Ministry of Defence Enhances Energy Efficiency with Ark Data Centres

Ark Data Centres, which designs, constructs and operates the UK’s most efficient data centres, today announced that it is implementing a new state-of-the-art data centre solution for the Ministry of Defence (MOD) at Corsham in Wiltshire. This major consolidation and centralisation project may generate significant savings to the public purse in energy costs over the next 10 years.  The new data centre will support the delivery of MOD IT services.

The MOD is closing the existing host site in Bath as part of the Department’s on-going programme of cost saving and efficiency. This prime real estate has already been sold and has generated savings for the MOD which can now be focused on delivering support to the Armed Forces.

The relocation of the data centre will allow the Bath site to be released to developers. Ark’s ability to deliver the solution, rapidly taking into account all the MOD requirements has helped to de-risk the full release of the site by the MOD to developers and to realise its savings.

Within two months, Ark was able to demonstrate a clear business case for the move including significant energy savings and tailored to the MOD’s security requirements. This means that the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the new data centre in Corsham will be significantly lower when compared to the old site.

“We surveyed the existing MOD data centre and designed an Ark environment that is far smaller, more flexible and accommodates all of the department’s needs, future-proofed with room to grow,” said Steve Webb, CIO at Ark Data Centres. “This includes a link to the MOD’s Information Systems and Services (ISS) headquarters building at Corsham – which happens to be next door to our site – so that ISS can conveniently work with the new data centre. This is a great example of how the MOD can benefit from secure sharing in a very high efficiency environment. The location of Ark’s Spring Park so close to the MOD’s existing location at Corsham was really important.”

Due to the sensitive nature of MOD’s operations, Ark is delivering data centre services that meet HM Government’s data classification parameters and is in line with the Cabinet Office strategy of increasing sharing across the public sector.

Given its experience with other MOD clients and the existing communications links already on site, Ark’s winning G-Cloud formula includes a fixed PUE (power efficiency rating) that will save 14,000 tonnes of carbon over 10 years.

Uniquely designed from the ground up, Ark’s data centres feature concurrently maintained mechanical and electrical plants alongside sensitive control of cooling and power. Ark’s operational procedures have been developed and tested to take account of any exceptional circumstances and, designed and accredited to ISO 22301 standards.  Ark’s business continuity management system is designed to reduce the likelihood of, and fast recovery from, any disruptive incident leveraging the low latency diverse dark fibre connectivity between sites. Sitting in its own secure compound, each MOD data centre location is shielded by physical protection in line with the MOD’s departmental regulations. These are complemented by Ark’s advanced technology and a risk management system, designed to the ISO 27001 information security management standard. Ark also delivers security per building rather than per site.

Ark will have prepared the facility within just two months of formal contract award, and saved the MOD from having to build a new facility that could have cost millions of pounds and taken at least a year to complete.

Having this MOD data centre on site with Ark adds valuable credibility to the Company’s central government credentials.

Ark Data Centres would like to clarify that its deal with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) is a standard two year G-Cloud contract which will see the MoD moving into an existing Ark Data Centre. The reference to ‘10 years’ does not in any way relate to the length of time of the contract, but to the carbon savings that can be expected over a 10-year period as a result of transitioning to this type of state-of-the-art data centre solution.