Engineer engineering

Travel guidance for attendees of #UKNOF24 on Thursday 17th Jan #LAMMA

UKNOF24UKNOF24 is being held at Timico in Newark on Thursday 17th January. People trying to book accommodation will already have found out that there is an agricultural equipment show called LAMMA on at the Newark Showground. Great if you like tractors (which I do) but a nuisance if you are coming to UKNOF24.

If you are coming by car you need some local advice re how to avoid the traffic which will be heavy with farmers heading to the showground.

Coming from Lincoln Heading for Newark turn off the A46 at the Brough turning around 2 or three miles before Newark. You can find your way the back way through Stapleford Wood and Coddington to our offices that way.

Coming up or down the A1 turn off at the Coddington exit and turn right towards Newark. Lamma traffic will be turning left. This is one exit after the main Newark turning (the one with the railway station signposted) heading South – so the one before it heading North (obv).

Coming from Nottingham turn off at the first roundabout at the end of the new dualled bit of the A46 and head in on the B6166 to Newark (this is the old Roman Fosse Way fwiw). Avoiding the A46 bypass will save you a lot of time.

Cars should come and park at the actual data centre which is secure and where there will be more space. The address is

Timico Data Centre

Brunel Business Park

Jessop Close

Newark NG24 2AG

It has a different access road to the HQ building though you can access both buildings on foot from each other. The gate is a secure one but someone should be keeping an eye open to let you in.

For those catching the train the data centre is about a 10 min walk South from Newark Northgate – there is a footpath along the side of the track. The walk from Newark Castle is a bit longer. If I were you I’d call a taxi.

Newark Taxi 01636 705200 – book in advance when you know what time your train gets in.

Any questions just ask. See you for the curry.


I’d plan to get in early if I were you as some of our staff members got caught up in horrendous traffic on hte way in this morning.


Engineer engineering internet

#UKNOF24 is at Timico in Newark next week

UKNOF24It’s a day for writing posts about being excited. This time I’m excited to tell you that next Thursday Timico is playing host to UKNOF24. Many of you will know what I’m taking about but more will not.

The UK Network Operators Forum acts as an open forum for operational, technical and engineering information exchange related to networking technologies and practices. On Thursday we will have 120 or so of the UK’s top network engineers in our Newark Conference Centre.

Its a very packed agenda including a curry the night before sponsored by LINX and beers afterwards. UKNOF is open to anyone involved in the networking game. It isn’t just ISPs and commercial network operators. You could be running the network of your own business.  Next week we will hear about subjects as diverse as 100Gbps optical networks and the market for VoIP/SIP.

If you want to come you can register here.

Business Cloud datacentre

What to look for when choosing a data centre

the new Timico Network Operations Centre in Newark has gone liveA data centre’s a data centre isn’t it? Power, aircon, security and diverse connections in and out of the building? Pick a location and a Tier level – 1,2,3,4 to determine the resiliency and cost. Throw in some green credentials and your uncle’s name is Bob!

Well you could put it like that. You wouldn’t be looking at the whole picture. Before building our Newark data centre we at Timico did a fair bit of market research. We looked at the needs of our customer base and what was available in terms of infrastructure technology that fitted the bill. The latter ranged from getting all the electromechanical bits right and ensuring that the cloud story was absolutely up there. When talking cloud we are talking the connectivity, storage processing and virtualisation infrastructure.

There was one piece of the story that we found compelling. This was how to make sure

Business Cloud datacentre

Nobody around here complaining about the weather

cooling plant monitoring screen in Timico's Newark data centreWe often hear people complaining when it rains – great weather – if you’re a duck. Well it’s stopped raining here in Newark although I understand the river Trent is still running high and I see from Facebook that trains are delayed due to flooding.

It’s bloomin’ cold out though. Staff arriving for work are wrapped up well, scarves around their faces, hands thrust firmly in pockets. It may come as a surprise to many of you that in this freezing cold weather the old “duck” saying has a modern day equivalent which is “great weather – if you’re a data centre”.

Uh? 🙂

Cloud End User mobile apps

Delighted shepherds and Clerkenwell Screws!

The great thing about mobile phone cameras is that they give you the opportunity to take spur of the moment photos when you see something nice or fun or interesting. Often I am not quick enough “on the draw”. Yesterday I saw a shop called Clerkenwell Screws Ltd. What a great name I thought. I envisaged a tweet saying “need a screw in Clerkenwell?” with the photo attached. I was on a bus en route to a customer meeting but couldn’t get through my phone security quickly enough (ie tap in my pin number) before we had moved on.

Probably a good job I didn’t get the camera out in time really.

So this afternoon my office filled with a marvelous light and I stood up to look at the sky. What a wonderful sky. I got the camera out and captured the moment – the sun didn’t move as quickly as the bus (though there wasn’t much in it!) The camera technology doesn’t really do the sight justice but I leave you to decide for yourself. The photo is entitled “Clouds over Newark at dusk in November” by Trefor Davies.

