Newcastle City Council has opened a data center to house public services in Northern England, as part of a £45m ($59m) revamp of its Civic Centre.

The new 200kW facility replaces three separate server rooms previously used by the Council. It is in the Civic Centre where council administration is housed, uses Schneider Electric equipment, and was designed and constructed by Advanced Power Technology (APT).

Newcastle Civic Centre.JPG
Newcastle City Council's Civic Centre – Google Maps

Newcastle data center consolidation

“As a public body we are always looking for ways to improve cost and energy efficiencies," said senior ICT solutions analyst at Newcastle City Council, James Dickman."The new facility enables us to meet our service commitments to all stakeholders while minimizing the carbon impact of delivering IT services.”

The data center houses council tax collection, social and library, education, road traffic management, Health, and Police services. Ten percent of the data center is also leased to other public sector organizations such as HM Courts and arbitration service, ACAS. Newcastle Council can charge these agencies for hosting services at the site, producing a revenue stream to offset its operating costs.

Dickman added: “Previously, we were able to withstand a loss of power for about 20 minutes. Now we can operate for three hours on UPS batteries if required and can use our backup generator to provide alternative power in the event of a lengthy loss of our mains supply. It’s also reassuring to know that the data center infrastructure is being constantly monitored, with alerts routed directly to mobile devices if events occur out of hours.”

John Thompson, MD of APT, said: “The monitoring and management capabilities of EcoStruxure IT has resulted in greatly improved visibility of the data center operations and consequently offers a greater ability to proactively mitigate emerging issues. With more detailed insight into operations, Newcastle City Council can increase the resiliency of the IT Service delivery to improve the customer experience.”

The data center groups all of the council’s previous IT infrastructure into a single data hall, which features a modular raised floor and 40 racks. It uses Schneider's EcoStruxure UPS.

Update: A previous version of this story said that the data center upgrade cost £45m, not the overall Civic Centre upgrade. We regret the error.