Rackspace creates 300 UK jobs with datacentre expansion

Rackspace is leasing datacentre space in the UK to serve customers who want to host data in the EU to comply with data sovereignty rules

Cloud and managed services provider Rackspace is leasing additional datacentre capacity in the UK to serve European customers who want to host data in the EU to comply with European cloud data sovereignty rules.

Data sovereignty covers the consideration of what laws and regulations are in play when data from one country is stored in another. European data-sovereignty laws require businesses to keep customers’ data in the customer's own country.

As its European and UK customer base is growing, Rackspace collaborated with datacentre builder Digital Realty for additional IT capacity.

“We are more than doubling our capacity with two new datacentre sites in south-east England,” said Nigel Beighton, vice-president of technology at Rackspace.

Beighton said the exact location has not yet been finalised. Rackspace currently has two datacentre sites in Slough with a capacity of 7 megawatts in use since 2010.

The new facilities will have an additional 10-megawatt capacity of UK datacentre space. They will be fully hybrid and offer customers either Openstack cloud services or dedicated hosting services.

The first phase of the new datacentre infrastructure will be ready by next year, Beighton said. Rackspace is currently narrowing down the cooling technology it will use in the new facilities. 

“We are considering various technologies but we are sure that we want a targeted PUE (power usage effectiveness) of 1.24,” Beighton said.

The facility will also allow Rackspace to build on its business continuity and disaster recovery offering, he said.

The company will build on the design standards developed by Open Compute, an initiative focused on creating a new breed of energy-efficient datacentres. Open Compute is used by companies such as Facebook for its datacentres since 2011.

Building on Open Compute API standards should help enable Rackspace to optimise and scale to meet the growing demand for open cloud services, Beighton said.

“We have hired an additional 300 UK ‘rackers’ and increased our total server count by more than 10,000 over that same past-year period,” said Taylor Rhodes, international managing director at Rackspace. Beighton said the company plans to recruit more IT professionals as it starts work on the new sites.

The UK expansion of Rackspace’s open-cloud strategy is based upon leasing datacentre space rather than constructing its own facility premises.

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