University celebrates partnership agreement for new offsite Data Centre service

[19 July 2016]

Dr Darrell Sturley, CIO, University of BristolOn 14th July, the University of Bristol hosted a celebration to mark the University joining the shared data centre for research and education, offered by UK higher, further education and skills’ digital services and solutions organisation, Jisc and operated by VIRTUS Data Centres (VIRTUS), the UK’s fastest growing data centre provider. The shared facility at VIRTUS’ LONDON4.

(Image: Dr Darrell Sturley, CIO at the University of Bristol, welcoming guests)

The event at Royal Fort house was attended by the Registrar, Robin Geller and the Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Professor Nishan Canagarajah. Colleagues across Professional Services and Academic Faculties were present to mark the occasion.

This agreement enables the University of Bristol to take advantage of the state-of-the-art, agile and flexible data centre ecosystem. It opens doors for increased collaboration for research projects and allows the 17 organisations in the partnership to work with each other to unlock innovations.

Other benefits include reducing our carbon footprint and improved efficiency across core IT and on-premise data centre facilities that will also be used for teaching and other operational requirements.

The University will use the data centre to host systems for business, teaching and research, including the next generation of BlueCrystal, the sector-leading High Performance Computing facility. This is part of a ten year strategy which will see the University shift the balance of their systems from on-site to third-party hosting.


(Image: Standing - Dr Darrell Sturley, CIO, University of Bristol /  Robin Geller, Registrar, University of Bristol /  Kelly Scott, Account Director - Education at VIRTUS Data Centres. Sitting - Guy Sudron, Data centre manager, Jisc /  Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor Nishan Canagarajah /  Darren Watkins, Managing Director, VIRTUS Data Centres.  Image by Bhagesh Sachania Photography.)

The Data Centre site, LONDON4, is directly connected to the core of Jisc’s Janet network, the high capacity network for education and research. It means researchers can make use of fast, resilient and secure connectivity between data storage and high performance computing facilities, both nationally and globally.

Nick Skelton, Assistant Director of IT Services, University of Bristol, says: “We are delighted to be joining the shared data centre in partnership with VIRTUS and Jisc. This initiative delivers the capacity and flexibility we require and enhances our ability to engage with new opportunities. Working with experienced and trusted partners gives us the confidence that our critical systems are in safe hands. The quality of VIRTUS’ facility goes beyond anything we could have achieved independently.”

Image by Bhagesh Sachania Photography.