UK Home Secretary Opens new iomart Customer Defined Data Centre
First Major Deployment of Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation Using Corning OM4 Fibre Bi-Directional Transmission Technology
Glasgow, UK: UK Home Secretary The Rt Hon Theresa May MP has officially opened a £multi-million extension to a data centre in her Maidenhead constituency, which is owned and operated by iomart Group plc (AIM: IOM), one of the UK and Europe’s leading cloud companies.
Mrs May was given a guided tour of the new facility, which features the first major deployment of Cisco® Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA) and Bi Directional (BiDi) Transmission technology. The data centre will ultimately house up to 30,000 physical and as many as 500,000 virtual servers, and the technology underpinning it takes iomart into the new position of being able to dynamically configure its entire data centre estate with its customers’ requirements at its heart.
It was the first time the Home Secretary had been inside a data centre and she said she was impressed by what she saw.
The Rt Hon Theresa May said: “Data centres are an important part of the global economy, so I’m delighted to be opening this new facility for iomart. The technology on show is impressive and will allow businesses to be better connected than ever.
She continued: “Everybody relies on accessibility and use of the internet to access services and for marketing themselves, so this is important. It is interesting to see that the cloud has a physicality to it and isn’t just something up in the ether.”
Angus MacSween, CEO of iomart, said: “We are delighted that The Home Secretary has officially opened our next generation data centre and seen first-hand the technology involved in creating the infrastructure needed to support the dynamic and ever-changing web hosting and data storage needs of SME and enterprise business.
“By investing in the latest Cisco technology, we are creating data centres that are not just software defined but customer defined. We are transforming our network to deliver the highest levels of agility, performance and flexibility. Many commentators are talking about software defined data centres – we are delivering them. This puts us at the heart of the next generation of data centre technology.”
The new 1500 square metre extension to iomart’s Maidenhead data centre took 12 months to complete and has capacity for 630 racks. It features the first major deployment of Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA), which enables iomart’s network infrastructure and services to be dynamically and automatically provisioned alongside Cisco’s proprietary Bi-Directional (BiDi) Transmission technology, which allows 40 Gigabit Ethernet transmission over small form factor, duplex connectivity, which was previously only possible with more expensive MTP Fibre technology. The result is a greater level of scale-out without congestion points while providing optimised forwarding for all types of applications, and a network enabled for secure multi-tenancy at scale.
The simplicity and automation that DFA provides gives iomart the flexibility to scale its network through the use of Cisco FabricPath innovation. Management of the fabric is delivered through a single pane of glass, which can enforce policies for both physical servers and virtual machines. Visibility of the entire fabric reduces management burden while also allowing granularity at the host and tenant level. Power-On Auto Provisioning (POAP) lets the network grow with minimal operations effort. The fabric management platform integrates with third-party layer 4 through 7 services, hypervisors, and orchestration and management tools.
Sri Hosakote, SVP of Cisco Data Centre Group (DCG), explained: “iomart is growing at a rapid rate and we’re delighted to provide an innovative solution that can simplify, automate and optimise its data center to scale provision immediately against every customer requirement.”
Corning Incorporated, the world leader in speciality glass and ceramics, and iomart’s Network Preferred Installer Kinetic IT, designed and installed a bespoke connectivity solution utilising Corning’s Pretium EDGE ® housings with OM4 high-density, 96-core fibre cables for backbone, and individual 6 port LC cassettes.
Jochen Lorenz, vice president of Enterprise Sales EMEA for Corning, said: “Corning is proud to support iomart’s pioneering decision to deploy Cisco’s BiDi technology with our OM4 Pretium EDGE solution. This state of the art facility is a shining example of what can be achieved by technology leaders working together in defining the datacentres of tomorrow, today.”
Tom Cella, Managing Director of Kinetic IT, added: “This was a truly unique project. We are proud of what has been achieved for iomart and also to be a part of something brand new to our industry.”
The new data centre in Maidenhead has been designed to meet the needs of all the different hosting brands that make up the iomart Group of companies.
Neil Johnston, Group Technical Operations Director for iomart, said: “The challenge was to make sure that all 630 racks within the seven data halls of the facility are capable of catering for every network requirement, for all business groups, encompassing both initial and rapid future expansion as and when required. The end result has more than achieved this.”
About iomart Group plc:
iomart Group plc (AIM:IOM) is one of the UK’s leading providers of mission-critical cloud and managed hosting services. iomart owns and manages datacentres at eight locations in the UK, has its own fast fibre network and offers a unique 100% uptime guarantee. It operates through a number of subsidiaries: iomart Hosting, Melbourne Server Hosting, RapidSwitch, Redstation, Backup Technology, Easyspace and iomartcloud. www.iomart.com