Business datacentre

Service status updates at Timico – Thunderbirds are go

service status reports at TimicoSome time ago I mentioned we were working on a new service status update page for the Timico website. Well the status of this service is now “up”. It’s been in testing for some time but I welcome any comments or observations as you come across them.

There is a lot of system development going on at Timico. Ultimately I expect the service status page to be integrated with our newly rolled out Service Now implementation although there are a few hurdles to over come first not the least being the amount of deep jargon that seems to fly around incidents and on ticketing systems. The service status page needs to be easy to read and understand. I am also wary of a status that always shows up a green so in our case the fault stays visible for 7 days after it has been fixed. If you sign up to email alerts you can get access all historical data prior to that.

One thing that caught me a bit by surprise was the number of service types we have to cover. It’s only when you see them all graphically illustrated in front of you that it hits home. Mostly they all come as facts and figures on reports.

You can see the new service status page here. Note that this site is hosted at a totally separate external location – if the entire Timico network crashed you would still be able to see that it has done so!

That’s all folks

Business Cloud datacentre

The communications world of the future #TimicoDC

Datacentre of the future

For the odd one of you that missed last week’s datacentre opening day I now have a few photos to fling your way (rhyming purely coincidental but reveals a deep natural talent 🙂 )

reception open for business at Timico datacentre in Newark

We had a great line up of VIP guests including from Newark Madam Mayoress, Mr Mayor and our local Member of Parliament the Rt Hon Patrick Mercer OBE, pictured here with our Chairman Tim Radford.

Mr Mayor, Madame Mayoress, Rt Hon Patrick MErcer MP and Mr Tim Radford attend the official opening of the Timico Newark Datacentre

Hover your mouse over photos for narrative.

TV cameras roll at opening of Timico datacentre in Newark

We had the TV cameras in and have also recorded the event for our own purposes (available in time for Christmas).

Timico Chairman Tim Radford makes a few opening remarks at opening of Newark datacentre

Tim gave a very inspiring speech supporting local business initiatives and talked about the great communications infrastructure that Newark has making it an ideal place to do business.

Patrick Mercer MP  swipes iPad to open virtual curtains officially opening the Timico datacentre

Patrick Mercer swiped some virtual curtains on an iPad that opened curtains on the big screen in the NOC revealing a virtual plaque replicating the real one downstairs in reception.

Trefor Davies is interviewed for the TV at Timico datacentre opening


Trefor Davies says a few words about Timico datacentre capability

I was interviewed by Central Television and then gave what I can only imagine must have been a highly intelligent and entertaining talk about the new datacentre to an audience of over 200 invited IT Directors, CEOs and CFOs.

Panel discusses future of IT at Timico datacentre opening

We were fortunate in having a top class panel that discussed the future of the communications world for business – you can wait for the video to come out – it would take too long to discuss on the blog.
audience focused on panel discussion at Timico datacentre opening


artistic shot inside data hall at new Timico datacentre

The panelists were Christian Craggs, Director of O2 Strategy, Delfino Canas, Strategy Director of BT Wholesale, internet entrepreneur Rob Wilmot and last but not least Ewan Macleod of “Mobile Industry Review” fame.

another artistic shot inside Timico datacentre

Incidentally we have a great meeting room on the top floor of the new new building that can be used for many purposes – look out for news in the future of events that we will be planning here.

last artistic shot showing front of new Timico datacentre Finally if you are wondering what on earth that fancy dress get up is all about in the header photo then join the club. The things I have to do for this business!!

Keep the faith…:)

Oh and I almost forgot. Thanks to everyone who helped to make the day a great one. This includes staff, the panelists, our VIP guests and of course customers both existing and of the future variety. Having been involved in many successful events over the years I can honestly say this was up there with the best of them.

Business Cloud competitions datacentre video

Video games killed the art of conversation – spot the game megaprize competition #TimicoDC

Timico datacentre logoWe had a hugely successful data centre opening event at Timico yesterday – 210 customers, prospective customers and business partners came along and, if I say so myself, had a great time (and were impressed 🙂 ). More on this as soon as I’ve assembled the photos etc – I’m on the move at the moment.

