MDC launch event – overview

23rd February 2016

Micro Data Centre launch event generates interest in smart technology and data management

 The Trinity Centre in Cambridge proved the ideal venue for a thought-provoking seminar hosted by Dataracks and Cambridge Cleantech. What began as a local event quickly attracted attention from further afield, with interested parties travelling from locations south of the Thames to as far north as Manchester to discover more about the growth of the Internet of Things and smart technologies, and how modular data centres are helping to shape the edge computing landscape. This popular event featured leading industry figures discussing the applications and benefits of the latest technologies, before culminating with the launch of the Micro Data Centre, the latest innovation from Dataracks.

Cleaner technology

Cambridge Cleantech CEO Martin Garratt welcomed everyone to the event, setting the scene for the presentations to come as he explained the organisation’s role in developing the city into a leading clean technology centre, before highlighting the growing need for data centres. With more and more devices and services becoming connected, the volume of data generated is continually growing, increasing the demand for data storage. However, most data centres are extremely energy hungry, and so there is a clear demand for more efficient products, such as the Micro Data Centre.

The Internet of Everything

The need for data centres was also addressed by Tim Murdoch, Director, Head of Digital Services at Cambridge Consultants, as he discussed Why the Internet of Everything demands that we focus on services. Internet use is constantly growing, driven by service-led innovation, and establishing the right infrastructure for data services and systems is essential. In the future, digital services will change the way we work, who we work with and how we are paid. Service offerings and the manner of customer interactions will evolve, with the IoT, big data and AI technologies continuing to drive growth in new services.

 Making Cambridge smarter

Cambridge is a bustling city that is growing rapidly, but success brings with it challenges, as Dan Clarke, Future Digital Programme Manager at Cambridgeshire County Council, explained in his presentation, The Smart Cambridge programme. Smart Cambridge is investigating innovative ways of resolving many of these challenges, from public transport to health and social care services. As part of the Greater Cambridge City Deal, the programme is focused on using technology and data to meet the need for housing and affordable homes, tackle congestion and transport issues, and protect the area’s unique quality of life.

A wealth of data

Today, vast amounts of data are generated, which must be stored and managed in a way that enables it to be accessed and used as appropriate. Marta Teperek, Research Data Facility Manager for the Cambridge University Library/Research Operations Office, explained The university’s perspective on data management and sharing: from policy to practice, looking at the issues faced by researchers needing to share their data. The University of Cambridge has established a centralised Research Data Management Facility, which provides support to academics, ensuring that their data is properly collated and preserved.


A data centre revolution

Finally, the session concluded with the launch of Dataracks Micro Data Centre (MDC), a novel data centre solution designed to fit into a building’s currently available space. Dataracks’ Jeremy Hartley, Fraser Hales and Lee Terry showcased the benefits of this turnkey solution, explaining how the flexible, scalable system MDC has the capability to lead the way in edge computing. The highly successful morning concluded with a casual lunch, where visitors had the opportunity to view the revolutionary Micro Data Centre, discovering for themselves the advantages it offers for data storage.