Don Valley data centre unveiled

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Internet Service Provider Ask4 is moving into a major new market after launching a £1.5 million, state-of-the-art data centre in Sheffield’s Lower Don Valley.

The company, already hailed as the UK’s leading supplier of fibre optic broadband services for student accommodation, originally intended to use the custom-built data centre, in Brompton Road, Attercliffe, solely for itself.

Now it has opened the centre up so that other companies can use it to host their own IT services and safeguard their data.

Ask4 director Jonathan Thornhill said: “Our original intention was to build a Data Centre that met our own requirements first and foremost and would protect our own digital assets.

“We quickly realised, however, that while Leeds, Manchester and Birmingham already had well established data centres, Sheffield was trailing behind and that the level of investment we were considering would be a major step forward for the city and not just for us.

“This is an emerging market, a growing market and there is a requirement for high quality data centre space in South Yorkshire, which is what we are now providing.”

Ask4, which also provides services to residential accommodation, and business premises, has linked the site to major internet hubs in Manchester and London, using its own 10 Gigabit per second national network and is offering a range of hosting options and tailored business IT services.

Clients already planning to use the new site include Birchenall Howden, Seams, Panache Lingerie and Pipe Ten.

Birchenall Howden is an IT support group, while Seams develops sophisticated software that uses artificial intelligence search techniques and massive processing power to help utilities and other companies to manage their assets.

Sheffield-based Panache is an award-winning British lingerie company, which supplies big name retailers and brands, while Pipe Ten provides web hosting and dedicated server solutions and has five data centres in England and Ireland, including two in Sheffield.

The launch of ASK4’s new data centre is the latest in a series of significant developments for the company during the first half of the year.

Developments include winning a major contract to install superfast internet services for a luxury apartment and office development in Leeds and stepping in to maintain superfast broadband connections for customers of Rotherham-based RiPWIRE, after the company ceased trading.