In the meantime I have a little prize competition for you. At the back of the lecture theatre (conf room, call it what you will – it had more than 200 odd people in it), just for fun, we had a range of “antique” video games, consoles and computers on show.

There’s a bottle of champagne1 and a mug for the first person to correctly identify all the different systems shown in the video below (Timico staff not eligible here as they will have been able to view the kit yesterday).  Note no apologies for the title of the post. It is partly true and the internet is now doing its best to finish the job.

1 I saved it specially from yesterday’s celebrations 🙂

Business Cloud datacentre piracy Regs

Protest against #SOPA #TimicoDC

The Stop Online Piracy Act SOPA bill is being considered by legislators in the USA as a means of combating online copyright infringement.  “The bill is so over broad and badly written that it is going to impact all kinds of things that don’t have anything to do with stopping piracy” –  Jimmy Wales, founder, Wikipedia.

In the UK we are constantly under threat by Governments that latch on to the idea that they can solve specific problems by “controlling” the internet. Witness the Digital Economy Act plus a number of subsequent calls for the blocking of access to websites by a range of different stakeholders.

This is not to say that this blog supports the use of the internet for unlawful activities. It is however important to recognise that the phenomenal growth of the internet and, by definition, of the world wide web, has only been possible because of its openness. SOPA seeks to control this openness and will kill it.

Follow the discussion on Twitter using #SOPA

I had intended to switch off the blog tomorrow,  Wednesday 18th January 2012 in support of the Wikipedia protest1.

Unfortunately this clashes with the Grand Opening of the new Timico Datacentre in Newark. Timico has invested around 15% of its turnover in this project. For us it is a serious bet too important an event to have any distractions on the day.

I will be posting photos of the day on the blog as soon as the speeches are over and the champagne has stopped flowing. I’m the shy guy hovering in the background guy looking uncomfortable in a suit.

You will also be able to follow the day on Twitter using #TimicoDC – the stream appears in the sidebar of the blog if you prefer to stay here 🙂  Oh and by the way, as of tomorrow the datacentre is officially open – you know where to come if you need colo, dedicated servers or VMs. Drop me a line at [email protected] if you want to know more.

I am also offering personal guided tours to readers of the blog (fwiw 🙂 ) – drop me a line if you want to come and see the facility including our brand new state of the art Network Operations Centre.

Finally comments on this blog are Twitter enabled – sign in with Twitter and a tweet will be sent with a link to your comment and quoting the #TimicoDC hashtag. If you want to help spread the news please comment using this facility.

1 Wikipedia is being switched off for the day to illustrate what it would be like if it was blocked.

charitable Cloud datacentre End User social networking surveillance & privacy

The social media summary of the world record attempt

UK trending for @tref & #comment24 on twitter The world record attempt started at 6am on Thursday 5th Feb and ended at 6am the following day. There are three stories to tell here. The first is the charity fundraising aspect that was covered on Friday.

Second is the social media story. This was an event largely promoted using the #comment24 hashtag on twitter but the story was also posted on Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn. The effort also caught the imagination of a good number of friendly journalists as the list of names in the table of top referrers for 5th Jan illustrates.

referring site

# visits


time on site

1 (Twitter)





























































In all according to Google Analytics there were 162 referring sites over the 5th and 6th January. A Google search for

Cloud datacentre Engineer virtualisation

View from inside a Network Operations Centre #digitalbritain

the new Timico Network Operations Centre in Newark has gone liveI’m excited to say that the new NOC is now up and running as the header photo shows. The screen content is evolving at the moment but is intended to serve as a useful visual monitor of what is going on in the Timico network.

Timico NOC being populated with furniture prior to "go live"

The photo on the left shows the view of the Timico NOC from inside "manage" meeting roomroom being built. The photo on the right is the view from the “manage” meeting room which has a glass wall showcasing the facility.

The security levels applied to the NOC itself means access is restricted to NOC staff. No sales people, no customers but there is a great view from the meeting room.

The shift system currently means that some desks are unoccupied at times. However as the business grows the staff will operate a hot desk system with personal possessions kept in a movable tray.

