Govt in data centre move

Flashback to the launch of new data centre by Manx Telecom at Greenhill Data Centre IOM Business Park Braddan. 'Allan Bell and Manx Telecom CEO Mike Dee at launch of the data centre

Flashback to the launch of new data centre by Manx Telecom at Greenhill Data Centre IOM Business Park Braddan. 'Allan Bell and Manx Telecom CEO Mike Dee at launch of the data centre

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The Isle of Man Government has completed the migration of its internal datacentre from Government Offices in central Douglas to Manx Telecom’s new Greenhill Datacentre.

The move saw some 25 racks of IT equipment that housed many of Government’s critical systems relocated without any major disruption and follows a significant amount of planning.

Government spokesmen say the benefits from the move are two-fold.

Firstly, as part of a broader relocation of assets in conjunction with Treasury’s Strategic Asset Management Unit and the Department of Infrastructure, it will release valuable office space in the centre of Douglas which in turn will realise savings from reducing the amount of office accommodation that Government rents.

Secondly and ‘equally important’ is the need to have critical systems hosted in a secure high availability environment.

The migration is said by the government to be part of a continued journey to improve the underlying resilience in Government’s increasing information systems estate.

The contract was awarded to Manx Telecom following an open procurement exercise undertaken in 2014.

Director of government technology services, Mark Lewin said: ‘One of the two critical datacentres had been externally hosted for many years and although our internal datacentre had operated well, it was approaching the end of its current economic life.

‘The cost of providing this type of specialised environment is significant and we have an excellent selection of dedicated datacentres on the Island.

‘Consequently it made perfect sense in keeping with looking at alternative means of service delivery to consider sourcing this function from the private sector.

‘We developed out the business case and could see that as well as improving the hosting environment and avoiding capital costs for a refresh of the internal datacentre, it made financial sense on an ongoing basis by allowing us to release the space it occupied for staff accommodation and move staff in from rented accommodation elsewhere.’

Mr Lewin added: ‘The process started in 2014 and the contract was awarded to Manx Telecom following an open procurement exercise.

‘This migration marks the completion of many months of planning and is a testament to the professionalism and teamwork shown by a great number of staff and a range of suppliers including Manx Telecom, ServiceTech, Island Express, Unisys and EMC.’

The move follows the successful relocation of a third datacentre to Netcetera in December 2014 which was awarded as part of the same procurement exercise.

Meanwhile Manx Telecom confirmed that the Isle of Man Government is the ‘anchor tenant’ for Phase 1 of its Greenhill Data Centre (GDC).

Phase one of the GDC, which is the company’s third data centre, created an additional 100 racks of storage space when it was opened in March 2014 at a cost of £3.5m.

The centre already provides hosting and managed services to a variety of sectors including eGaming, financial services and those requiring access to big data.

A spokesman said: ‘After a competitive tender, the Government signed a five year contract from February 1, 2015, which saw it take 25 racks at the GDC to support a variety of front-line Government services.

‘This agreement became operational in March 2015 after a complex and successful migration from existing Government premises.

‘In addition to the agreement for Phase 1 at the GDC, the Government has re-contracted from September 1, 2015 for the 25 racks it already occupies at the Company’s data centre in Douglas North. This contract will also run for a period of five years.

‘The company is also looking to develop Phase II of the GDC data centre later in 2015, following interest from another prospective anchor tenant.

Mike Dee, chief executive officer of Manx Telecom, said: ‘This agreement with the island’s Government is the highest form of validation for the quality and security that we can provide to customers in both the public and private sectors.

‘Our data centre operations continue to represent an important area of growth for Manx Telecom and we look forward to developing Phase 2 of the Greenhill centre later this year.’

This latest news comes hard on the heels of last week’s first annual results for Manx Telecom since the company went public with a listing on AIM, as reported in the Manx Independent.

As reported, Manx Telecom has shown a ‘good, solid performance’ with reported profit before and after tax for the year at £5.7m from £0.4m a year earlier.

Revenue was £79.3m from £76m, an increase of 4.2 per cent.

And the final dividend for shareholders was 6.6 pence, taking the total to 9.9 pence.

There was a small decline in EBITDA, (earnings before interest,taxes, depreciation and amortization) from £27.5m to £27.1m but the company said this was as a result of the additional costs associated with being a public company.

And the underlying operating profit was reported at £17.6m, down from £18.1m, a decrease of 2.8 per cent

MT chief executive officer Mike Dee said: ‘Looking back at our achievements in 2014 I am pleased to say we had a busy and successful year.

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