Netwise turns 10

Netwise was first incorporated on the 8th December 2009, making December 2019 a time of celebration – 10 years in business, doing what we love!

On the 13th December, we got together with friends, family, customers and suppliers to honour the occasion at Swingers West End, with great food, drinks, and of course a round of mini-golf!

This is quite the milestone for Netwise, a venture which started life in its earliest form way back in 2005, in the loft of Matthew’s family home. Not an ideal location of course, but it’s where the chips would begin to fall in favour of the organisation becoming a reality just a few years later.

In commemoration of the 10th birthday event, we’ve put together a gallery of photos from the evening, which you can browse below:


We hope everyone in attendance enjoyed themselves, and we look forward to welcoming you back to our future milestone celebrations as we continue to grow and evolve in the coming years.

Our guests on the night also got first eyes on our anniversary picture book, which gives an overview of the last 10 years at Netwise. Be sure to ask for a look when you’re next in at our London Central data centre!

We also have a video of the night coming in January, so keep an eye out for that on our socials.

Trends to watch for in colocation services in 2020

Jules Verne was right about so many things.

After all, the concept of nearly unlimited computer systems holding the full store of human knowledge is practically a reality. Experts estimate data storage totalling 175 zettabytes by 2025.  

The Jules Verne visions of the modern era viewed through a 19th Century lens look very different from the actual article. The submarine, for instance, is much less a luxurious masterpiece than a precisely engineered marvel. 

The same can be said of data centres. Colocation services mean that the clunky,  out-of-date in-house comms room is replaced with efficient, modern and cost-effective data centre solutions.


Trends in colocation services

Maintaining on-premise space for IT equipment instead of people is a choice many businesses are weighing up. The cost of commercial space in pricey Mayfair in London, for example, is £115 GBP per square foot. Would you rather have that space occupied by your valuable sales force, or your computer systems?

Even though the trend for server size moves ever smaller, many companies find it more cost-effective to house their servers in a purpose-built space. However, why maintain that space in-house? Much like companies rent office space rather than building and maintaining a facility of their own, colocation services fill the same need.


Old school data centres to colocation

Building and maintaining a server farm is a daunting process. Computer processing equipment used to take up entire rooms and require countless dedicated operators. That slowly changed a single large room of equipment. Now, what used to take dozens of operators and acres of space is contained within just a few racks.

Refurbishment of space and infrastructure can prove costly. Many companies have elected to give up their old in-house data centres. The associated capital expenditures of building, maintaining and updating an in-house data centre rarely pencil out.

Colocation services provide the building, cooling, power, bandwidth and physical security; the perfect environment for clients to house their own servers and storage equipment.


Not everything is in the cloud

Ongoing data breaches and scandals mean that many companies try to avoid cloud solutions for some core proprietary functions. Control over their own servers and data is a growing primary concern. Colocation is the ideal solution to this concern.

Many enterprise management software platforms base themselves on and around critical network architecture. A cloud-based service simply doesn’t work well to this end. For companies with highly customised software, maintaining a proprietary network makes sense.

Companies making the transition to cloud-based services may find that colocation is an important step in the transition, and forms the basis for any fixed workloads in a hybrid solution for the future.


Hybrid cloud

Getting services closer to the end-user is a goal for many IT professionals. Cloud services offer great mobility and access, but do not protect company data as effectively as hardware under direct company control. Apps and tools to make this bridge simpler are part of any modern, agile colocation service.

A mixed approach to infrastructure is often the answer.  User automation, micro-services, APIs, easy software-based provisioning; with these elements in mind, the ongoing management of the various different infrastructure types into a seamless whole is the challenge.

The right provider can offer services that let a company’s IT department create dynamic, hybrid solutions; fixed workloads in colocation interconnected with flexible workloads and content delivery networks in the cloud.


Carrier readiness

5G mobile networking is an estimated 100x faster than existing 4G networks. Telecom providers turned London on in 2019, and other cities are expected to have full 5G service in a short time. User-facing service providers need to be ready for the rapid changeover, bringing with it much-increased demands on data, enabled by faster download speeds.

Colocation services offer superior network connections in many different ways, offering a blend of different carriers. More than one carrier is always recommended for redundancy and reliability.


