A look back at 2022

As we head into another exciting year here at Netwise, we would again like to take pause in January to appreciate the year gone by. 2022 was another important year for Netwise, most notably for seeing live client services deployed inside of our new Netwise London East (NLE) data centre for the first time.

We also began development on Phase Two of the London East development cycle in the very same year, just six months after our first anchor tenant entered Data Hall 1.

Pod 2
Since launching with Pod 1 back in early 2022, a further 28 racks have since joined total capacity in Data Hall 1, taking the space to its 56 enclosure capacity

As seems to be the recurring theme for all Netwise annual retrospectives, 2022 again represents a huge year for us in terms of investments. We’ve continued with our build-out of NLE, following on from Phase One completion earlier in the year.

We’ve seen a fantastic range of new client installations across our entire estate, along with the continued expansion of existing client systems, as our roster of exemplary customers leverage their critical deployments to grow and thrive.

Notable projects from 2022 include:

  • We soft-opened NLE to client installations – without question, our largest single project achievement in 2022 has been the introduction of live client systems to Data Hall 1 for the first time. You can catch up with the build, from start to finish, on our Build Blog.
  • We deployed Pod 2, Data Hall 1 at NLE – almost as quickly as we got Pod 1 online, it was time to get Pod 2 deployed to keep pace with new installations at NLE. The containment system for Pod 2 landed with us in the summer, and saw the first new system installed in September, across seven of the 28 new enclosures.
  • Phase Two of development at NLE began – in the closing stages of the year, we made great strides towards the next stage of development at London East. Data Hall 2 will form the first part of this next phase, with the cooling and extraction pathways now cut into the fabric of the building.
  • Nathan Desmond joined as Technical Manager – in November, we expanded our team with the joining of Nathan, our new Technical Manager. Expect a full introductory post very soon, to do full justice to this very important milestone.
  • We expanded our European locations in Marseille and Amsterdam – we’ve deployed new systems in both Marseille, FR and Amsterdam, NL, as we continue to support international clients with their pan-European installations. This takes our global spread of live deployments to 15 locations around the world, from our five PoPs in London, to as far away as Kuwait and Singapore.
  • NLC exceeded its design PUE, reaching an impressive 1.11 – our London Central facility officially beat its design PUE of 1.12 in early 2022, achieving a real-world annualised PUE of just 1.11 across 12 months. That makes NLC one of the most efficient data centres in the UK (and the world), particularly when coupled with our wider sustainability measures, such as our exclusive purchase of 100% renewable energy. In fact, our own London East facility will likely be the only data centre in the UK to beat this, with a design PUE of just 1.05 – a truly impressive figure.

As is clear to see, 2022 has certainly been dominated with all things NLE, following the soft-opening in May, and the continued investment in the space as we expand into our newest facility.

This doesn’t mean that our London Central facility (NLC) hasn’t seen its fair share of developments alongside, with some key monitoring upgrades deployed onto our generator system, amongst other minor upgrades and improvement works. With NLC running at near-capacity, it’s fantastic to see the natural efficiencies that come with taking a facility to its true design capabilities, a position many data centres rarely reach.

From a wider perspective, we’ve enjoyed another brilliant year in terms of growth, which is driving our rapid expansion into all corners of the new data centre. We pride ourselves on our stable, predictable growth trajectory, which is how we maintain our rock-solid reliability for clients around the world.

2022 also saw unprecedented changes in the global energy market, resulting in a noteworthy upswing in wholesale rates. This has been felt across both domestic and commercial sectors of the market, and has certainly been the most difficult aspect of the year to deal with. The future is still uncertain, however we are seeing positive indicators in the wholesale market which point towards more stability in 2023, which we’re very much hopeful for.

We’re looking ahead to a very exciting year in 2023, as we continue to develop NLE (with be the deployment of Data Halls 2, 3 and 4), and even begin exploring options for campus-level lateral expansion to maintain our ever-important growth ambitions.

Pod 1
We look forward to sharing more exciting news with you as we head into 2023.

London East Phase 2 Development Update 1

We’re now a little way into Phase 2 of development here at our London East data centre, with good progress made across a number of areas throughout the facility since our last update.

