VIRTUS undertakes Europe's biggest data centre programme

24 January 2019 | Natalie Bannerman

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VIRTUS Data Centres (VIRTUS) has announced that it is embarking on one of the biggest data centre constructions in Europe with the building of five additional data centres across its London sites.

The expansion is to meet the growing demand for what the company says is “flexible, high quality and well-connected” colocation space in London. Due to go live in 2019 and 2020, the five new sites will add approximately 76MW to VIRTUS’ London portfolio, bringing its total portfolio size to 145MW. VIRTUS, along with ST Telemedia Global Data Centres (STT GDC), is pledging over £500 million to the launch of the five new data centres in the London market, as well as the completion of its existing four live sites in Slough, Hayes and Enfield.

“Our enterprise and cloud customers have capacity and speed to market challenges in key markets like London,” said Neil Cresswell, CEO of VIRTUS Data Centres. “Our ability to deliver large amounts of capacity, faster and at a lower cost than other operators is solving these issues for them. We believe this scale and speed are two key factors, which led VIRTUS to achieve over 50% market share in London in 2018.”

Three of the five new sites will be located in the Slough campus called LONDON3, LONDON9 and LONDON10 delivering 36MW between them with anchor tenants already contracted. These three new sites will add to its existing LONDON4 data centre, which opened in 2014 bringing the total Slough campus to 63MW. The LONDON3 site completed its fit out in December 2018 and has more than 70% anchor tenants contracted.

In VIRTUS’ Stockley Park campus the company will rapidly deploy its LONDON6 and LONDON7 data centres, following the launch of LONDON5 in July 2018. LONDON6 and LONDON7 will deliver an additional 40MW of data centre space on the Stockley Park campus, also due to go live in 2019 and 2020.

“As one of the leading financial capitals of the world and a major hub for business activities in Europe, the UK data centre market has been growing at a robust pace over the last few years,” said Bruno Lopez, Group CEO of STT GDC. “VIRTUS’ ability to add capacity on a large scale in the UK is part of STT GDC’s continuing investment to best serve the digital infrastructure needs of customers and provide them with the flexibility and scalability required for their business plans.”

The new facilities will be “sympathetically” designed to their surroundings and will include the adoption of living exterior walls. In addition, the data centres will be liquid-cooling ready for densities above the 40kW per rack capability that VIRTUS currently offers.

“I’m delighted to welcome this substantial investment of £500m by ST Telemedia Global Data Centres and VIRTUS Data Centres into their UK operations, which will generate highly-skilled jobs at sites across the Greater London area, commented Graham Stuart, Minister for Investment at the Department for International Trade.

“Big data is a significant economic opportunity in the UK, as VIRTUS has shown, with this latest expansion following the opening of its Stockley Park campus just over six months ago. I’m sure the business will continue to go from strength-to-strength, and the Department for International Trade will be on hand to support in any way possible.”