Investing in our digital future

The University of Liverpool is investing £3.5million to increase the resilience and performance of its data centres in response to an ever-growing demand for high performance digital services.

Director of Computing Services, John Cartwright explains: “Research, learning and teaching, the student experience, our global position and our business processes are all increasingly dependent on IT in one form or another, and user expectations will only keep increasing as technology continues to advance and evolve at an incredible pace. This investment is essential to ensure both the ‘digital future’ of the University and to build greater ‘digital trust’ in the capabilities of our IT infrastructure.”

Four secure data centres are currently operational on campus. Collectively, they provide the integrated framework required to house the University’s critical systems, data and applications, held on servers, storage systems, switches and other components that form the foundations of our complex IT infrastructure.

The reliability of these data centres is a top priority because they help ensure that the University is up and running 24/7, 365 days a year. Thankfully outages don’t happen very often but when they do, they can adversely affect operations.

John Cartwright continues: “From cloud computing and ‘always on’ 24/7 services to security and data management, our data centres are the foundations upon which our digitally-enabled University is built. Thanks to this investment we will have the robust and resilient infrastructure we need to support all our IT and digital services now and in the future.”

As part of the project, work has already started on replacing one data centre, with airflow systems and power supplies being upgraded in the remaining facilities. All works are scheduled to be completed within 18 months.

As well as providing greater resilience, the works also support the University’s drive to reduce its carbon footprint. Project Manager Andrew Richards explains: “By incorporating more efficient technologies and practices into our data centre management, we can reduce their environmental impact and make our IT ecosystem more sustainable alongside making it more resilient and fit for our current and future needs.”