The new Data Centre build is making steady progress. We now have most of a roof, a concrete floor and even some walls. It’s fantastic to see it taking shape after many many months of planning and negotiating, both justifying the case for a new facility to support research and investigating the underlying technologies to make it a viable and sustainable proposition.
Our Estates Project Manager is ably marshalling the team of engineers and other specialists who will make this a reality. Although it’s small in size, this is a technically demanding building with some very precise specifications to protect it, keep it airtight and ensure it can perform super-reliably to support critical and high-powered computing services.
The plan is to move the BEAR into its new cave as soon as the data centre is ready. The particular driver for this is the planned, weekend shutdown of the Elms Road Data Centre for essential electrical maintenance in April. If we haven’t migrated by that date, all BEAR compute services will have to be shutdown down for the duration of this electrical work. We know our plan is ambitious in terms of the timescales and fundamentally relies on the construction project completing on time. More than a day late and our move is in jeopardy.
At the moment the Research Computing Team is continuing to plan and push to move on this optimistic schedule. However, the build project has already used up some of its contingency time. This week’s snow has cost us a few days as has an inconvenient gas main and a misidentified tree. By the end of January, we will be more confident of timings and able to confirm we are still working to the original plan (with moves taking place immediately after Easter) or let you know about the new plan. Watch this space!