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December 10, 2015

Jisc plans second data centre in Northern England

News: Universities of Liverpool, Leeds and Sheffield expect site to be operational by summer 2016.

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Higher education institutions and other research bodies in the Northern parts of the UK are to get a shared data centre as part of the nation’s Janet education and research network.

With currently one data centre live in Slough, Jisc Technologies, provider of Janet, connects UK universities, FE colleges, research councils, specialist colleges and adult and community learning providers through the internet.

Jisc has now bided for a second site to be deployed in the Northern region of the UK.

In a statement, Jisc said the creation of the second shared data centre (SDC) satisfies the need for diversity in supply and a desire for a SDC that is closer, for operational purposes, to anchor tenant institutions based in the north of England.

According to a tender published by the firm, potential suppliers have until December 21 to bid for a contract to supply the site.

The company expects the facility to be available by June 30, 2016, and the first contract will run through to June 29, 2021.

Anchor tenants already lined up for the data centre include the University of Liverpool, the University of Leeds, the N8 Research Partnership, the University of Sheffield, and Sheffield Hallam University.

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The first SDC sitting in Slough has 130 racks and 1.5 Mw of power usage. Occupiers include the City of Liverpool College, University College London (UCL), Kings College London, The Sanger Institute, The Francis Crick Institute, Imperial College London, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

DDoS attack disrupting Janet network

The news of a second SDC in the North of the UK has coincided with a sustained set of attacks on the Janet network.

According to Jisc, these were distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks that have resulted in reduced connectivity and disruption for all Janet customers.

Tim Kidd, executive director, Jisc technologies, said: "We are doing everything in our power to ensure normal service in resumed as soon as possible, and in the meantime to minimise any disruption that users of the Janet network may be experiencing.

"We apologise for any inconvenience caused."

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