The also use a PCoIP zero client desktop hosted on our VMware platform. When a shift worker logs off and a new person logs on from the same seat the PC instance is completely rebuilt using the new logon credentials.

The official opening of the Timico Newark datacentre and NOC is on Wednesday 18th January.

Business Cloud datacentre

Education, education, education – the training facility at the new datacentre and NOC

training room at the new Timico data centre and NOC in NewarkEducation, education, education as the old Tony Blair1 mantra had it makes it easier to sell a house  2 ISP services.  The header photo, beautifully artistic I’m sure you will agree, is of the training room on the top floor of the new Timico data centre and NOC in Newark.

This is a highly technical business and there is a huge thirst amongst staff for knowledge and training. They like to be goods at their jobs! 🙂 Last month we held a Cisco CCNA bootcamp. This week we are training the new starters in the telesales teams that are going to be hitting the phones  in the new year taking orders for colo and Virtual Machines in the new data centre.

Looks a little to much like an examination room for me but hey… Note the flexible seating that can fold back into a desk – see encircled example. Cool.

I would say this but the more  I see of the new building the more impressed I am with it. The engineering staff are certainly enjoying their new working environment. If you are looking for a hosting partner that can safely look after your valuable computing resources drop me a line at [email protected] and I will be happy to give you a personal tour.

1 Some of you may not remember Tony Blair – he was the British Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007

2 for the many Estate Agents that read this blog I realise that it’s location, location, location that sells houses – just my little joke  🙂 Actually in many ways selling colocation and hosting is selling real estate so there is some synergy there.


broadband datacentre Engineer

Domain Names for Sale – Protecting the Openreach Superfast Fibre Broadband Roadmap #fttc

Following yesterday’s post I can confirm that hyperfast-openreach, ultrafast-openreach and uberfast-openreach domains are available for sale for all suffixes. There is a domain name checker here if someone from Openreach wants to take a look. I can arrange purchase if they drop me a line. All part of the service. No problem.

They need to get in quick. We all know how difficult it is to bag a good domain name. It’e even worse these days because you also need to get the twitter name. It’s easy for people to hoover up twitter names because they are free. All you need is a load of email aliases.

Not that I’m encouraging you to go signing up new twitter accounts. That would be irresponsible. That’s all for now. I’m off to the Christmas Tweetup.

Business Cloud datacentre

Interactive network design the Newark way

Timico network engineer using new Acer Aspire R3700 interactive whiteboardI hope these guys really appreciate what we do for them at Timico.interactive white board in use at new Timico Network Operations Centre in Newark First we build them a brand new data centre. Then we put in a state of the art coffee machine closely followed by a kennel. And now they get an interactive white board to play with!!!

I’m beginning to feel like a second class citizen. I only have a kettle, a normal old fashioned whiteboard and no kennel. Wossthatallabout?

For those of you who are interested in these things, ok most of you, Acer Aspire R3700 in use at teh new Timico Network Operations Centre in NewarkBen is modelling the latest Acer Aspire R3700 interactive whiteboard. It comes with an overhead projector (ceiling) and a shiny black box (inset). I can hear those oo’s from where I am sat.

On a slightly serious note this is all about productivity. On a slightly less serious note, where do they get these part names from? The Aspire R3700!

What would a world without decimal numbers be like? The Acer Aspire RMMMDCC. There you go. Sorted. Have a good one.

PS I have sneaked in the first photo of the new videowall in action – click on the header pic to see more. It was either this or Sky Sports and the boys chose the former 🙂

datacentre Engineer

It’s a dog’s life

guard dog Kennel at the new Timico data centre in NewarkThe view from the kennel at the Timico data centre in NewarkThe new kennel. Every datacentre View of the kennel from the Timico Network Operations Centre in Newark should have one.

If you are looking around for colocation or VM hosting you need to ask prospective suppliers whether they have a kennel or not. Period.

I’ve been waiting patiently for this feature to arrive and it has done so with perfect timing to contribute to a Friday afternoon blogging slot.

Mail me at [email protected] if you want to talk about hosting, co-lo or Virtual Machines.

Cloud datacentre Engineer

Chchrrrshshsh whooosh – nuff said

For those who have problem with flash.

