12 September 2018
Back in 2011, we were faced with a choice. A supplier had bumped up their prices in the contract renewal by more than double, more than triple what we had been paying. It was a mission-critical service, so that had us in a bind.
Do we pay it and have to look at increasing prices? At having less to invest into other areas of the business? Gail, the board and I knew there was a better way. From then on, we invested tens of millions of pounds into our own data centres.
In 2011, we opened to doors to MaNOC 4, the first custom-built, wholly owned UKFast data centre. It was a hugely proud moment for us. It meant we, for the first time, had end-to-end control of this part of the service we offer to clients. We were wholly responsible for delivering the level of service that we promise.
Since then, we’ve expanded, opening further facilities and creating a complex of data centres. Last year we upgraded this complex, investing more than £2 million to include high-security, high-density and high-resilience capabilities. It’s a facility designed to cater for the specific needs of government, financial services, international telecoms and utilities clients.
Today, I am incredibly proud to announce that we’ve taken this commitment a step further with the development of a state-of-the-art facility to cater for our growing number of government and public sector clients.
Powering the future
MaNOC 9 features supercomputers that cater for the growing need for AI (artificial intelligence) solutions and machine learning, both in business and beyond.
The evolution of capability from the first data centre that we opened just seven years ago, to the facility we announced today is absolutely fascinating. Back then, big data was only just becoming a buzzword and machine learning wasn’t a mainstream concept either. To now cater for these services and offer the wider world access to these capabilities right here in Manchester is only going to accelerate their growth and uptake.
It’s certainly an exciting time here at UKFast Campus, I can’t wait to share more about the facility when we open the doors in the near future.