Prepared for growth, prepared for disaster

Unlike self-maintained and owned data centres, outsourced colocation means that changes or interruptions to business are quickly recoverable. Colocation services offer:

  • Redundant network connections – business-critical applications run around the clock
  • Redundant power –  a combination of the power grid, backup generators, and battery backup systems protect against service interruptions
  • Room for growth – colocation allows for infrastructure expansion without having to take on additional capital expenditure
  • 24x7x365 support on-site – experienced technical personnel are on-site for emergency and routine maintenance

Our London Central data centre also offers a fully serviced, 33 desk business continuity suite inside our 11,000 square foot facility. The central London location takes advantage of well-developed telecom network access and proximity to many major companies / operators.


Is colocation right for your company?

Trends in colocation services indicate a need for companies to save operating costs as well as protect against business interruptions. Colocation is also an effective way to expand workloads without expanding footprints in existing office facilities.

Colocation will usually provide significant savings in the management of critical IT infrastructure. The day-to-day operational care of the servers, power and cooling will be outsourced to a specialist operator. Colocation services will almost always provide improved resilience over in-house operations. 

Companies that have great variability or seasonality in their data resource utilisation may find colocation solutions useful. Spikes in usage are absorbed by the whole, often at a lower cost.

Colocation services offer a combination of flexibility, cost savings, and reliability.


How can Netwise help?

Netwise provides global-level colocation services in private facilities. Our bespoke tools, built entirely-in-house, provide both large and small users alike with the reliability and up-time they need for faultless technical operations, around the clock.

Netwise offers:

  • Superior London and European locations
  • 100% renewable energy
  • Sustainable and eco-friendly cooling systems
  • Fully-stocked build rooms
  • 33 desk workplace recovery suite
  • Leading SLA
  • 10+ years track record

Contact us today to discuss your critical IT infrastructure needs.

How to decide between half and full rack colocation

You’ve decided that colocated services are the way forward for your business. You want a reliable data centre so you don’t have to worry about building, maintaining and updating a large computing facility. These rentable data centres take care of all the extra expenses and work with the kind of security that provides peace of mind.

However, you’ll need to analyse the pros and cons when deciding whether a full or half rack is the best solution for your business. Read on to learn more about these options so you can make the most informed decision.


What is Colocation? 

Colocation can be a difficult concept to describe if you’re new to it. Simply put, the term means that servers and other IT equipment from many different companies are ‘co-located’ within one data centre. 

Also referred to as a ‘colo,’ these data centre facilities rent out rack space to third parties. It’s a simple solution designed to assist businesses that don’t have enough resources to maintain their own data centre, but still need the benefits.

Some of the benefits include lower costs, fewer members of staff, easier scalability, and the ability to choose a data centre that’s near your users. Last but not least, because the contracts you sign last at least one year, your monthly expenses are extremely predictable.


Half rack colocation

Half racks offer 20U of colocation space – a perfect solution if your needs are on the smaller end of the spectrum. At 1.75”, a rack unit (or ‘U’) measures the thickness of a single unit server.

Because of the smaller size, most half rack options are less expensive than full rack options, typically ranging between £299.00 to £479.00 per month. They also include: 

  • Power feeds of 2 to 8 amps at 240v
  • Multiple connectivity options 
  • Lockable, segregated racks for extra security

This isn’t a good solution for your business if you’re planning on growing beyond 20U, as you’d need to migrate to a larger enclosure, or contract for another. Half racks don’t give you a lot of available room to add additional equipment, but if you don’t predict on adding more equipment, this can be the most efficient and cost-effective option for your business.


Full rack colocation

If you do planning on scaling your business and adding more equipment, full racks are generally the best option. The larger size allows you to store many more servers and network equipment. 

Like half rack options, full racks are lockable cabinets for extra security. They can only be accessed by IT professionals that are approved by your business.

Because of the extra cost, you don’t want to pay for space that you don’t need, so make sure that your business actually needs this extra room. However, you may want to consider private cages or suites if you anticipate lots of growth that will soon require multiple cabinets. 

Private cages give you a little extra flexibility, such as adding desks, keyboards, monitors, additional cooling elements and more room for network equipment.


Choosing your colocation service provider

There are many providers available for colocated services, and it can be overwhelming to decide who to go with. After all, this is a long term decision that will determine the safety and upkeep of your IT equipment. 

