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Virtus confirms Q2 go-live date for next two datacentres, as expansion plans gather pace

Virtus Data Centres is making good on its datacentre expansion plans, which have been previously billed as among the biggest construction projects ever embarked upon by a colocation provider

Virtus Data Centres has confirmed its next two server farms will go-live in the second quarter of 2020, as it continues to deliver on its two-year bid to rapidly expand it datacentre presence within the M25.

As previously reported by Computer Weekly, the firm set out plans in January 2019 to add two new facilities to its existing datacentre campuses in Hayes, Middlesex, and a further three at its site in Slough, Berkshire.

The project, billed at the time as one of the biggest construction projects ever embarked upon by a European colocation provider, is on course to ensure the firm’s London-based datacentre portfolio doubles in size to 145MW over the next couple of years.

While other colocation providers have pursued a datacentre expansion strategy that focuses almost exclusively on building out their presence in inner cities, Virtus has resolutely favoured sites that are in greater London and within the confines of the M25.

However, recent figures from real estate consultancy CBRE have flagged that the continued growth in demand for colocation capacity within major cities, including London, Frankfurt, Paris and Amsterdam means suitable datacentre sites are now selling at a premium, as space is in increasingly short supply.

One of the two facilities that is due to go live in Q2 is at the Virtus site in Stockley Park, Hayes, whereas the other is located in Slough, and collectively these two builds will collectively boost the firm’s colocation capacity by a 23MW.

The company also further claims the facilities will be renewably powered, as is the case with all of the datacentres in its portfolio, and are designed to ensure the company will retain its position as being within the top 10% of green commercial properties in the UK.

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The overall growth of the datacentre market has served to sharpen the minds of environmental lobbyists and governments in recent times, as concerns about the amount of power facilities draw from the grid continue to grow.

The growth of datacentre hubs across Europe – largely fuelled by the growing demand for colocation capacity from hyperscale cloud firms – has led to concerns about the availability of power within Amsterdam, but also within the Irish market too of late.

However, Virtus CEO Neil Cresswell, said the company’s growth is being undertaken with these types of sustainability issues keenly factored in.

“The economies of scale of modern cloud computing and large modern datacentres provide a highly efficient and sustainable method of powering today’s business computing,” said Virtus CEO Neil Cresswell.

“These new builds use 100% renewable energy with a very efficient power usage effectiveness ratio, supporting the UK’s target of Net Zero Emissions by 2050. Our expanding 165MW portfolio is able to scale flexibly to the demands of the largest of users and enterprise customers alike, with the personal service that Virtus is renowned for.”

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