Manchester is probably the best established connectivity hub in England outside of London. It was also the birthplace of Telecity.
The Manchester data centre industry was initially established as an off-shoot to Manchester University, who began to sell surplus colo space in their IT department on a commercial basis. This lead to the creation of two companies, one being IFL, Internet Facilitators who were up until recently owned by the university and the second company being no less than Telecity, whose founder Mike Kelly was originally Business Development Director at the university and this is why Telecity’s first data centre is in fact their small Manchester site which was opened near the university on the Manchester Science Park. It whilst at the university that Mike approached 3i in 1998 with his plan to create a pan-European colocation provider.
After outgrowing the university facilities IFL also moved onto the Manchester Science Park in Reynolds House and began IFL2 which was built out in several phases to offer some 25,000 sq ft of net tech in total today. Importantly for both the facilities on the Science Park they attracted strong carrier interest, primarily as they were available during the telecom or dot-com boom. This interest was initially in the Telecity facilities Williams and Kilburn House and then when they ran out of capacity into IFL2 or Reynolds House. As a result this campus is an important carrier hub especially as one located outside of London Docklands.
In 2010 IFL were acquired by Telecity and in 2011 Telecity also acquired their nearest rival, UK Grid, who had built out some 50,000 sq ft of capacity across 3 facilities.
Other new entrants to the Manchester data centre scene include ICE Colo who operate a 150 rack facility (announcement of Phase 2 released in October 2011, read here) and Teledata who provide a colocation facility in Wythenshawe, South Manchester. These new entrants have further developed Manchester’s communications network and fibre availability which has led to major ISPs, such as UKFast, choosing to build their own facilities in Manchester, particularly as space and power proves more available and economically viable than is often the case in London or other major European cities.
With Telecity now controlling no less than 6 separate sites across Manchester the market is now well placed to offer both retail colocation in terms of rack space and larger size deals. Alternative operators and facilities are also available, as are good quality high service hosting companies. Colo-X is thus well placed to advise on any type of requirement for this market.
List of Manchester colocation facilities and their operators, both historic and current:
Telecity – Manchester 1 (Williams & Kilburn), Manchester 2 (Reynolds House), Manchester 3 (TBC, Salford Quays)
UK Grid (now also Telecity) – Synergy, Parkway & Greenheys
Teledata – Delta House
ICE Colo – Cobra Court
Computacenter – Salford Quays
- Its all a matter of perspectives: colocation oversupply or surging demand?!
- Telehouse secure land to expand Docklands campus
- UK Wholesale data centre market opens opportunities for colocation users
- CBRE Q2 European Data Centre Viewpoint – including guest column by Colo-X on colocation pricing in the UK
- Dublin’s Web Summit October 2011