Besides software, hardware, and cost, here are some important aspects to consider:

Security

Ensure that the provider offers both logical and physical security. Logical security is more difficult to determine than physical security, so do your research, or talk to a provider’s customer service department for clarity. You also want features such as biometric or security card access, 24×7 on-site personnel, and the ability to mitigate DDoS attacks.

Carrier options

It’s important that the data centre has various connectivity options available, including a range of blended transit and off-net, direct connection options. The best will be able to provide a wealth of options to suit any budget and requirement. 

Contracts and SLA

Part of the contract should include an SLA (Service Level Agreement) that guarantees certain levels of service, such as uptime, throughput and the mean time between failures and recovery. Ensure that you compare SLAs with the providers you’re considering, and find the one that gives you the most security.

Privacy

Make sure that the colocation service provider you’re considering has the necessary technology, policies, and procedures in place to match your regulatory compliance requirements. For instance, if your data is being transferred to another country, determine the privacy laws there and if any would be violated. 

On-Site Monitoring and Managing 

It’s important to find a provider that provides a consistent temperature-controlled environment. However, that’s not all you need to ensure your equipment is working properly. 

It’s necessary to keep track of the on-site security measures, cooling performance, power conditioning and the general operation of your equipment. You can do this yourself by travelling to the data centre on a regular basis. Another option is to determine if your provider also offers managed services. 

Moreover, environmental probes, rack monitors and power management software can help you monitor the health of your equipment even when you’re not at the location.

The My Netwise customer control panel provides most of this data to end clients as standard, meaning less of this responsibility is placed on the service user.


Colocated services for your business

As you can see, choosing a half rack versus a full rack service is all about your infrastructure needs in the moment. You also need to take into account your anticipated growth.

Geographic flexibility and the ability to travel to your colocation provider is important. It’s also recommended to shop around to find the best deals, SLAs, and features for your area.

Now that you know which option is best for your business, contact Netwise today. As one of the UK’s leading colocation service providers, we offer state of the art, highly resilient private facilities

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.

Growth and expansion at our London Central data centre

Growth

As is the case with any modular data centre, available capacity scales with demand. This means that space is built out in stages as the available pool depletes.

This is a design and build technique employed at our London Central data centre, along with many other top modern facilities around the world.

We’re very happy to be in a position whereby the next stage of fit-out works in Data Hall 1 are now well underway.

Our team has completed all containment works for the next three serviceable pods in Data Hall 1, with Pod 3 expected for occupancy in early Q1 2018.

 

Market growth in London

London is now home to the largest retail colocation market in the world, with 7.45 million square feet of data centre floor space.

In Q3 2017 alone, demand for data centre services in London surged by 46.77%, by far the most impressive increase across the FLAP market this period.

This upward trend follows on from wider market analysis, whereby global demand for data centre services is swelling year-on-year as organisations continue to adopt outsourcing strategies for their critical IT infrastructure.

As this demand grows, so to does the pressure for data centre operators to act ethically in the sourcing of their energy, with global consumption expected to exceed 500TWh by 2020. With our own capacity expansion plans in mind, both at our London Central site and future facilities, we have elected to switch to 100% renewable energy across our private estate.

 

Growth at Netwise

Uptake over the past 12 months at our London Central facility has been nothing sort of fantastic.

While this does fall in line with general market expectations, it also stands testament to our growing position as London’s leading independent data centre operator, with a wealth of new enterprises joining us in 2017.

Our modular-by-design data centre allows us to scale up operations as demand for services increases, which is why we are now rolling out Pod 3 ready for occupation, with 4 and 5 on standby for completion as required later in 2018.

Power Upgrade

This all comes as part of a wider internal investment program which has seen our service delivery infrastructure bolstered dramatically this year, across our entire portfolio.

Our recent power capacity upgrade works came to a close this November, a much-anticipated project enabled through a close working relationship with UK Power Networks.

London Central is now perfectly positioned to expand to full capacity in Data Hall 1, along with the fit-out and operation of Data Hall 2 in due course.

We’d love for you to join us as we continue to grow alongside our wide and varied customer base.

Learn more about our Green Data Centres and our Green Colocation services.