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First data centre visit for Home Secretary

Article Type: News          Published: 06-2014         Views: 2214   



Theresa May opens new iomart data centre .

UK Home Secretary, 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. 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, saying: “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. 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: “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 complex 12-fibre MTP connectivity. 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.

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