Rackspace cuts ribbon on UK data centre with 50,000 servers

The 150,000 square foot facility is built using designs supplied by Facebook's Open Compute Project

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Cloud hosting firm Rackspace has opened its new UK data centre to meet growing demand for cloud services.

Rackspace claims that Crawley-based facility is one of the ‘greenest’ in the UK, with a power usage effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.15 – lower than the industry average of 1.7.

The launch its part of its collaboration deal with partner Digital Realty, allowing it to expand its business by leasing data centre space.

The 130,000 square foot data centre keeps its energy requirements low using technologies such as ‘indirect outside air’ cooling, which cuts overhead energy needed to run the facility by 80 percent, Rackspace said.

It was built using Open Compute Project designs – an initiative launched by Facebook to share its energy efficient and highly scalable data centre blueprints. This means less waste from the 50,000 physical servers housed at the 15 acre site in West Sussex.

Constructed in 15 months, the data centre provides 6MW capacity across two ‘data suites’. Rackspace said this will grow to 12MW, with room for further expansion up to 30MW.

 “This is our tenth global data centre and this expansion will enable us to grow with our customers for many years to come,” said Rackspace COO Mark Roenigk. 

“We are proud of the energy efficiency achieved with the innovative design that will become the starting point for boosting the adoption of more efficient technologies in the UK and Europe.”  

Rackspace's UK customers include an ecommerce hosting arrangement with wine merchant Oddbins, as well as contracts with pizza delivery firm Domino's, cinema chain Vue, and Transport for London.