VIRTUS joins forces with Jisc to drive UK education and research forward

VIRTUS joins forces with Jisc to drive UK education and research forward

jisc-dataVIRTUS Data Centres (VIRTUS), the UK’s fastest growing data centre provider, today announced the latest members to have joined the first national shared data centre for research and education, offered by digital services and solutions organisation Jisc.

Located in VIRTUS’ LONDON4 data centre, as a result of VIRTUS’ December 2015 purchase of Infinity’s Slough data centre business, three new customers have added to the 12 education and research organisations already benefiting from the shared data centre facility.

Beginning with six original ‘anchor’ tenants in 2014, the shared data centre is now home to 15 of the UK’s leading education and research institutions. Jisc’s agreement with VIRTUS provides education organisations with the ideal arrangement to support and grow an organisation’s shared data centre vision, creating a single location for a genuine state-of-the-art data centre ecosystem that is flexible and agile enough to cater for all eventualities. This has led to increased collaboration for significant research projects, improved efficiency across core IT, and on-premise data centre facilities being repurposed for teaching and other uses.

The shared data centre agreement offered by Jisc is the first of its type for UK education and research, specifically designed to allow universities and colleges to leverage data centre services and support them to be more efficient and effective, while increasing collaborations that push the boundaries of research. The recent additions to the facility demonstrate the mutual benefit it brings to education and research institutions, delivering a facility where researchers can partner to unlock innovations, but at the same time reduce their carbon footprint and free up valuable estate to find new efficiencies.

The data centre is also directly connected to the core of Jisc’s Janet network, the high capacity network for education and research. This allows researchers to take advantage of fast and secure connectivity between data storage and high performance computing facilities, both nationally and globally.

The University of the Arts London, Institute of Cancer Research,  and GÉANT join the current education and research customers University College London, Francis Crick Institute, King’s College London, London School of Economics, The Sanger Institute, Imperial College London, Brunel University, The Higher Education Funding Council for England, Queen Mary University, University of Surrey, and Liverpool City College, who have all joined Jisc’s data centre agreement and are currently located within the shared facility at VIRTUS’ LONDON4. Jisc has also taken space in this centre to support its own activities.

Jeremy Sharp, Director of Strategic Technologies, Jisc says, “Our framework with VIRTUS provides education and research organisations with access to world-class data centre facilities, where they can consolidate their data in a flexible, secure environment, and more readily collaborate with partners to boost innovations. The new tenants act as further evidence of the benefits of sharing services, and we welcome them to the data centre.”

Nick Leake, CIO, King’s College London commented: “Power flexibility was a very important reason for us moving into the facility. We required a data centre to provide a range of power densities per rack, as well as the flexibility to change the power allocation within the data hall when needed to meet the processing power required for biomedical research. The facility certainly helps us with this and is a vast improvement over our previous on-premise data centre.”

Kelly Scott, Account Director, Education at VIRTUS Data Centres added: “When VIRTUS purchased LONDON4, one of the main factors was the ability to offer the same high quality operational model to new education and research customers. These new customers will benefit from our brand of efficient, flexible, connected data centre solutions. We are excited to see how we can continue to work with Jisc to build on the success of the shared data centre so far.”

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