The deployment of Pod 2 in Data Hall 1 is well underway, with all racks now positioned and bayed, and with the first tenants in the space already deploying live kit. The complete containment system is now being installed, which will bring the capacity expansion project within Data Hall 1 to a close.

Beyond this, further work has been undertaken as part of the Data Hall 2 expansion project, as we prepare for that space to take initial occupancy in the early stages of 2023.

Aside to the data halls, we’ve also seen developments elsewhere, such as the onlining of our new lift, the installation of our new gates and razor wire system to the rear compound fencing, our new Naturewall welcome screen in the speed gate entranceway, and additional development work undertaken on our customer portal.

The Build and Break Room has also seen notable advances towards its completion and full opening, which is something we’re very excited about. We’ll be continuing to keep this under wraps for the time being, and will publish a separate update about this once ready for use.

We’ll get straight to it with the photos:

Pod 2
We began to position racks into place for Pod 2 early to visualise the space, and also to accommodate incoming client systems
Pod 2
The first four racks in Pod 2 were positioned based on client requirement, followed by a further three as part of the same installation
Pod 2
Here we see what the complete back-to-back Pods in Data Hall 1 look like, complete with inter-pod cable ladder at both ends
Pod 2
The full cold aisle containment system is next to be built as part of Pod 2
Pod 2
The deployment of Pod 2 takes Data Hall 1 to maximum available capacity on rack space, giving us a good amount of headroom to grow into ahead of opening Data Hall 2 in 2023
Our personnel lift had to be delayed due to supply issues, so we’re very pleased to now have this in place (as are many of our customers!)
We opted for a glass sided shaft, and the lift has been colour-matched to the doors found throughout the data centre, to maintain our visual language throughout all areas of the facility
Here we see the lift as seen from the first floor atrium, where the platform will arrive for clients visiting Data Halls 1 and 2
This is the view from the top of the lift, looking out over our main atrium
The lift sits in the main inter-floor atrium of the building, just along from the speed gates, which visitors will pass through to the technical side of the facility – the speed gates have also had a gate hold function installed, to allow for the glass blades to be held open to assist with any incoming kit via this access route
The speed gate access area has had an upgrade, with a new welcome screen mounted to a Naturewall panel – we’re rolling out these acoustic Naturewall panels throughout the facility, in place of the greenwall accents found at London Central, so expect to see further updates on this as they’re installed
The Naturewall panels are made up of attractive timber slats, mounted to acoustically-treated felt boards, creating a beautiful and tactile cladding surface which wonderfully plays against the industrial metal finishes found throughout London East
We’re still developing our final welcome screen for the speed gate access area, so visitors over the coming few weeks will likely see this evolve with each passing visit
Here we see the newly installed razor wire to the rear of the building, along with post extensions and upgraded security gate – along with the usual auto-tracking PTZ cameras which encircle the external perimeter of all our facilities
A view looking in the other direction along the rear of our building, through the fire escape staircase which leads down from the upstairs data halls – the other security gate and tracking camera at the rear can be see here also
Pod 1
Here’s a view of inside Pod 1, which is an indication of exactly how Pod 2 will look on completion of its identical containment system
Pod 1
Here is the view across from Pod 2 towards the entrance to Data Hall 1 and Pod 1
We’ve upgraded to the new Nespresso coffee machine and pod system at London East – this machine will be available to clients in the new Build and Break Room very soon

Progress is expected to pick up as we head towards Christmas, with several weeks of additional activity planned for the back half of November, which will focus on continued work inside of Data Hall 1, along with further preparatory works as part of the Data Hall 2 onlining process.

We’ll also be rolling out some new features on our customer portal and back-end systems, with further news to follow in that regard when suitable.

Phase 2 of development begins at London East

In late August, works began full-force on Phase 2 of our London East data centre build project.

While we won’t be publishing a Build Blog to the same degree as Phase 1 – the forthcoming modular roll-out of additional capacity will be less technically involved (and perhaps interesting) than the front-loaded primary build – we are still going to document this process, and put out updates as things progress.

Phase 2 will predominantly focus on two areas of expansion at London East; the deployment of Pod 2 in Data Hall 1 for an immediate capacity boost, and the full deployment of Data Hall 2, for mid-term growth enablement.

