The major project works required to ensure that the University's critical IT systems are hosted in reliable, inter-connected data centres, in Oxford and Slough, have been successfully completed. The project has delivered a new data centre in Slough, part of the Jisc-Virtus facility (the JDC) and rationalised data centre facilities in Oxford. A new, private, high speed data centre network (Oxide) now connects Oxford and Slough.
Aligned with the University's IT Strategic plan the project delivers improvements in reliability and business continuity, reduced energy consumption/carbon emissions and the return of surplus building space.
Involving teams throughout IT Services working together, with the support of colleagues across the wider University, this was one of the most technically complex projects ever undertaken. It also marked the end of an era for the Banbury Road facility that had been in service for over 40 years.
During detailed planning and analysis, it became clear that the storage platform underpinning the VIPR virtual infrastructure and the on-premise SharePoint service would not work effectively across the longer distance between Oxford and Slough. Therefore, a lightly refurbished Beach data centre remains in service until SharePoint has been migrated to SharePoint Online and VIPR decommissioned in favour of a consolidated virtual infrastructure platform (anticipated to be by September 2020). The Begbroke data centre also remains a key part of the University's data centre strategy, providing ongoing support for higher density compute clusters and also hosting the quorum witness servers on which our high availability storage and data centre networking depends.
For more information about the project please visit the data centres project website, or email the data centres project team.