Cloud datacentre Engineer

A peek inside the boardroom

connect - signage at the new Timico data centre in Newark

the new boardroom at Timico in NewarkEver wondered what goes oncoffee machine dispensing a latte at the new Timico data centre in Newark inside a board room? Important decisions? Tea or coffee? Cappucino, Americano, latte?  One sugar or two?

All of the above 🙂  Obviously a lot more gets discussed as well and I am pleased to be able to show you our new accommodation. I haven’t yet decided where to sit  – another of those decisions that will work itself out as we settle in.

Timico NOC being populated with furniture prior to "go live"The photo on the left is of the development engineering area at the new Timico data centre in NewarkNetwork Operations Centre being populated with furniture. You can see it starting to take shape in front of the video wall.

The pic on the right is part of the development engineering office. This is where all the serious service platform development will happen. Visible is Group Ops Director Calum Malcolm’s office with meeting room. To the right of that is a breakout area which will have sofas etc conducive to creative thinking (and having a nap 🙂 ! )

Read it first on !

Cloud datacentre Engineer virtualisation

We are in! – new Timico datacentre

Cisco blades are being used at the new Timico data centre in NewarkAt 10am this morning, 28th November 2011 we officially took delivery
Timico development engineers review progress so far at the new Data centre of a datacentre. Not quite the same impact as the ceremony that ended the first world war (10th hour of the 28th day doesn’t sound quite the same as 11th hour of the 11th day) but hey…

I’m not even sure there was a physical ceremony. If there was I wasn’t there but the new build is certainly buzzing with engineers doing their stuff.
EMC storage now in situ at new Timico data centre

Progress is going to be rapid now with the official launch/opening ceremony due on Wednesday 18th January. The box on the right is one of the EMC SANs I showed being delivered on Friday.

The initial environment will have Juniper in the core network with VMware running over Cisco Nexus and EMC. I’ll post more detail on this as we get nearer launch though if you urgently want to know more drop me a line at [email protected]

Timico is using Juniper in the core network of its new data centre in Newark

Cloud datacentre Engineer

Psst wanna buy a Storage Area Network? #SAN #EMC

EMC SAN arrives at Timico offices in Newark for installation into new datacentre

When a man in a white van turns up at your place offering you a good deal on a Storage Area Network what do you do? In our case we were expecting him to turn up though I suspect he had no idea what was in the boxes.

I wouldn’t normally bother writing about this but the delivery caused a flurry of excitement amongst the engineers in the office that I felt compelled to do so.

Also quite a few people at the LINX75 meeting mentioned they were following the progress of the data centre build so now that it is getting to the technically interesting bit it seems reasonable to post stuff as it happens.

I’ll put up some more photos when the kit is unboxed. Oh and also it won’t be long before I’ll be saying “Psst wanna buy some storage/virtualisation/hosting/colo etc etc”.

If you are interested in knowing more or want to use some of these services drop me a line at [email protected]

All the best.

datacentre Engineer

That first cup of tea is always the best #Timico #Datacentre #10GigE

Ian P Christian clenches his fist in a victory salute having installed the first server in the new Timico Data Centre in Newark, Notts

Tref pretends to greet visitors at reception of new Datacentre in Newark

First cup of tea in new Timico Datacentre in Newark

Two cups of tea in the kitchen of the new Timico Datacentre in Newark

First cups of tea in kitchen of new Timico data centre in NewarkSome more photographic action from the new data centre – we get the keys next week and today we have been in doing some preparation.

Firstly we installed a small server with some basic utilities to get us up and running when the meaty kit arrives on Monday.


Then we made a cup of tea – the first in the new kitchen – yay.Will Curtis installs a switch at the new Timico Datacentre

OK question for you.  How many engineers does it take to install a switch? Click on the photo of Will to find out.

Last but not least ever wondered what a 10Gig fibre connection looks like? Well prepare to be disappointed – see below.

10Gig fibre

Cloud datacentre Engineer

Where there is technology there is art

sign above entrance of new Timico data centre in NewarkI am often asked for updates on the progess of the new Timico data centre in tidy cabling at the new Timico data centre in NewarkNewark. This is most easily done in pictorial fashion.