This phase is less time-sensitive than the initial build, and will likely be a split development phase as works continue in other areas, including our Build and Break Room and our new personnel lift, both coming in October.


We’re now a couple of ‘split weeks’ into Phase 2, and have some initial visual updates to share with our readers.

The first major works as part of Phase 2 involved the addition of the roof extraction cowls over the top of what will become the cold corridor for Data Hall 2
This is the view from on top of the roof, with the seven extraction cowls nearest being the new additions for Data Hall 2, and the seven furthest away being the active service cowls for Data Hall 1
These cowls allow for exhaust air to be extracted to atmosphere, if not required for any recirculation purposes – our new roof fall-arrest system can be seen in the foreground here, installed this summer
The new cowls are an exact copy of those servicing active loads in Data Hall 1, allowing for the weatherproof venting of hot exhaust air
There are a lot of materials and components which go into each data hall – the duct sleeves seen here are for the eventual 28 intake louvres to be cut into the rear of the building for the forthcoming second data hall (of four in this building)
The components to make up another three of our containment pods arrived to site this week, allowing for the deployment of another 84 racks across halls 1 and 2
We’ve also added a couple of other niceties to the facility as part of this phase – here we can see our custom engineered glass floor tiles, which we’re placing in strategic locations to show off the quality of our sub-floor fit-out
Here are another set of these tiles in the main stairway atrium, showing the large trefoil runs between LV rooms – these will all be lit in due course, to make this even more of a feature

We’re extremely pleased with developments so far, despite being early into Phase 2. It is a phase of work which is expected to take us into next year for full realisation, however it will complete in stages. For example, the deployment of Pod 2 in Data Hall 1 will come first, and will be a relatively fast process, as this simply requires the physical construction of the containment pod and the integration of some monitoring and operating systems. The supporting infrastructure is already in place, with no required additions at this stage.

The deployment of Data Hall 2 is a larger operation, as this still requires lots of work under the raised floor to make the space ready for power and connectivity.

We’ll be posting updates to this process as and when suitable progress is made.

London East Build Blog – End of Phase One

We’ve taken a much longer break than usual between build blog updates this time around, as we turned focus to the final stages of systems integration and commissioning.

However visual changes have been happening, and in what became the concluding run up to welcoming in our first client deployments to London East, we can relay some of those to you here, and give you a final overview of the facility following Phase One completion.

Weekly overview

With Phase One of the build project now concluded, we’ll be keeping things short and sweet this time, and direct attention to the most recent round of visual evolutions. These now span a period of several months, and in that time we have in fact welcomed our first clients into the new facility, with a very healthy provisioning queue ahead of us.

This is of course a major milestone for us, as we soft-launch the site to clients that have been on the waiting list for entry for quite some time now. Our official public launch is expected in the near future – details to be confirmed.

