Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust has appointed Keysource, the expert in business critical environments, to review its data centre infrastructure. This will involve benchmarking the data centres at each hospital to ensure the significant investment the Trust has made in its IT infrastructure is protected.
Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust provides healthcare to 258,000 people across Southport, Formby and West Lancashire and the ongoing security and resilience of its data is a key consideration. Under the terms of the deal Keysource will also provide a clear strategy that will meet the Trust’s future data requirements, reduce running costs and minimise the risk of potential downtime. A further report will look at options to enhance the resilience and availability of the site.
The Keysource team will assess the critical power, distribution to the racks as well as cooling, monitoring and general layout of the data centres. The review will be conducted while the infrastructure is live so that critical services provided by the hospitals are not interrupted in any way.
Matt Connor, Head of IT at Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS Trust, said,
“We were looking for a partner who could help us to deliver industry best practice standards throughout our data centre estate and Keysource had the best credentials. We were both impressed and reassured by their approach from the outset and look forward to working closely with the team.”
Mike West, Managing Director at Keysource, added,
“This contract is the latest addition to our healthcare portfolio and further builds on our extensive expertise in the sector. We understand the challenges faced by public sector organisations in terms of resilience and cost and are ideally placed to help them meet their objectives.”
Keysource, the leading provider of highly secure data centre and mission critical environment solutions, will be attending the Home Office’s Security & Policing event in Farnborough from the 8th to 10th March 2016.
Located on stand C47, the company will be showcasing its pedigree in business critical environments by detailing its latest projects with the Metropolitan Police Service, The National Archives and local government organisations, as well as leading enterprises.
With more than 30 years of experience supporting critical environments across the public sector, Keysource understands the importance of highly secure, resilient and efficient solutions.
Backing up its experience with industry best practice and accreditations, Keysource ensures it delivers against the latest cutting edge technologies. The company is a DCA Approved Auditor and an Accredited Tier Specialist for the Uptime Institute.
With a portfolio of services ranging from strategic IT consultancy through to critical power, cooling, infrastructure design and project delivery, as well as ongoing environmental management and monitoring, Keysource is a trusted partner for organisations across the UK and Europe.
With experience delivering services within the new Service Integration and Management (SIAM) Tower framework, Keysource provides its customers with the required expertise, support and resources. Whether the company works in collaboration with other towers, or acts as a single point of contact, Keysource will ensure any project is completed efficiently and effectively.
The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has awarded the management of two of its critical data centres to Keysource, the critical environment specialists, as part of the wider strategic implementation of the force’s technology transformation programme.
The MPS has identified an efficient IT infrastructure as a key enabler in its One Met transformation programme to deliver its ‘20:20:20’ strategic priority – to decrease key crimes by 20%, increase public confidence by 20% and decrease costs by 20%.
The highly secure, available and scalable data centres house critical MPS’ IT systems supporting services such as emergency service communications which handle an average of 6,000 triple 9 and 15,000 non-emergency calls every day, automatic number plate recognition which captures over 38 million plates daily and the recently introduced body worn video.
The contract award is designed to support a number of MPS’ key objectives including: modernising its IT whilst reducing costs; improving efficiency; maintaining resilience, and delivering energy savings. A key aspect of the service is collaboration within the multi-supplier ecosystem, to deliver end-to-end services to the MPS. This includes the transformation of existing services as well as the ongoing delivery of new services.
As the Data Centre Management Service (DCMS) provider Keysource is managing assets, capacity, efficiency, certification and compliance, as well as taking responsibility for delivery management and physical security management including access to site, data hall and racks. Operational services including M&E testing and maintenance scheduling, IT smart hands service, data cabling and IT decommissioning and commissioning services are also part of the remit.
Chris Naylor, Director of Digital Policing at MPS, said:
We are delighted to have Keysource as a specialist provider in Data Centre managed services and look forward to working with them as part of our multi supplier delivery model to deliver real benefits to the organization and to the public.
Mike West, Managing Director at Keysource, said:
Keysource are delighted to partner with an organisation recognised for their proud history and who are a symbol of excellence around the world. Being selected to support technology requirements which will enable the MPS to improve services and meet the needs of a changing London is a testament to the expertise of our team.
Jon Healy, DCMS Solution Architect, said;
It was important for the team to gain an intimate understanding of the service requirements, tower operating model and how this underpins the strategic objective of the programme. This enabled us to design a service which was completely aligned with the MPS requirements, built on industry standards and practices, with the agility to support the MPS’s evolving critical environment estate.
Find out more about our experience delivering against the Service Integration and Management (SIAM) tower framework or contact us to see how we can help you on +44 (0) 345 204 3333.
This was first published in the November edition of Data Centre Solutions Europe, but if you missed it catch up below.
The data centre sector continues to grow at a phenomenal rate, however a lack of consistent industry-wide standards is creating confusion for anyone trying to assess or compare the overall quality of individual facilities. Keysource, the critical environment specialists, calls for greater clarification.
