Volta Data Centres provides colocation services from one tier-III standard data centre in the heart of central London. It offers customers close proximity to their data and the ability to operate a London-based head office without renting expensive real-estate.

Colocation space options at Volta are flexible and businesses can choose from as little as one half rack with 4KW of power all the way up to private cages with upwards of 50kw.

In addition to the colocation services, Volta also provides a range of additional services designed to reduce the need for clients to visit the site to carry out small, basic tasks. These services include remote hands, basic maintenance and fixes, equipment installation and and any other minor tasks on request. Enhancements to the basic service are also available, including secure cages, optional extra CCTV and cabling.

Additional offerings, including managed services, relocation and connectivity, are delivered by partner companies. Volta also wishes to attract more managed service providers to its facility in order to expand those services.

The Volta data centre is carrier neutral and offers access to 20 carriers and ISPs on site via seven separate points of access. It very recently (December 2015) achieved Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) v3.1 certification and in November announced its ground-breaking Platinum SLA – giving any business suffering outages to its racks for even a fraction of a second free services for an entire year.

Location

Volta’s main selling point is location. Its one data centre is situated in a densely packed street in Islington, right in the middle of London. It is relatively close to the Barbican tube station and just a few minutes’ walk from Farringdon train station. Its location was chosen as the ideal spot to serve businesses occupying London’s ‘Silicon Roundabout’ which is home to a vast array of tech start-ups.

Volta’s data centre covers a total floor area of 91,000 Sq. ft. over four floors, with a further two basement floors housing the power infrastructure.  It has four separate IT zones, 2 networking ‘meet-me’ rooms and a goods lift which can handle up to 1.5 tonnes. Power to the data centre is provided via two separate 33kV supplies from separate substations delivering a current maximum incoming feed of 9.6MvA.

Redundancy on power and cooling is N+1 and 2N on diesel generator fuel level. VESDA fire and smoke detection is installed throughout the building as is HI-FOG and IG55 fire suppression. Volta is also certified to ISO 27001 for data security.

Within the data centre Volta provides 24/7 manned assistance and customer support, a building management system and a cabinet monitoring system. Security is tight, with time-stamped cards; CCTV and personal attack alarm buttons.

Energy

Volta is committed to reducing its carbon footprint and in 2013 signed up to the Government’s Climate Change Agreement (CCA). It was also certified to ISO1400 for environmental management. Meeting energy efficiency targets under the CCA will exclude Volta from the Climate Change Levy imposed on power-guzzling data centres and it will achieve this via its advanced row-based cooling system, which uses approximately 42% less power than traditional data centre CRAC systems.

Funding/business model

Volta Data Centres Limited was created in 2012 through a joint venture between US investment firm Apollo Global Real Estate (part of Apollo Global Investments LLC) and UK property company Glebe Asset Management Limited. The data centre was opened in 2013 following a £60 million private equity investment and Volta Data Centres Limited was installed as the operator company.

Customers and partners

Many of Volta’s colocation customers are managed service providers, including Ocean Intelligent Communications, EX Networks, Umbee, Fusion and Server Choice.

Volta also partnered with Level 3 Communications in late 2015 in order to offer to offer fast connectivity to cloud services such as Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon’s AWS.

Ideally located and well-equipped inner-city colocation

Volta bucks the trend when it comes to new data centres. Everyone else is moving out of London boasting extra power densities and terrorist-proof locations. Volta, however, has its eyes on the inner city tech, media and financial markets and has spotted a gap for highly resilient, highly redundant colocation facilities at the heart of London’s industry.

Volta’s services won’t come cheap and they don’t provide a lot beyond space, power and a few manual services, but its offering will hold great appeal for London based companies that don’t wish to hold their data off the beaten track. The newly introduced ‘pay-by-the-hour’ system for power will also help Volta to attract smaller companies who’s budget will stretch only to what they need.

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