Our transformer enclosure is now all back together, including all blockwork and the border, which really completes this side of the front compound
Having this area completed has enabled clients to migrate into the facility
As always, the devil is in the detail, and our matching metering enclosure carries the same installation hallmarks as the larger transformer enclosure seen to the side
Our main vehicle access gate in our front compound is receiving the full automation treatment at the moment, for integration into our access control system and full hands-free operation and locking
This new automatic gate system connects into our multi-facility access system, and uses a toothed track and motor to open and close gates of up to 1.6 tons
Our reception area has really taken shape now, with the full glazing system now in place
The client entrance to NLE now maintains segregation between client routes and our security / check-in team at all times
The glass security door which forms part of the new reception glazing system required some interesting technology to implement, both for the glass-mounted maglock, and this wireless RFID reader which now interfaces directly with our Paxton Net2 system via a custom board integration
With live client systems now online inside of NLE, both LV A and LV B have their UPS systems delivering conditioned power to critical client deployments
Our LV rooms now have additional floor detail in place, in the form of ribbed rubber safety matting, seen here in LV Room B
As part of our modular data centre design and deployment strategy – which we’ve implemented at all of our bespoke facilities to date – spaces for future capacity deployment can be seen throughout Netwise London East
Our core network is of course fully online and working for clients now deployed at London East, for both transit and backhaul – the B-side of the NLE core and passive infrastructure is seen here, including 144 of the 432 fibre pairs delivered to site by Zayo
Here we see the A-side of the same core and passive communications, which you can see quite clearly is a direct reflection of the B-side – the building is designed as a double-mirror, both left-to-right and top-to-bottom
A wider view of the A-side LV room, which shows the rubber matting route now in place
These custom generator system status screens found in both LV rooms are a fantastic tool for monitoring our various generator tests
Our LV rooms form the beating heart of London East, and we’re extremely proud of how they’ve turned out – these rooms and the equipment within them will support the four data halls in this building for many years to come
Here we have a view of the Build and Break Room, which has since had progress made on the kitchen and lounge segments (not shown here)
With our LV rooms acting as the heart of the building, the data halls are very much the brain, where client deployments reside – this is the view across Data Hall 1, to the occupied Pod 1 containment system, from where Pod 2 will sit very soon
Despite being open to clients for just a few months, Pod 1 now sits at around 56% capacity at the time of publishing this post, which is why the next phase of work in this hall is already underway
This is a view of the A-side ODF in Data Hall 1, with the overhead cable ladder for copper and fibre cross-connects (on the A-side) now beginning to show visible population, as more client systems come online here
The cold aisle containment system at NLE is certainly a step up from NLC, with electric sliding door entry, which can also be deployed with access control for private pod entry (as is the case here)
The new generation of adiabatic coolers have been performing exceptionally well, running at a much lower pressure than the previous generation – despite hitting nearly 40C locally at NLE this month, the CREC system alone dealt with this amazingly well, with the supplementary AC system not called upon once
This view of the rear of our evaporative cooling system in Data Hall 1 shows the scale of the full setup, with the entire rear face of the building acting as a large intake and exit point for the facility – this hall alone has 28 external air intake and filter bays, which helps make this such a low pressure system
All supplementary air conditioning systems, including the secondary system in Data Hall 1 and all building-wide comfort cooling, are now fully online and operational across the board – we only have a small AC plant area in our front compound, as we again lean entirely into super-efficient adiabatic cooling technology here at London East

The main purpose of this post is to present the current state of play at London East following Phase One of construction, which sees Pod 1 online in Data Hall 1, servicing live clients. We will periodically dip back into the Build Blog, to update on individual projects, and of course the move into Phase Two.

We’re dubbing the next phase of development Phase One-Point-Five, and that’s for some of the ancillary areas which had to be pushed back in favour of technical readiness for client systems. This includes customer facing amenities such as the customer break-out kitchen and lounge area, the personnel lift, and a few remaining internal developments such as our new power monitoring system and some customer portal improvements.

What else has been happening?

Since completing on Phase One, introducing our first set of customer deployments, and the forthcoming Phase Two works, we’ve continued with the fit-out of our customer build and break area.

Works are well underway in terms of laying the section of herringbone floor on which the kitchen and lounge areas of the room will be situated, and our high-specification kitchen installation is also in progress.

Here’s a very small sneak peak at progress so far.

A view of the herringbone floor as it is installed over the raised floor tiles in this space
The extra investment in time to install herringbone floor is well worth it, and in keeping with the attention to detail found across all of our facilities
Here we see the very early stages of the kitchen cabinets being installed – things have progressed significantly since, with the worktop and island now in place, however we’ll have a dedicated post for this in due course (it’ll be worth the wait!)

What’s next?

In the immediate term, we’re welcoming a range of clients into Data Hall 1. In fact, we’ve already deployed systems into 17 enclosures, with plenty more lined up for both London East and London Central.

To keep pace with demand looking ahead, and to allow for the next deployment phases, we’ve just had 89x new APC racks delivered to site, which are currently being held in a 60 square metre block in Data Hall 4.

New APC Racks

Phase 1.5 is already underway, and expected to last into early autumn. Phase 2 works will begin shortly thereafter, which will see Pod 2 come online, and Data Hall 2 shortly thereafter.

In early July, we spent an entire week on intensive portal development works, as we roll out our brand new client power monitoring platform, client port and bandwidth monitoring re-integration (something that’s been on the cards for a long time now!), and a range of other UX improvements.

We also have some extremely exciting additional developments to pass on very soon, pertaining to our ongoing expansion in all areas. We’re hoping to be able to break silence on this in the coming few weeks.

