Enter The Matrix: Heroes Of The UK Data Centre

Ben covers web and technology giants such as Google, Amazon, and Microsoft and their impact on the cloud computing industry, whilst also writing about data centre players and their increasing importance in Europe. He also covers future technologies such as drones, aerospace, science, and the effect of technology on the environment.

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TechWeekEurope goes down the rabbit hole with NaviSite to learn more about the staff keeping its data centres in prime ready-mode

It’s not harsh to say data centres don’t exactly get the pulses racing. Over the years, TechWeekEurope can assure you that once you see one data centre, you’ve seen them all – which is exactly the point.

But what is it like to work in one? Is it as boring as it sounds? We asked data centres across the country to show us the fun side of working in these important facilities that power critical IT infrastructure and the Internet itself.

NaviSite answered our call, with a Matrix-themed vision of the data centre, presenting a dream world of infinite connectivity and low latency.

As part of the Time Warner Cable Company, NaviSite provides cloud-enabled hosting and managed services worldwide, with UK customers benefiting specifically from data centre locations in Redhill and Woking.

We quizzed key NaviSite employees on their roles and what they think are the most important issues in today’s cloud computing industry.

Sandi, AKA Trinity

data centre
Niobe and Trinity

What is your name, title and chosen Matrix character?

Sandy Kaur Kailey, Senior Project Manager, Trinity

What are your primary responsibilities?

As a Project Manager I am responsible for successfully managing customer implementation projects for NaviSite, overseeing and coordinating multiple teams of technical engineering resources to perform installation tasks. I manage a number of customer projects simultaneously, working directly with Navisite customers at multiple levels to perform implementation activities. Overseeing Project Execution from beginning to end, I am responsible for all project management activities.

Liz, AKA Niobe

data centre 

What is your name, title and chosen Matrix character?

Elizabeth Harding, Marketing Director, Niobe

What are your primary responsibilities?

I’m responsible for defining and implementing the marketing strategy and tactics for NaviSite Europe through direct and indirect channels. My group covers all areas of the marketing mix and business development activities – working closely with the sales team in the UK to ensure that marketing, business development and sales activities align and working with US Marketing & Business development teams to ensure maximum leverage between geographies.

Activities covered include online marketing, SEO, PPC, PR, Social Marketing, Marketing Communications, Events, Partner Marketing, Market research, list and database development, lead generation and campaign definition and execution.

Why are data centres important to modern businesses and consumers?

Consumers are increasingly living their lives online driven by improvements in technology – including the growth in mobiles, tablets, phablets and other end user devices; improved networking, facilitating access to data and resources from any location and supporting high network traffic including data streaming of films, videos and other large files; the growth of social networking – where geographical boundaries are eliminated and new people can connect with like-minded individuals, and new interest groups can be setup and disbanded as required; as well as the development of intelligent devices which are now being connected to form an Internet of Things.

What do you think is the most important trend in cloud computing and the data centre  industry, and why?

With the huge growth in public, private and hybrid cloud provision – for many businesses this means implementing elements of their IT portfolio on different platforms, leading to challenges in vendor management, varying levels of functionality on different providers clouds, security and compliance issues and challenges in interoperability of vendor cloud and hybrid platforms.

This will drive changes in the provision of APIs and management tools to facilitate interoperability and management toolkits to facilitate a consistent way of managing diverse business IT portfolios, as well as driving the development of specialist IT & business training to ensure that businesses can take full advantage of what cloud can deliver.

Gary, AKA Neo

data centre

What is your name, title and chosen Matrix character?

Gary Smallman, Operations Director, Neo.

What are your primary responsibilities?

I am responsible for the delivery lifecycle of the NaviSite Europe customers, supporting the sales effort and the design, build and run phases throughout the customers relationship with NaviSite.

Why are data centres important to modern businesses and consumers?

Every part of our lives now has some involvement with IT, whether that be the TV we watch at home, our journeys to work and to see friends and family or the tools and systems we use in the workplace.

They all support the businesses of today and provide the goods and services that we all consume on a day to day basis, whether we know it or not. The data that enables all of this is more often than not housed and managed in a secure data centre facility. There are constant news stories about cyber-attacks and hacking attempts and this just highlights the importance of security in today’s modern IT driven world, whether that be logical or physical security.

The high standards of physical security along with the system’s implementation standard delivered by an organisation like NaviSite, show the importance of the data centre and allow our customers to have peace of mind, knowing that their IT is being managed from a safe and secure location.

What do you think is the most important trend in cloud computing and the data centre industry, and why?

The cloud provisioned through a company such as NaviSite enables organisations to focus on their key business goals of delivering goods or services direct to their customers rather than worrying about owning and managing IT infrastructure, or supporting this via different vendors. This frees up internal IT resources to drive competitive advantage and innovation for the business and will continue to drive the move to the cloud for applications where the cloud is a good fit.

Vikram, AKA Morpheus

data centre

What is your name, title and chosen matrix character?

Vikram Somani, Sales Director, Morpheus.

What are your primary responsibilities?

To develop and implement a new business sales strategy across the range of NaviSite’s services and to add value to existing accounts and partners to help add value to their business through the use of NaviSite’s solutions.

Why are data centres important to modern businesses and consumers?

On average, most data centres in use today (On premise and customer owned equipment) are roughly eight to ten years old with an average power density of 5 to 7 kilowatts (kW) per rack enclosure. These older data centres are usually ill equipped to fully handle trends like those just discussed for the following reasons:

  • Aging equipment
  • Low efficiency power and cooling equipment
  • Insufficient cooling capacity or ineffective cooling
  • Crisis response and disaster recovery (DR)
  • Speed to deploy
  • Security from Data Protection
  • Inappropriate sizing
  • Lack of flexibility and scalability. The integration of newer

What do you think is the most important trend in cloud computing and the datacentre industry, and why?

The most important IT trends of the next half decade are – Mobile, social, cloud, consumerization, and big data. Here’s a high level exploration including some of the latest industry data, and what the major opportunities and challenges are.

Paul, AKA Cypher

data centre

What is your name, title and chosen matrix character?

Paul Slocombe, Data Centre Manager, Cypher.

What are your primary responsibilities?

I am responsible for the management of NaviSite’s 3 European data centres. My team provides 24×7 support to our customers and are responsible for all build out functions within the Data Centre. We deliver planning and implementation services for customer migrations, “smart hands” services, deploy customer equipment and racks and manage the DC facilities.

Take our cloud quiz here!