Wonderful sky at dusk over Newark

Btw you can check out Clerkenwell Screws here. I don’t think they have a website.

Red sky at night shepherd’s delight. That’s all folks…

Business datacentre

What do students and CEOs have in common?

One of the data halls at the new Timico data centre in Newark

Students from Lincoln University Computer Science dept visit the Timico datacentre in Newark I’m a fairly egalitarian sort of guy. CEOs from Nottinghamshire District Councils visit the new Timico data centre in NewarkIf someone says to me they have heard we built a new data centre and “can they come and see it please” I go all misty eyed and rearrange my diary to fit in. Whoever they are.

In the case of this post it is two hugely differing groups of people. The lot on the left threw away their ties after their ALevels as symbols of repression imposed on them by a controlling Establishment. They are first and second year students from the Lincoln University Computer Science Department. I was pleased to find out that among their courses they study are networking and virtualisation (plus the c-word).

The extremely respectable bunch on the right are clearly well practiced in smiling for the camera (Galaxy S2). They are the collected CEOs of all the District Councils in Nottinghamshire for whom we got out the good biscuits.

I enjoyed meeting both sets of visitors and have to say to the students that I’m sorry they didn’t get any biscuits but there weren’t enough packets to go round:). Thanks go to Timico’s Ian P Christian for the tour on both occasions.

Cloud Engineer media

Videos to delight and entertain

Couple of videos here for your delectation and delight. We had a Dell film crew come and visit a few weeks ago. They were very professional, all three of them, and had flown over from gay Paree the night before. Their one mistake was flying into Manchester where they stayed the night and then took a 2 1/2 hour taxi ride to Newark the next day. Next time they come they said they will try East Midlands airport – less than an hour away. Very sensible I’d say.

Anyway here are the vids:

There were three of them. I don’t know what happened to the first. I must have said something.

Archived Business

staff wanted

the new Timico Network Operations Centre in Newark has gone live

Get on board – we are looking for staff for our Newark based Network Operations Centre. Vacancies include a 24×7 NOC position, 1st and 2nd line engineers and a “Helpdesk to Helpdesk” person to interface with IT Staff of our larger customers.

We are also after a senior network engineer Cisco, Juniper, MPLS, BGP,VPLS, TCP/IP (both IPv4 and IPv6), GRE, IPSec, PPP (including Radius), HSRP and SNMP.

Check out the vacancies here.

Business media

Experience preferred but not essential – the art of movie making

the Dell  film crew gathers round to start shooting at the Timico data centre in NewarkJust had yet another film crew in. You know what it’s like. photo of me looking serious (and eloquent) taken by Dell film crewEarly start,  breakfast provided by the outside catering company. Shoot a few scenes followed  by bacon sandwich. Bit more then 3 course sit down lunch – it’s hungry work this location based filming1.

This one was from Dell. They had flown into Manchester from Paris and took a 2 1/2 hour taxi ride from the airport. Should have flown into

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.

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

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 🙂

Cloud datacentre Engineer

Chchrrrshshsh whooosh – nuff said

For those who have problem with flash.

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.

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

competitions End User

Caption competition – demise of the Bb Trumpet

tarmac being laid on the carpark of the new Timico data centre in NewarkAs we approach the final days of the Timico data centre build the lads are putting down the tarmac in the car park. This is quite convenient as I happened to be in need of a steam roller – assuming that’s what they still call them despite the absence of steam. If you can’t get the video below to work then there’s a link here to the original YouTube location.

Here are a few other photos mapping the before and after. There’s a prize of the best caption for the “after” shot – entries left as comments please 🙂

site manager Nigel has a word with the driver of the roller Site manager Nigel has a word with the driver of the roller. In case you were wondering my 14 year old plays the trumpet.  He found this in a skip at his school and decided it would go well on his bedroom wall in a slightly altered stateBb Trumpet on my desk at the Timico offices

Bb Trumpet after a tussle with the rollerJust to finish off an artistic view of the air conditioning fans outside the data centre:)

fans line up outside the Timico Newark Data centre

Archived Business

If you know anyone that might fit the bill please put them in touch #telesales #jobs in Newark please retweet

If you live within striking distance of Newark – Lincoln, Nottingham, Mansfield Grantham etc and are looking for a job in telesales then I have the job for you!

We are hiring. This is a new team.  In fact this is the first of many teams in a growing area of the business and so could represent a great career opportunity for ambitious individuals. There will be money making opportunities.

There will also be promotion opportunities. This is a classical way in to a future in account management, business development, marketing, operations, in fact you could be a future Managing Director. Everyone has to start somewhere.

If you know anyone that might fit the bill please put them in touch – details on the website here.

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.

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.