Monday 28 May 2012

New Data Centre built near disaster site?

I received a twitter message about a recently opened Data Centre run by Gyron and let by SEGRO. From a quick looks their security looks good. A perusal of their web site reveals a company address of HP2 7SU. If you look on Google Maps there's a satellite view of the area. I'd always do a google check before further considering whether to use a Data Centre site. Oddly enough when you look around the satellite picture you see another memorable name of "Buncefield Terminal" located at post code HP2 7HZ. People living in the UK will probably remember Buncefield as the place of a major oil terminal explosion and fire.  The Police National Computer operations managers definitely remember this site.The distance between the two post codes is about 300 metres according to Google maps. According to commercial property news the area is bouncing back after the explosion.

I'm not saying the new Gyron site is located near a high risk, but it is worth checking this type of thing before choosing a data centre site. I understand the Buncefield site is now much safer. At this point I'm not sure of the exact location of the Gyron Data Centre, the post code may just be an office address.

I wonder what the insurance situation is in terms of risk if you knowingly site your data centre near to a fuel terminal?

Update 29th May 2012
I've visited the site referenced by the Gyron Post code. There are signs of a large data centre with chiller units positioned in the back yard. There was no direct evidence of the site belonging to Gyron. However the Buncefield oil terminal is very much in live operation and it is about 300 metres distant, easily within the bounds of a cordon which the emergency services might impose in the event of another disaster. There are some intervening buildings.  I'm not picking on Gyron as a "bad" example. I'm merely saying Data Centre management need to perform risk assessment on the businesses in the area surrounding the location of their servers.

Update: 1st June 2012.
I must be wrong about the risk if NTT have taken a majority share in Gyron. Apparently supported by the UK Gov't Business Secretary Vince Cable see The Register report here.

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