Monday, 31 December 2012

DTCC Makes Its Way to Singapore

The Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), arguably one of the world's most important entities for securities trading, announced last week the launching a brand-new data centre in Singapore. The new facility is the latest in the corporation's portfolio, which also includes data centres in the Netherlands and the U.S.

DTCC launched the new data centre with the intention of making it an integral part of the Global Trio infrastructure powering the company's international trade services. In choosing Singapore as the site, they are also helping to advance their expansion into Asian markets. Singapore is an important player for securities trading in Asia.

DTCC President and CEO Michael Bodson said in his official remarks that by placing the new data centre in Asia his company is "working to ensure the regions’ regulators have the ability to gain seamless and timely access to the transaction data relevant to their areas of jurisdiction." This strategy is an important one due to the nature of financial sector regulations from one country to the next.

Bodson went on to say that all of DTCC's data centres provide securities processing, data communications, and reporting to regulatory agencies around the clock, every day of the year. The design of their new data centre is part of the commitment to providing the financial sector with increased transparency and lower risk. The OTC derivatives market demands no less.

It is unclear how many datacentre jobs will be added in order to make the Singapore facility function. The company has not said whether they plan to hire locally or move other workers from Europe and North America to Asia. In either case, the data centre provides much-needed financial transaction processing to Asia. It also provides a vital link between the three most powerful financial markets in the world.


Regulatory Compliance at the Forefront 

When we talk about new data centres, we typically think of things like speed, redundancy, and uptime. Moreover, while these things are certainly part of the scope of operations for DTCC, they have a more pressing challenge by way of regulatory compliance. Derivatives trading is different in every country in terms of how trades are legally carried out and the reporting requirements imposed on traders. It is vital DTCC gets this right regardless of where a specific facility is located.

There is no reason to believe the company will not exceed their regulatory requirements. With their roots dating back to 1973, DTCC has grown to be the world's largest post-trade financial services company serving both commercial and institutional clients. Their reputation is second-to-none.

We would expect the same level of quality they have demonstrated for nearly 40 years to be carried through to their Singapore facility. If they do well there, a next step might possibly be Japan or Hong Kong. In the meantime, the services they offer to their Asian customers via the Singapore data centre should only serve to enhance their reputation in the OTC derivatives market.

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Tieto Enters 2013 with Major Investment

In 2010 European IT services company Tieto constructed a 19,680-ft.² data centre in Espoo, Finland. Now, the latest datacentre news coming out of the company comes by way of announcement that they plan to double the capacity of that facility in 2013. The expansion is in response to increased demand and the installation of the company's new cloud server.

Tieto will invest the equivalent of USD $13.7 million (€10.38 million) in the project which, when completed, will not only increase the capacity but also allow them to close up their outdated facilities. It is an important milestone for the company as they move forward into 2013.

Company vice president Mikko Pulkkinen said in his official comments that Tieto is concentrating on both increasing space and swapping out inefficient technology with high capacity, energy efficient equipment. Their strategy is necessary in order for them to keep up in an industry that is focusing more and more on sustainable solutions. They plan to design and build their expanded facility according to the latest standards of sustainability.

One example of that technology is a plan to use the heat generated by the facility for home heating. The facility will be connected to the Espoo heating district to supplement that heat already being provided. If all goes as planned then Espoo will be able to reduce significantly its fossil fuel use for home heating.

For the average Tieto customer the expansion means greater access to the company's cloud server and IT services. It should mean more speed, more uptime, and more security and redundancy. Moreover, since Tieto prides itself in customized solutions and meeting the needs of each customer individually, their new facilities are being designed with that in mind.

Great Day for Sustainable IT Services

Tieto's announcement is certainly good for both their business and the data centre market in Finland. Whenever new facilities are added, capacity is increased and customers are better served. However, the idea of supplementing Espoo's heating system is even more impressive.

Heating districts in Europe have been around for generations, providing centralised heat for entire towns and cities. Nevertheless, finding cost-efficient and environmentally friendly ways of heating these districts has always been a challenge. It seems a perfect marriage considering today's data centre technology produces an awful lot of heat.

