final layout, including all four data halls and associated plant rooms / customer amenities.

We’ll also be continuing with works outside the facility, by completing the full perimeter.