It’s nearly done. We are moving kit in. No desks yet but there is now a steady stream of engineers popping over, doing stuff.

the desk in reception at the Timico data centre in Newark We have a reception desk. More like Tardis console without the bit in the middle going up and down. Obviously the reception area is still work in progress but first impressions are important and it aint looking bad.

Some of these photos have been chosen exclusively for their artistic qualities. The patch panel below for example is worthy of the Tate Modern though quality of the photography probably leaves a little to be desired – I’m not a trained photographer you know.patch panel or work of art? - the Tate Modern beckons The photo of the cold aisle is a development on the last one I did which didn’t have the enclosures and attracted comments about inefficiency. This one shows the door at one end and you can just about make out the fact that the aisle has a roof on it.cold aisle - a cool place to be at the Timico Newark Data centre

Two more pics to go. This first one is a bit of the coffee machine in the coffee machine, vacuum cleaner or missile component?first floor kitchen. It reminds me of the Graham Green novel “Our Man in Havana” who was supposed to be sending back photos of secret Cuban missile parts (or simlar) but which in reality were components of a vacuum cleaner. If you look at it from the right angle it could be a missile part (or a vacuum cleaner) 🙂 .

I will say the NOC engineers are going to have to look out for caffeine overdoses because this dispenses the real mcoy in volumes and free of charge. There is also a tap for boiling water – no more frustrating queues Tref holding some cables at the Timico Newark data centre in the kitchen waiting for the kettle.

And finally a picture of me holding a bunch of cables. I’m not going to give you any clues about the cables because are goingto be plugged into something uber impressive and you will have to wait for that.

Oh and there is one more I forgot – no data centre is complete without it’s Dyson blade dryers and here they are in high speed action 🙂
Dyson blade driers in action at the new Timico data centre

There you go – a data centre update 🙂

Business Cloud datacentre

Hey presto – we have a car park

car park at the new Timico data centreFunny how we get excited by little things. The other day I came into the office in the afternoon and they had started putting down the Tarmac for the carpark.  Like lightning I whipped out my trusty phone Galaxy S2 and took a photo.Car park at the new Timico data centre in Newark

Today I got up from our fortnightly management meeting and hey presto, someone had painted white lines on the Tarmac. It’s very odd but somehow this makes it all look real. Note no executive parking spots.  The early engineer gets the space nearest the door:)

To my knowledge this is also the first UK data centre to provide a kennel for the guard dogs. I am happy to be corrected here. This key piece of infrastructure arrives on 28th November and I’m sure there will be a photo shoot. Get down Shep!

Cloud datacentre Engineer

Data centre finishing touches featuring Tim and Neil

Timico Marketing Director Neil Armstrong savours a duck kebab in food tasting - prep for Timico Data Centre opening partyracks in the new Timico data centreIt won’t be long inside an empty rack in the Timico data centre now before we actually move in to the new data centre and start kitting it out. The racks are going in as I write and the header photo shows Marketing Director Neil Armstrong working his way through a full sample buffet in preparation for the big opening night in January. His attention to detail means that he has to taste every dish.  Hollow legs that man and not an inch of excess weight on him!

Pictured below is Timico chairman Tim Radford trying to find his way out of the maze of racks.

Tim Radford inspects a row of racks in the Timico data centre

Business Cloud datacentre

Timico data centre update

UPS batteries in the new Timico data centreNot long to go before we start kitting the new data centre out as a data centre so I’ve chosen some a local artisan finishes off the decorative touches of the interior design of the second floor of the new Timico building in Newarkartistic and tasteful photos for your delight. Of course they might not be to everyone’s taste but there is beauty in the modern day industrial infrastructure of the country – just as we now admire the steam the view from the fire escape of the new Timico data centre in Newarkengines and rows of red brick mills that were once associated with satanic darkness.

This time around the jobs created will be highly skilled and professional at a  time when we could do with some good news in the local economy.

We are in the process of hiring for the extended shifts that will be necessitated by the 24×7 operational nature of the  expanded Network Operations Centre.