If it works out well for Tieto and Espoo, we will undoubtedly see more of it in the future. Moreover, even for those who are not concerned with the use of fossil fuels it is still good to put this heat to use rather than simply venting it into the atmosphere. Making it usable to the heating district means less fossil fuel is burned and everyone's costs are better controlled.

Lastly, the sustainable nature of the new Tieto facility is a feather in its cap for customers looking to get their IT services and cloud computing from an environmentally responsible company. The facility will be a great selling point to bring in new customers and maintain current customer relationships.

Monday, 24 December 2012

ServerSpace Boosts Data Centre Operations

Late last week UK IT services and cloud provider ServerSpace announced the launching of a brand-new data centre in Enfield. The new data centre is a state-of-the-art, 71,500 square-foot facility purposely located outside of London for better disaster recovery support. At the same time, it is just 10 miles from the city. That means is easily accessible by company staff that might need to travel to and from the facility.

Company officials say the new data centre was built in response to increased demand for their cloud and managed hosting services. Moreover, because so many customers were asking for reliable infrastructure with no connectivity issues, ServerSpace decided a brand-new facility was a better option than trying just to beef up what they already have.

Connectivity is one of the chief complaints among cloud and managed service customers. To handle this Server Space designed and built the Enfield space to provide multi-layered security (both hardware and software), low latency routes for quick access to London, state-of-the-art fire detection and suppression, round-the-clock monitoring, and a guarantee of 100% uptime.

At the heart of the new facility is a design that focuses on customer growth. ServerSpace custom designed and built the facility with an eye on providing customers low-cost cloud environments and managed services that could be easily managed while still growing with them. They believe they have achieved that at Enfield.

The new data centre is the fourth in the ServerSpace portfolio; a group of data centres providing cloud computing and other services to big-name customers like NBC, Jurys Inn Hotel Group, and others. Even small companies have reaped tremendous benefits from signing on with ServerSpace.

For the last six years Server Space has been one of the faster growing IT companies in the UK. Their focus on affordable, high quality, and guaranteed cloud computing has earned them a reputation as a company worth doing business with. The Enfield data centre sets them up for a fair amount of growth heading in the future, although at this rate it will not be long before a fifth facility finds its way into the group.

Customer Demand Always Good News

There are many positives to take away from the ServerSpace news, not the least of which is the fact that having to expand due to customer demand is always a good problem to have. ServerSpace has earned it after years of offering reliable hosting and top-of-the-line customer service.

 On a broader scale, the ServerSpace expansion is good for the entire cloud industry in the UK. Cloud adoption has been slow in many parts of Europe due to concerns over security, connectivity, and uptime. When companies like ServerSpace are able to convince new clients to trust them with their cloud environments, it is saying something about changing attitudes.

Here's hoping the data centre can live up to its 100% uptime guarantee. If so, they will have earned the increased business that will inevitably follow. If not they risk damaging a reputation they worked so hard to achieve.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Virtual Datacentres Get Big Boost

Some of the most exciting cloud computing news in recent memory has just come out by way of a December 17, 2012 announcement from Abiquo, a cloud computing company focused on enterprise-level deployments. The announcement paves the way for big things in the area of data centre virtualisation.

According to Abiquo, they have been chosen by technology innovator Exponential-e to provide the platform that will enable self-service and management of the company’s Virtual Data Centre product. This in turn will make it possible for Exponential-e to offer on-demand cloud computing at the enterprise level. It is a major development for data centre virtualisation.

The Abiquo platform was chosen primarily because it can be used with just about any infrastructure configuration. It also supports all hypervisors in a way that makes virtual data centres possible. Exponential-e's enterprise customers will be able to control their own clouds, handling everything from individual applications to infrastructure requirements.

According to Dominic Anschutz, Head of Cloud Operations at Exponential-e, several cloud platforms were looked at before deciding on Abiquo. They recognise Abiquo as an industry leader and the company best qualified to provide a cloud platform enabling customers to self manage their clouds. The company also plans to integrate their billing system in order to allow it to make it convenient for customers to do everything they need to through a single interface.

