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The digital heartbeat of Here East

Posted by on October 28, 2015

The history of data centres has been, until relatively recently, inextricably linked to the requirements of large and medium sized organisations in both the private and public sector. Whether operated in-house or outsourced, the data centre was very much part of the internal workings of the organisation in question. There was very little external profile. 

This view of the “data centre” persists but it’s a perception that fails to take note of the real revolution that has taken place over the last two decades. Today, data provides the digital heartbeat that drives our economy and much of our social interactions. 

Perhaps the most obvious manifestation of the data revolution is the ubiquity of the smartphone, the pocket computer that allows all of us to access an almost infinite well of data-driven services. From instant weather forecasts and social media through to booking a taxi or browsing the web, our lives have to revolve around digitised information, to the extent that we hardly think about it.  

But that’s really the tip of the iceberg. Away from the public gaze, data networks are playing a key role in managing our gas, electricity and water supplies. In the not too distant future, most new cars will be wired up to the so-called ‘internet of things’, feeding information to drivers on anything from the condition of the engine to forward traffic conditions. Indeed, when the first commercially available driverless cars become available on our streets, their progress on the road will be managed via data networks.  

No longer top down

But perhaps the greatest sea change that has taken place in recent years has been a democratisation of data. Or to put it other way, from California to London’s Tech City and on to India and China, thousands of small, start-up companies are coming up with innovative ways to use data and deliver new or improved services. To take an example, if you have the right phone app, you no longer have to queue for food and drink at a bar. You simply order and pay via your phone.  

Much of the new app economy is collaborative, with various partner companies delivering the service. That restaurant app will certainly use a payment solution provided by a third party while also connecting to the EPOS systems of bars and restaurants.

In other words, this is an era of innovation and collaboration and what is required is a re-imagining of the data centre concept.

A new kind of data centre

Data centres are absolutely essential in the information age. Terms like “the cloud” may suggest that information services are somehow delivered out of thin air, but the hard reality is that behind the apps and networks is an infrastructure of secure sites stacked with servers. 

But modern data centres need to adapt to today’s requirements. They need to be available on flexible contracts that enable businesses to experiment, scale up fast or indeed fail quickly without facing steep financial penalties. Equally they need to facilitate collaboration between companies while also enabling businesses to get data out into communities via apps and websites.  

This approach is already apparent within Infinity’s data centres and is set to gain momentum with the mid-2016 opening of Infinity Here East, situated in London’s Olympic Park. 

Based in the former London 2012 media centre, Here East provides workspace and incubator programmes for small and start-up companies, while also offering a state-of-the art environment for established digital companies and university researchers. The centre itself is designed to foster communication and collaboration and the data centre is an important part of the mix. Not only does it serve established companies and academics, it also allows the start-ups to get their digital projects up and running and into the marketplace, individually or in tandem with others.    

Infinity is committed to serving the rapidly developing digital economy with a much more flexible approach to data centre provision. It’s the way of the future.


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