Last week we ok’d the purchase of a wall of monitor screens for electrical switch gear in one of the new data halls at the Timico data centre in Newarkthe operations room itself. I’m quite excited about this as it will have a high visibility impact on the place –  all controlled by an iPad or similar (I asked what they would be using for a remote control for all those TVs – more on this in due course).  As I said not long now.

part of the fire suppression system for the new Timico data centre in Newark

part of the cooling system - only expected to be used 4 months of hte year due to free air cooling that adds to the green credentials of the Timico newark data centre

view of Timico HQ building across the car park of the data centre It will also be worth talking about our expanded sales structure as we move in to 2012 and I will do this as some important new hires come on board.

Bye for now.

Business Cloud datacentre

We Want #ITIL Service…And We Want It Now!

New Timico helpdesk ServiceNowMany years ago I worked at Marconi Electronic Devices in Lincoln. The purchasing manager there, a canny Scotsman,  had a certain approach when it came to the acquisition of software. His opening bid in a negotiation would be the cost of the physical tape required to carry the software to our premises.

These days software doesn’t come on a tape. In fact it often doesn’t come at all but resides somewhere remote and fluffy in “the cloud”. What’s more it can’t even be described as software – more a set of APIs and capabilities. When it comes to estimating a value for such an entity it has to be in terms of the benefit to your business.

It wasn’t so long ago that Timico was a small ISP. The company has been growing quickly to the point that

Business Cloud datacentre

The Cloud — Now is the Time to Invest

cloud,investment,datacenter,Timico,NewarkI attended a “Cloud Computing – security, market development and prospects for the G Cloud” forum in Whitehall yesterday morning. It’s a big topic and there were lots of messages to take away.

The G Cloud programme is the government’s effort to move away from an expensive and silo’d server centric estate that in 2009 comprised 90,000 components in central government alone. We, the UK, are after cost savings and an agility that will allow us the flexibility to take advantage of market and technological developments whilst creating a secure platform that will facilitate new and productive uses of data held by our masters on our behalf. Bit of a mouthful. My words really but also my interpretation of what I’m sure is an elongated brief.

Transport for London’s API that allows train locations to be published on Google maps is a good example of the use of public data made available through an API.

Cloud datacentre End User

Samsung 1TB hard drive for £54!

Samsung1TB external hard driveMy recent post on the pocket cloud was a joke. Today I have taken delivery of a real pocket cloud. It’s a Samsung 2.5inch portable external hard drive and it cost 54 quid! My aging laptop has a 232Gig hard drive that is almost full. That apart it is a perfectly good laptop and I didn’t see the point of getting a new one. I also didn’t want to delete anything and likely start the faff that would be the periodic decision making process on which files to ditch and which to keep.

Problem solved. I am now just moving my least used files onto the external drive.  They will be mostly photos and videos that are also backed up elsewhere.  It is certainly arguable that many of these files are not work related but it is difficult to separate the two lives.  Consumerisation entering the workplace again.

Storage is now so cheap that there is almost no reason for anything to be thrown away ever. Also I think I have become a Samsung fan 🙂view of construction of new Timico datacentre

On a different note our carpark is almost full today. A sure sign that the summer holidays are well and truly behind us. It won’t be long before we are overflowing into the new carpark behind the new data centre build.

Photo is a perspective from the first floor of the Timico HQ building.

PS any bets on when I will fill the TB drive?

Business Cloud datacentre

Hot off the Hollywood press – new video of the Timico Newark data center in progress

The video stars Timico Technology Group Chairman Tim Radford talking about the plans for the data center business.

Business Cloud datacentre

Timico Data Center Build Update – The Inside Story

Timico HQ

Progress is rapid with the new data center build. In fact I was to some extent lulled into a false sense of pace (if that’s the right way of putting it) because the photo I take every day from the same spot didn’t seem to be changing much.
rear view of new Timico data center build
Casting my photographic net on the other side of the building however gave a completely different picture and on Friday afternoon I wandered down, hard hat and all to take a look. I’ve take a few shots that give quite a good feel for what is going to be delivered in the new build. This first photo is a ground floor view of the rear.