Abiquo CEO Jim Darragh says his company's platform is the perfect solution for Exponential-e's virtual data centres. The platform makes it easy to deploy new virtual data centres independent of current infrastructure. At the same time, Darragh says Abiquo is an easy-to-use platform that makes managing complex systems from multiple vendors as seamless and problem free as possible. Their hope is to be at the forefront of a big push for data centre virtualisation, a push that may be on the horizon for 2013.

Virtual Data Centres the Wave of the Future

The most important part of the story is something that was not even mentioned but is still at the backs of the minds of both company CEOs. I am talking about, of course, the future of cloud computing in the UK. Right now most of Europe lags behind the United States in terms of cloud deployment and new infrastructure, due in part to an inherent mistrust of the club.

However, with the addition of virtual data centres and self-managed cloud environments, it might be easier for companies to encourage enterprise level clients to make the transition. By offering a client complete control over their own cloud environment, answers the questions of security issues and redundancy. Those things would be up to the individual customer to take care of as they see fit.

Visualisation technology continues to march on, becoming more and more apparent that it is the wave of the future for data centres. If so, the European cloud could be caught up in the swell. In my opinion, that wouldn’t be a bad thing.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Guest blog by Meesons: "Elvis has entered the building…But was he alone?"

Knowing who has entered your premises is of vital importance, you may think you have this covered with your traditional fob or card access control system, however, this can sometimes only provide part of your company’s entrance security. 

Cards can be lost or stolen, even biometric systems cannot prevent the passage of unauthorised personnel, either forced or accidental behind an authorised user; a practice otherwise known as tailgating.

When security matters you need to know exactly who is in your building and that they are authorised to be there. Jeremy Terry from anti tailgating specialists Meesons explains “Tailgating puts at risk not only company assets but employees too. This can take many forms, from a disgruntled ex-employee to an opportunist seeking to profit by thieving from the premises or worse.”

So how do you prevent tailgating at the point of entry before security is breached?

There are a range of solutions to help stop tailgating in the market from the very secure; such as SMACS – an intelligent solution which enhances your existing security systems with additional sensor based recognition and bio-visual body mass analysis. This ensures that only one person is allowed through an access point.  This system is incredibly flexible and comes in various forms, operating on a single access door and also in an airlock situation.  It can be used for a material only transit, particularly useful in ‘goods in’ departments, as well as allowing the single transit of people or people with luggage whilst still detecting the presence of an unauthorised user.  The system is discreet and can be retrofitted with minimal construction work.

Another solution is the Security Portal or ‘Man Trap’.  This tube shaped portal uses volumetric measurements to detect a tailgating attempt, refusing access to the secure side if such an attempt occurs. It can be paired with your existing access control to ensure only those authorised can enter your secure building.  The security portals supplied by Meesons can be mounted flush to the floor which means minimal damage to the floor of your entrance; other portals on the market require a recess being excavated for the portal to sit in. They are also class four rated providing the highest level of security.

Security portals from Meesons can be customised to meet the interior or exterior aesthetics of any building and additional options ensure your security portal is truly bespoke to your needs. 

Lower cost options are turnstiles, which can be integrated with your existing access control system. They range from the basic 3 bar tripod style to the slick look of the EASYGATES or Speed Lanes. Each can be customised to blend into your interior and offer added security.

Security solutions have moved on a long way since the first access control systems were installed and with new technology you now have no excuse for poor access control especially when protecting your customer’s data and your assets is so important. Solutions can be tailored to your requirements and are incredibly flexible so no matter what your situation, there is a solution that meets your needs.

Increased security and access control can also help data centres attract new customers.  The benefit of knowing exactly who is in the building and ensuring restricted areas remain open to only authorised personnel mean you can confidently market your service to potential customers as truly secure. So it pays to invest in a system that truly protects your facilities, not only from a cyber-attack but also from the physical threat of unauthorised access.