Digital Region spurs data centre’s growth

Neil Stephenson, chief executive of Onyx Group and David Carr of Digital Region pictured at Onyx's new data centre in the region.
Neil Stephenson, chief executive of Onyx Group and David Carr of Digital Region pictured at Onyx's new data centre in the region.
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Nationwide technology and data security group Onyx has unveiled plans to almost double the size of its South Yorkshire data centre and create new jobs less than a year after moving into the centre at Manvers in Rotherham.

The expansion is the first to be unveiled by Onyx, following ISIS Equity Partners’ £42 million investment in the company in October.

Onyx plans to add a further 20,000 sq ft to its existing 22,000sq ft centre, which would give it the capacity for a total of 250 racks of computer servers and 500 workstations, for use by companies whose own facilities are hit by disasters like fires, major power failures and the like.

No number has been put on the jobs that could be created.

Onyx highlights the multimillion pound Digital Region project to make South Yorkshire the first place in the country with Superfast Broadband services for the whole region as one of the key reasons for opening and expanding its data centre.

The compny says that, as the first major UK region to deploy Superfast Broadband, South Yorkshire is fast becoming one of the UK’s leading hubs for digital business and innovation.

Chief executive, Neil Stephenson, said of the company’s expansion: “This is great news for the South Yorkshire region as it demonstrates that businesses are keen to invest here, creating more jobs and providing support to a thriving, innovative business hub in what is fast becoming one of the UK’s key regions for growth.”

n The £90 million Digital Region initiative was launched by South Yorkshire’s four local authorities and former regional development agency Yorkshire Forward, with backing from the European Regional Development Fund.

n By Christmas Digital Region had installed 1,380 street cabinets and linked in 36 BT exchanges to its 350 mile fibre optic network enabling 84 per cent of the county – or 40,000 businesses and almost 550,000 homes – to connect to the internet with download speeds of 36Mb and upload speeds in excess of 10Mb as standard.

n This year will see Digital Region trialling new technologies to boost speeds from 40MB to 100MB and exploring microwave and wireless as a means for extending its network to locations that currently cannot get the full benefits of Superfast Broadband.

n Digital region hopes to eventually extend its network to cover 97 per cent of the county.