London East Build Blog – Weeks 93 to 97

With the final utility connections now upon us, and the last elements of our stage one internal fit-out now reaching completion, we’re now tantalisingly close to welcoming our first clients into NLE.

A large portion of the facility has in fact been ready to receive client systems for some time now, however as is always the way with projects of this scale and complexity, a number of tasks did run into delays for various reasons as we headed into the back quarter of last year.

Weekly overview

As much as this is a five week update – one of the longest spanning periods to date on the NLE Build Blog – it is somewhat light in visual change, as we’ve been focusing most of our attention on systems integration. Naturally, this is an incredibly important and complex part of onlining any new data centre, however it does prove a tricky side of the project to relay visually.

Regardless, we do have some photo updates to relay this time around.

We’re now finalising some of the last monitoring and control system integrations, including the monitoring system seen here forming part of our supplementary cooling infrastructure in Data Hall 1
Here we see one of the many MUXs we have across all of our POPs, which we now have branded for us
Our core network has been building up to the point of full commissioning in layers, as various devices across the facility come online for the first time – here we see the first phase fibre layer landing in place on the B-side
We have now fully deployed the internal network at London East, from core to edge
This is the same across both the A and B sides of the core network and distribution network – there will of course be further internal connections made across this platform as the first client systems land on-site
The A and B ODFs in Data Hall 1 are now also fully online, supporting our own infrastructure requirements, and ready to handle cross-connects and transit for clients as they begin to deploy live systems
ODF B in Data Hall 1 is presently more busy than ODF A, as this is where a larger quantity of our own management links come back to, due to the positioning of this ODF within the room and wider building
Private Pod
The private pod we have ready for one of our clients is fully commissioned, including custom access control, and the now fully-trimmed security panel which segments this secure space for the client
We’ve begun the installation of the new security glass system in reception, which will place the on-duty guard in a segmented area, which also secures the route to the on-site NOC
The track system for the glass is being fitted here, which will house the large, custom-cut 10mm thick security glass
The system will be comprised of a large sheet with slim opening over the desk, and a large floor-to-ceiling door and glass infills to the side, with access control
Various supplementary signage and notices have also been distributed throughout the facility, including the custom fire zone map which sits alongside the main building alarm system
We’ve pre-emptively started rolling out some more infrastructure in Data Hall 2, which remains in a partially fitted out state – this is the Honeywell PSU and control interface as part of the monitoring / BMS for this space
The final piece of the puzzle for our HV connection arrived on-site, and has now been pulled in and jointed – this is the largest diameter cable drum to arrive at NLE to date
This is specialist HV cable for connecting into our transformer, and comes on the drum as a pre-cut triplex length to be pulled in as a single piece
We had further civils underway as part of this final connection, which required a small amount of additional excavation in our demise, and another dig in the road nearby
In addition, we have two other digs happening simultaneously in the nearby area as further services arrive to site ready for opening
We’ve also completed a fully custom installation of Intelimonitor SCADA screens in each LV room, which show live status information on our generator system, which read from the sets and breakers in real-time
Here’s a closer look at the SCADA screen in LV Room B – this is a custom mounted Surface Pro, running the custom software and screen output for our particular setup

Much of the work in this period has been happening in less visual areas, including the onlining of systems and bringing them into our centralised control and monitoring platforms. This has been an ongoing part of the commissioning process for some time now, and is nearing completion.

The facility is in a position to accept client systems on a pre-staging basis, with all internal power systems online.

As we head into the final month of Q1, we’re extremely excited to be as close as we are to full readiness. We’re expecting the first client systems to begin rolling into the facility in March, which will of course be the most major milestone of this project to date.

What’s next?

We are continuing with our extensive commissioning works, which span all areas of the facility and its various systems.

All the while this is happening, the final elements relating to our core utilities are being finalised, which will bring phase one of our build to a conclusive state. There will be a certain amount of post-onlining works, which could be dubbed ‘phase one-point-five’, ahead of the later technical space expansion into Data Hall 2, which will be phase two.

We even have some early interest in our ground floor data halls for singular client project use, so it could be that plans for internal expansion are indeed brought forwards, depending on how these things come together in the coming months.