IT giant Dell opened a new datacentre in Slough yesterday – the result of its commitment, made in April, to plough $1bn (£634m) into cloud-based service delivery.
The facility is 20,000-plus square feet and locally owned, run and managed, and able to offer public and private cloud services. It will open for business on 3 November.
It is the first datacentre in EMEA that is entirely owned by Dell, and there is currently a second one under construction, for which no details have yet been released.
Responsibility for Dell's datacentre expansion plan resides with Kevin Artman, ex-datacentre manager at Perot systems, a services firm that Dell acquired for $3.9bn in September 2009.
"We're offering firms network connections to the site – anything from 100Mbit/s to 10Gbit/s," said Artman.
He explained: "Customers can also move their kit into the datacentre [called colocation], but we'll have our own kit allowing us to offer public cloud services," said Artman.
The Slough site had 48 hours of diesel fuel on-site to be used by two 1-megawatt generators to provide redundancy in the event of power outages.
"There were very few sites that had the power availability we sought for fast deployment and network availability, but the Slough site did," said Artman.
The site benefits from environmentally friendly air cooling using dry chillers.
The datacentre provides power usage effectiveness (PUE) of around 1.5.
PUE is a measure that demonstrates how efficiently a datacentre consumes power, and is the total datacentre power requirement, divided by the power required to run IT in the datacentre.
In 2012, Dell hopes to launch its cloud-based VDI system, branded as Dell Virtual Desktop-as-a-Service, and its own cloud service, called Dell Cloud, which will run off the back of VMware’s vCloud Datacenter Service.
One service that will be provided by the Dell Cloud in Slough is Unified Clinical Archiving, which allows healthcare providers to manage, share and store medical imaging data.
The ongoing localisation of the procurement of services for the NHS may see local health trusts make use of the Dell cloud.
"The NHS has monstrous data storage requirements, and they'd be a fantastic customer for us," said Paola Arbour, vice president of Dell Services.
Dell's announcement in April followed the announcement in January by its competitor, HP, of a cloud strategy fronted by its CloudSystem offering.
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