There are currently several organisations working on behalf of the data centre sector that offer their own industry standards, each of which have made valuable in-roads towards promoting best practice. The Uptime Institute has certified around 170 data centres under its tiered system, while The Green Grid has witnessed a widespread adoption of its PUE scoring. The European Commission set up the EU Code of Conduct to encourage best practice, whereas The Data Centre Alliance (DCA) offers data centre owners and operators the opportunity to gain certification of their facility using an independent audit process. In addition, there are a number of other classifications and standards such as BSEN 50600 (which the DCA aligns with), TIA942 and the BICSI002-2014.
Whilst the work delivered by these organisations has had a positive effect, the industry has ultimately suffered due to a lack of transparent industry-wide standards that can be adopted by all stakeholders to assess the overall quality of any given facility. As a result, the industry is rife with conflicting views and this confusion looks set to continue.
For example, data centre developers do not have a common set of standards to ask designers, builders and operators to adhere to. In addition, operators cannot lay claim to meeting a concrete set of industry standards when advertising their facilities. This means that those purchasing services naturally find it difficult to distinguish between data centres that are designed, built and critically; operated, to a high standard and those that are not. At present, an organisation may choose to pay a professional to independently audit a facility, however any results are derived from only one particular consultant at one specific time. This is compounded by the service level requirements associated with managed or cloud service provision where customers are not simply buying data centre space.
In the current landscape, it is difficult for organisations to determine the suitability of a data centre or a service provider, and in many cases they just have to rely on what they are being told, which is obviously not the best approach. The Uptime Institute has made a big impact with its tiered system, however many providers are using it as a marketing ploy, and the Institute is now, understandably, having to clamp down on organisations that are exploiting it.
The Institute has led the way on certification, particularly in the case of resilience. However many customers request Tier III without knowing quite what it means.
In reality, customers will have different availability, density, and performance requirements for different applications. Combined with modular data centre design and multiple tenant and hall fit out, an overall facility could be very different. This therefore highlights the need for a more flexible approach to how we design and certify data centres, especially when the increased Capex needed to achieve greater levels of resilience, such as a certified Tier IV constructed facility, can be significant.
So what is the answer? Just to be clear, this is definitely not about developing new standards but rather helping to create some clarity and common understanding of the performance of data centres for all aspects of the industry.
An independent not for profit organisation, such as the Data Centre Alliance in the UK, is putting in place a framework to develop a consistent approach. Being funded by the industry, it also provides an opportunity for those who operate in this space to share their views and help shape this approach so that it works well in practice.
The approach being pursued by the Data Centre Alliance seems to be working, notwithstanding that at the moment there is much work to do and progress, and adoption, can be slow. A key part of this approach is to ensure governance, scrutiny and transparency are applied not just when an organisation is being audited but that the very audits and technical standards used for certification are robust. By not creating new standards but utilising existing ones, the DCA is not claiming anything new. Instead, it is providing a comprehensive approach to the certification of the data centre as a whole and not just one part.
Another key benefit of the DCA approach is that it has been designed to be affordable. Whilst other certifications are, in some aspects, more detailed or technical, and we would still encourage customers in certain situations to consider these, the DCA certification model means it is accessible not just to a few large IT firms or operators but to end users and in particular the public sector. This will hopefully serve to generate widespread demand and adoption and protect the DCA certification from becoming simply a badge for a select few.
With the continued globalisation of the industry, prompted by the growth of new data centre markets, particularly in South America, Asia and the Middle East, the need for industry-wide standards to help align different regions is more important than ever. A greater level of transparency is required across the sector and it is up the entire industry to work together in a bid to achieve this important goal.
Keysource, the critical engineering specialists, can now provide all aspects of data centre design and delivery through the new North Eastern Universities Purchasing Consortium Ltd (NEUPC) Data Centre Management Framework. This builds on the previous NEUPC framework, where Keysource was able to provide data centre consultancy services.
NEUPC is one of six UK Higher Education purchasing consortia established to deliver and manage a wide range of collaborative framework agreements within the higher education sector. NEUPC’s new Data Centre Management Framework offers a broad scope of equipment, infrastructure and consultancy. The framework was designed by IT and Telecoms procurement experts from Higher Education institutions to speed up the process of data centre procurement for members and provide a supplier benchmark for services. This two-year agreement went live on the 29th September 2015.
Rob Elder, Director at Keysource said,
We have a long pedigree of providing high performance data centre facilities to the education sector. We’re excited that we can now offer our NEUPC framework customers all of our expertise from consultancy right through to delivery and ongoing management through this framework. As a truly independent organisation, Keysource takes pride in providing customers with world class data centre facilities while keeping within the constraints of tight budgets.
Since its appointment five years ago, Keysource has provided consultancy services under the previous NEUPC data centre framework for prestigious customers such as Teesside University and The National Archives.