The generators have not been delivered yet but one will go on concrete plinths either side of the central column.

front view of new Timico data centerMoving round the front there is still a big hole in the middle. They are still moving a lot of materials in. This should be covered up within the next couple of weeks.

The big central opening on the top floor will be where the Timico board room is going to be.

Moving inside we have a plant room and views of the first data hall. This will house 72 x 4KW racks using cold aisle containment and free air cooling – this should mean that for substantial parts of the year we don’t need to power the air conditioning.

Timico Data center plant roomTimico data center data hall 1

Were the facility to be exclusively used for hosting virtualised services then the capacity of each rack
can be as high as 100TeraBytes.

In reality the capacity is very much dependent on the mix of resources you have in the rack – high speed/expensive drives versus bigger. This is very much dependent on the application.

under the floor of the new Timico data centerTimico data centre data hall 2 under construction

The shot on the left here shows the flooring under construction. The floor tiles are heavy duty as the floor has to support a considerable weight of the fully loaded racks above.

You don’t wanbt to move a full rack if you can help it, at least not without the use of a fork lift truck.

first floor engineering offices in new Timico Data center NOC at Timico data center under construction

Upstairs on the first floor we have the development engineering offices (left) and the Network Operations Centre.

You can see the raised floor again in the NOC though this does not need to be as heavy duty as in the data halls on the ground floor. The end wall will be flat and covered in monitoring screens.

To finish off here are a couple of photos of me with a view of the existing Timico HQ building from the top floor of the new and one stood on the actual floor of the data hall to give some perspective.

Trefor Davies in the new Timico data center buildingTrefor Davies stood next to the raised floor of a data center hall

There are a few more photos below including ones I consider to be quite arty 🙂 if you are interested.

datacentre End User phones

Smartphones: Samsung Galaxy S2 vs. HTC Desire HD

HTC Desire HDPeople who know suggested I should move phone operations from HTC Desire HD to Samsung Galaxy S2 so I have. My main motivation (and you have to take this as read) is not to just have the latest and greatest gadget. Things are moving so quickly in the tech world that I need to stay in touch with the art of the possible. It would also be a good exercise in seeing how easy it was to do the migration.

In reading this post you have to consider that I am not a gadget freak and I don’t spend my life understanding the nuances of different versions of OS or processor hardware specifications. I may therefore make mistakes in setting up a new phone that the geek would not but in this I can’t be any different to most people. My other criterion for success is that I shouldn’t have to rtfm, ie have to look something up in the online support.

I have two benchmarks for comparison – the HTC Desire HD and the iPad both of which broke new ground for me.  iPad was very easy to set up but has clear deficiencies and the HTC represented a learning curve in smartphone tech.

The features I use most on the HTC are Tweetdeck, Dropbox, camera, voice recorder, internet and gallery, mail, calendar, sms and foursquare with a smattering of Bambuser,and ESPN (seasonally) thrown in. I use the internet rather than plugins to access Facebook (keep in touch with my kids) and LinkedIn (rarely) as I haven’t found these plug ins to be much cop. For some reason I don’t use the phone for Empire Avenue and I’m actually currently struggling to get my brain round why I might want to access that particular network.

So in moving from HTC Android to Samsung Android it would be useful for me to see how seamless

Business Cloud datacentre

Datacenter update

Thought it was about time you had a progress update on the new Timico datacenter build. It is currently very much on schedule. Nice bit of cladding going on as you can see. The bricked up windows are going to be cosmetic – datacenters don’t need windows.  It will also have cold aisle cooling. This is an improvement on the traditional hot aisle where the hot air is contained between racks.  If you think about it it can’t be efficient to have people walking about in cold air warming it up with their body heat. There is still a lot of work to be done but so far so good. Opening night party invites will be sent out in the autumn.

Cloud datacentre Engineer

Public Clouds, Private Clouds, and Rainy Day “The Cloud” Solutions

the day I learned an acronym at Monte Carlo

12 years or so ago the company I was working for decided to “get into VoIP” and I was sent to a executive retreat in Cannes in the South of France. Very nice it was. We spent 3 days at ETSI talking about VoIP related issues. I say “talking”. I spent all my time writing down new acronyms for looking up when I got back to the office.

