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6500m of cables, 430 machines and 3000 nuts and bolts

05 Oct 2015

Over the summer break, we moved the Kilburn Building Data Centre to a new, secure, reliable and efficient offsite location.

The now empty Kilburn Building data centre

430 machines containing hundreds of services were moved on schedule with minimal disruption. Network connections for over 40 University buildings were also relocated.

The Kilburn Building hosted many of our IT services, including networking, file storage, Research IT services, web sites, email and others. It was designed for 1970s computing needs and was no longer suitable.

Over 8 weekends between 29 May and 2 August, many of our staff worked with third party suppliers to ensure the equipment was disconnected, transported, and installed correctly into our new offsite data centre.

We completed significant preparatory work in advance, with extensive communications to keep University staff and students informed of any planned outages. There were no unexpected outages on live services and the fact that there were few enquiries to the IT Support Centre reflects how well we implemented these mitigations and communications.

The photograph on the right shows the now-empty Kilburn Building data centre.

Facts and figures

  • 430 devices were moved
  • A grand total of 6,500m of new cabling has been used
  • 4,500 fibre optic and copper data connections have been newly installed
  • There are 4,000 new patch cables and power cables
  • 3,000 nuts and bolts have been used to fix the equipment and infrastructure.

The history of the data centre

A former colleague from the University of Manchester Regional Computing Centre (UMRCC) has uploaded videos to Youtube, depicting work in the data centre several decades ago:

IT Services