24 Jun 2020

Hyperscale 'built-to-suit' data centre space with no gherkins!

One of the many things I've missed during our lockdown period is a Five Guys cheeseburger! We've all become used to being able to tailor suits, cars, holidays, phones, applications etc to our specific requirements, but not plain-old burgers until the Five Guys chain opened-up on our streets.

So imagine yourself for a minute walking into a Five Guys, ordering a cheeseburger, perfectly cooked to your taste by a skilled kitchen crew, going light on the gherkins (obviously - why do we need those in burgers!?!), but large on the bacon, adding this and that and a bit more of this, and then having your bespoke purchase cooked to order, and delivered swiftly to your table rather than waiting in the queue.

Now, to my regret this is a blog about data centres and not cheeseburgers, but the reason I started with that is that in many senses my Five Guys experience is a metaphor for Kao Data's 'Built-to-Suit' concept which we launched earlier this month.

For a wholesale colocation data centre company to offer a genuine built-to-suit service is not a unique idea. However, following the best principles of innovation, Kao Data has taken a good idea and made it better. With an already operational OCP-Ready™ campus on the perimeter of London that can offer 30MW of additional capacity – we have extended the immediate range of opportunities available to hyperscale organisations.

Today, there is no other site in the UK that can provide that level of power availability and that could break ground now with the consents and permits in hand. Nor is there another that through private ownership and financial backing from one of the UK’s largest investors could offer flexible, low cost financial terms for its customers to meet high demand and strict timescales.

For a hyperscale or cloud service operator, the Kao Data ‘Built-to-Suit’ service is truly unique. We estimate that it can reduce design and build timescales from an average three-years to less than 18-months.

Not only do we own and operate the first data centre in the UK to become OCP-Ready™, but we have an optimised supply chain and a continuing professional relationship with the construction development team that partnered in the building of Kao Data London One. Together we provide years of expertise in the complex challenges surrounding data centre construction directly to our customers.

Cloud service providers and hyperscale businesses are not immune to over-reaching in their desire to acquire sites for new build data centres. There are notable examples where they have been met with adversity during the construction process, as planning regulations or heightened interests from local communities have quickly halted their ambitions.

Due to fast-growing dependency on digital infrastructure, there are increasing numbers of players that view the UK as a prime market in which to develop their interests and are looking outside of Slough and West London to develop new availability zones.

The UK market is still a major focus for hyperscale development, and our geographical position within the heart of the UK’s Innovation Corridor resides among a heady mix of biopharmaceutical, AI start-ups and HPC-enabled education establishments.

This location in the East London availability zone is fast attracting multi-MW interest from international organisations who require high specification facilities with space to scale, access to abundant renewable energy and an ultra-low latency connectivity gateway into Europe.

Our ‘Built-to-Suit’ service directly addressing the needs of the UK hyperscale and cloud service provider community. We have the capability to fund, design, build and operate Open Compute Project (OCP-Ready™) data centres, for organisations reliant on scalable, resilient, and flexible digital infrastructure.

If you're looking for customisable, technically excellent data centre space delivered by an experienced team - I am pleased to return to our metaphor and say Kao Data is the data centre equivalent of those fantastic, bespoke Five Guys cheeseburgers. And, with none of those pesky gherkins...

Gerard Thibault

Gerard Thibault is Chief Technical Officer (CTO) at Kao Data and over his 40-year career has built over 150MW of data centre space across 24 sites globally.


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