aql built their first network datacentre Point-of-Presence “POP” back in 2006 to use as a disaster-recovery site, should their main server equipment in London fail. It was an engineering challenge, learning how to shoehorn generators, power equipment, battery backup and fire monitoring equipment into a building to create a specialist space. The site held 16 ‘racks’ – which are cabinets about the size of a telephone box, designed to hold around 20 to 40 individual ‘servers’.
Many aql customers requested to use aql’s POP to house their own equipment and plans to build a second one resulted in ‘DC2’ being built in 2009 – this one being a bit bigger, with space for 50 racks. Now in 2012, DC2 is full – with some very impressive clients.
DC3 has now just been completed, again, a little bigger, with 150 racks of space and is filling up fast – with some of the big household internet names taking up tenancy.
aql founder, Dr Adam Beaumont stated “We’ve always found that we need to be concentrating on the next datacentre project – with that in mind, we’re already making plans to build “DC4” whilst only just completing DC3”. “DC4 is on a completely different scale – 2440 Racks and will provide enough space for many of the larger ISP’s to establish a firm and competitive presence in Leeds – this will put Leeds and Yorkshire in a very strong position to fulfill their superfast broadband promise”.
DC4 is designed to be a large, sustainable datacentre building, using super-efficient cooling, heat recovery technology and the ability to export heat to neighbouring building schemes as well as provide gigabit internet connectivity.
The site will be connected to aql’s existing datacenters by a fault-tolerant fibre optic ring provided by SSE Telecom and aql’s own private network, enabling the site to have instant access to aql’s existing connectity partners such as Level3, SSE, Gamma and Cogent with the potential to scale to Terabits and act as a hub for internet tv, radio and social network content as well as for enterprise and secure storage.
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