Irishman brings digital industrial revolution to Newcastle

29 Nov 2016

The north England city of Newcastle witnessed the first three industrial revolutions, and now it is preparing for the fourth, powered by data. Image: Photo Critical/Shutterstock

Data infrastructure supremo Noel Meaney is building a three-data centre campus in Newcastle and will surround the city with a 40km fibre network.

Meaney is the telecoms entrepreneur who acquired a plethora of distressed data centre assets following the bubble and turned them into a digital empire.

He acquired the former assets of Metromedia, which built a $75m data centre and $45m fibre ring that stretched 100km around Europe.

‘We are in an age when the data centre has become a powerhouse of modern business’

He went on to form Citadel100, EuNetworks and Sea Fibre Networks, which connected Ireland with the UK.

His latest data centre venture Stellium is targeting wholesale, rack services and cloud solutions.

The digital belt: Dublin, Newcastle, Amsterdam

Irishman brings fourth industrial revolution to Newcastle

The new data centre campus that Noel Meaney is building in Newcastle. Image: Stellium

The strategy is something of a masterstroke because Newcastle is on the same latitude as Dublin and Amsterdam.

It is also home to accounting software giant Sage, as well as the substantial operations of Procter and Gamble, Accenture and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise.

The data centre campus will be fully operational by December.

Stellium’s Tier III-plus data centre campus is located in Newcastle, and is constructed to BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and ‘Outstanding’ standards, with a power usage effectiveness rating of 1.16.

The campus has its own dedicated power supply from an adjacent National Grid Interconnector, which provides up to 80 MVA, via four 20 MVA 11kV feeds from two dedicated SSE substations.

Meaney has also invested in a 40km metro fibre network in Newcastle.

The multi-duct network is the first of its kind to be built in the city, and connects Stellium’s data centres to multiple long-haul and international carriers.

Stellium’s clients have low-latency, high-capacity connectivity to London, Europe and the US.

The fourth industrial revolution comes to Newcastle

Irishman brings fourth industrial revolution to Newcastle

Data centre supremo Noel Meaney. Image: Stellium

“We are in an age when the data centre has become a powerhouse of modern business,” Meaney said.

“The way we store, manage, manipulate and move data is driving and creating new market opportunities, whether it’s convergence and cloud computing, or big data and the internet of things.

“Data centres are the hub of modern business operations and can no longer be viewed simply as a commodity. Instead, they have evolved to become a strategic business asset.

“To futureproof this asset, data centres need guaranteed cost-effective power, modern agile engineering, and high-capacity, resilient connectivity,” he continued.

“They also need to be scalable, flexible and operationally robust. We have dedicated our resources to ensure that Stellium’s data centres have all of these attributes, as well as being part of a wider technology ecosystem. Whatever the journey our client’s technology may take in the future, our data centres will have the ability to support and assist that journey,” Meaney added.

The Tyne Bridge in Newcastle, UK. Image: Photo Critical/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years