The power of 10
21-05-2012 - John Hatcher
4D Data Centres is a UK co-location and connectivity business located in Surrey (Sirius 2 is its Tier 3 data centre) within easy reach of London and Heathrow. As well as quarter, half and full rack space provision, 4D offers a range of hosting services including server colocation, dedicated servers and managed services from its purpose-built secure data centre.
An exponential growth in demand for space in 4D’s Surrey data centre, Sirius 2, brought with it customers looking for wider services. As customers looked for both co-location and connectivity to hubs in London and Surrey, 4D’s existing infrastructure began to feel the strain.
With traffic volumes growing exponentially, the 1Gb/s core managed Ethernet service was no longer going to meet immediate and future demand. Adding capacity and increasing bandwidth was proving costly and entailed long lead times: “Customer requirements drive our business and as our data centre business expanded into the services and connectivity area, our network at the time whilst fit-for purpose initially, was not going to allow us to bring on the customers and services we were considering” said Jack Bedell-Pearce, commercial and operations director, 4D.
As the contract renewal for the existing managed solution neared, 4D began the search for a network operator which could meet its now evolved criteria: scalable capacity requirements, network reach to Surrey and central London data centre sites as well as the control and flexibility the business was seeking.
Having already decided that a fibre based network could provide the capacity required for customer demand and business growth, 4D began looking at a variety of network solutions.
Geo was expanding its network footprint in the Surrey area for another customer and approached 4D to consider its network needs. As the Sirius 2 site was off-net, Geo’s network planning team looked at a variety of options which would best meet 4D’s scope. A series of modelling and planning exercises resulted in Geo’s investment in an existing resilient network ring in and around the Surrey location. The new route would connect to Geo’s existing 3000km UK wide footprint. This innovative approach to a best-fit solution impressed 4D and Geo was engaged for the new route.
However, beyond network reach, the solution needed to provide the scalability and control 4D sought. With a small but expanding technical team, combined with stringent service levels (99.999% uptime service level agreement on network), Geo was awarded the challenging task of ensuring the network service model fitted 4D’s technical needs and also demonstrating the highest quality network performance.
David Barker, technical director, 4D said: “I wanted to ensure that we had a network solution as flexible as our own services – no one-size-fits-all approach. The team at Geo worked closely together with us to look at equipment options, technical support and future capacity planning.” The network now provides multi 10 Gig connectivity to Sirius 2 in Surrey with access to large scale transit in London facilities. 4D is able to increase capacity when future requirements dictate without costly upgrade charges and, with the route connected to Geo’s 3000km network, further expansion is very much viable.
David Barker, added: “I’ve been impressed with Geo’s professional approach and I’m not certain another provider could have offered the blended solution of dark fibre, managed and detailed consultancy we received. As an agile business in a fast-changing sector, Geo’s fibre network and services mean that we have a network that is as flexible and as scalable as we expect our business to be.”