If you don’t understand the lingo it all seems like a black art. Once the learning curve had been climbed the door opened to the wonderfully rich world that is the communications business.

It strikes me that we are going through another phase where people will need to swot up on their acronyms. The Cloud is trendy but what is it? You can’t touch it – or can you? Whatever “it” is every man and his dog seems to feel the need to jump on the bandwagon.

At its most basic the cloud is just a computer accessed remotely via an IP connection. At its most complex it is something that is in a constant state of evolution. The process of understanding this cloud is very much one of pioneering – creating the acronyms rather than learning existing ones.

I am lucky enough to have a platform with this blog that allows experimentation and will be using this opportunity to facilitate a conversation that will take us on a journey through the cloud. The buzzword isn’t going to last for ever. Let’s try and understand it before we have all moved on 🙂

Next week I’ll be looking at the basics. Public cloud versus private cloud and cloud solutions for a rainy day (might not actually talk about the latter – it just sounded good).

PS in case you were worried that we spent all our time working at the Cannes meeting I am happy to confirm that not much sleep was had. The casinos of the Cote d’Azur stay open very late.

Business Cloud datacentre

A data centre’s progress – drinka pinta milka day

new data center for Timico in progress

It’s coming along as you can see if you click on the header image. It always amazes me what one bloke can do when he has a few tools to help him. I guess it is the same in farming. Along came the industrial revolution and everyone left the fields to be replaced by machines.

Today has been spent entering industry awards. I assume it is the same in the farming business (to continue with the theme).  “Why is your pint of milk better value than your competitors?” I suppose you can brush up your best cow and take her along and have something solid for the judges to evaluate:).

I have had to sit through some long hot tedious awards evenings, usually run by a magazine eager to reward its biggest advertisers. They can be useful to win though as we  have found out when we got Highly Commended in the Best ITSP (Large Enterprise Category) at this year’s ITSPA Awards. Independent Awards can be quite prestigious.

I’m not going to tell you which awards these were today in case we don’t win – you will have to wait 🙂 – and my advice to you is to “drinka pinta milka day”.  It will make you a winner.

I should think that by the time I put up the next photo of the new build the walls will be complete. Btw I have been asked if I can put up an artist’s impression of the new building but I’m sorry to say I don’t have one in electronic form. I will ask the builders if they have one.

Business datacentre

Spring forward

timico datacentre

Normally I don’t notice the weather, being Welsh and having grown up on the Isle of Man. Also although I have a panoramic view over the car park in the office I only notice what it is like outside when I have to draw the blinds.

I do notice the light evenings though because apart from their uplifting effect when leaving work I get dragged into playing rugby with the kids in the back garden (also cricket, football and blind man’s buff for some unknown reason – I think they like the control aspect of it).

This time of year is a good time to take stock of the year ahead. The first quarter is done and dusted. We won’t know yet but it looks as if it will have been a good one.

There is a lot happening this year. Last year we threw a lot of money at the core network and this year it will be more. The data centre is also a big commitment but the building is starting to take shape. We are also undergoing a big business transformation as we invest time and money into systems that will give our customers a world class experience.

The internet industry is such a fast moving game that it involves continuous investment and improvement. You have to pay to play, as they say.

Although we seem to be continuously surrounded by bad news items: earthquakes, tsunamis, nuclear disasters, revolutions there is so much exciting stuff happening and it is worth keeping focused. The revolution in the mobile internet world, social networking, the move to the cloud. These all represent enormous business opportunities.

Following the success of the Move over IPv4 Bring on IPv6 event last week I am going to be organising some other, perhaps even more highly focused, evening “activities” around relevant hot topics.

Watch this space for more news.

PS sorry about this waffle – it is Friday afternoon and it’s been another busy week in paradise.  Have a good weekend 🙂

Business Cloud datacentre

Datacentre build update #cloud


Timico datacentre build

I’ve been taking pictures of the new datacentre build every day I have been in the office. This is the latest – weather is a bit grotty but the forecast is bright:).

It is shooting up. After all the builders will want to get it finished and we want to get it filled.

If you click on the image on the right you get a larger version.