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Data centres

Enclosed aisles in a data centre

Oxford University's data centres provide a secure facility for housing vital IT services across the University.

The University Shared Data Centre (USDC) is the University's state of the art, resilient data centre run by IT Services on behalf of the entire University. These facilities are available to departments, faculties and colleges and allow them to physically locate computing equipment in a highly secure and controlled environment.

We manage the data centres for the University. 

Why use a data centre?

In the past, business-critical IT equipment has been housed across the University, often in small spaces which were not originally designed to house servers and equipment. Our dedicated shared data centre is specifically designed for this purpose.

Other benefits of data centres

Reduced risk

The USDC offers state-of-the-art resilience features that would be costly to implement in a small server room. These protect against events such as power failure, network failure, a fire, a cut cable, a water leak or flood, or overheating  caused by a failure in any cooling equipment.

Security

The USDC was designed with security in mind from the outset. It offers many technical measures including biometric, proximity reader entrance system; anti-tailgating security portal and proximity card access to racks. These ensure the USDC can be operated unmanned whilst still allowing 24/7 access for those who have equipment housed there. For additional security, we also have 365 degree CCTV systems, full audit trail at room-level of who entered/exited and when, and a full audit trail at rack level of who opened a rack and for how long.

Energy efficiency

The data centre meets international standards in sustainability and efficiency, reducing your total energy consumption. For example, it operates as a near lights-out facility (using sensor lights) so lights are always off unless people are in the building. Locating equipment in the USDC could see energy savings (and the associated carbon and cost savings) of between 25% and 40% each year compared to locating the equipment in a small server room. Placing services onto the private cloud would reduce emissions further.

Reduced costs

Sharing common infrastructure reduces overheads.

Choosing the best package

The data centres can house any IT equipment which is rack-mounted, such as servers, SAN disk systems, NAS storage arrays and network switches and firewalls. Each can have their own secure space, networking and 24/7 access. While the facility is designed to be “always-on”, under exceptional circumstances this may not be possible. Please see the SLD  for further details.

Packages are put together depending on:

  • how much space you need: we offer different sizes of racks to accommodate varying amounts of equipment.
  • how much power your equipment requires.
  • which network connection: a connection to the campus network or a connection to the datacentre network.

We aim to find the best fit for your college, department or faculty, so please contact us to discuss your requirements.

Contact us

For more information, contact: USDC@it.ox.ac.uk

Our team are:

Data Centre Operations Manager: David Birds

Senior Computer Operator: John Howard

Senior Computer Operator: Colin Bartlett

Operations Supervisor: Annie Martin