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Sky's The Limit For IT Infrastructure

Sky's The Limit For IT Infrastructure

17th May, 2012

Belfast Selected as UK Test-Bed for New Cloud Computing Network.

Belfast’s Titanic Quarter has been selected as one of only two sites in the UK as a test-bed for a new cloud computing system.    Delivered by Data City Exchange (DCE), the technology is a precursor to the development of an £80m next-generation data centre, also in Titanic Quarter.

Cloud computing is a relatively new IT infrastructure which allows software applications to run more quickly and gives businesses the capacity to cope more effectively with rapid surges in customer demand.  It is particularly beneficial for industries such as financial services, software development and digital media which rely upon managing large volumes of data.

The ‘Cloudvault’ technology being offered by DCE in Titanic Quarter will create a local cloud computing hub that will provide companies with access to cloud-based business software and applications, without the usual high set up costs associated with setting up business IT infrastructure.  It is the first hosting and infrastructure platform linking Northern Ireland, GB and the US which will allow customers to test virtual hardware and software.

Welcoming the news, DETI Minister, Arlene Foster, said:

"This is another coup for Northern Ireland and strengthens our growing reputation as a leader in delivering the most up-to-date IT services. 

“The new Titanic Quarter site will be another key centre to provide cloud services to small and medium business enterprises across Europe. Data centre provision such as this is a strategically important component of the local infrastructure that encourages and supports foreign direct investment." 


Sinclair Stockman, Executive Chairman of Digital Northern Ireland 20:20, added: 

“Cloud Services, Financial Services and Digital Media will be key drivers of value on the digital platform over the coming decade. The DCE Titanic Quarter site with its first class connectivity infrastructure and ultrafast direct connectivity to the USA via Project Kelvin is a key location, and in conjunction with other DCE flagship sites will form a best-in-class digital connectivity and cloud platform.” 

Cloudvault, which goes live in September, will create a secure cloud infrastructure between Northern Ireland, GB and the US, allowing companies to access a ready-made, secure connectivity and hosting platform. Businesses and public sector bodies will be given the opportunity to test storage and software applications ahead of the opening of DCE’s Titanic Quarter data centre. 

John Eland, DCE’s MD, commented: 

"DCE’s Cloudvault platform will be a test centre for our flagship data centre locations in Titanic Quarter and Birmingham, allowing customers to trial a location before any switchover. 

“Cloudvault provides an on-demand test drive platform for SMEs, major corporate customers and public sector bodies to give them the opportunity to test and evaluate business benefits of the service without having to make any investment in hardware, software or physical IT infrastructure.”

Cloudvault will feature hardware and software solutions from Pivot3 and VMware, including its virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) stack and the VMware View platform. It is also expected to feature enterprise solutions from Oracle and SAP among others.

The system also includes DCE’s innovative on-demand services, including bandwidth, infrastructure and sector specific services, such as storage-on-demand for the multi-media and film production sectors. 

Data City Exchange has also confirmed that it plans to roll-out Cloudvault to other sites across the UK and Europe over the next 12 months, with locations expected to include Frankfurt and Zagreb.  This will provide Northern Ireland with additional connectivity routes as part of the wider DCE Network.