University of Bristol joins Jisc’s shared facilities in VIRTUS’ Data Centre

Published 2016-07-19 08:01:11

UNITED KINGDOM – 19 July 2016 – VIRTUS Data Centres (VIRTUS), the UK’s fastest growing data centre provider, today announced the latest member of the first national shared data centre for research and education, offered by UK higher, further education and skills’ digital services and solutions organisation, Jisc.  The University of Bristol joins 16 education and research establishments already benefiting from the shared facility at VIRTUS’ LONDON4.

The University will use the data centre to host systems for business, teaching and research, including the next generation of BlueCrystal, their sector-leading High Performance Computing facility.  This is part of a ten year strategy which will see the University shift the balance of their systems from on-site to third-party hosting.

The easy-to-use shared data centre framework agreement provided by VIRTUS and Jisc enables the University of Bristol to take advantage of the state-of-the-art, agile and flexible data centre ecosystem.  It opens doors for increased collaboration for research projects and allows the 17 organisations to partner with each other to unlock innovations.   Other benefits include reducing their carbon footprint and improved efficiency across core IT and on-premise data centre facilities that will also be used for teaching and other operational requirements.

LONDON4 is directly connected to the core of Jisc’s Janet network, the high capacity network for education and research. It means researchers can make use of fast, resilient and secure connectivity between data storage and high performance computing facilities, both nationally and globally.

Nick Skelton, Assistant Director of IT, University of Bristol, says: “We are delighted to be joining the shared data centre in partnership with VIRTUS and Jisc. This initiative delivers the capacity and flexibility we require and enhances our ability to engage with new opportunities.  Working with experienced and trusted partners gives us the confidence that our critical systems are in safe hands. The quality of VIRTUS’ facility goes beyond anything we could have achieved independently.”

Jeremy Sharp, Director of Strategic Technologies, Jisc says: “Many universities and research institutions are reviewing their data centre strategies and exploring off-site facilities to create efficiencies, free up valuable estate and increase their opportunities for collaboration; but in doing so they want assurances that their sensitive data will be secure. Our framework agreement with VIRTUS meets these needs, while providing quick, resilient access via a direct connection to Janet – all adding up to the agreement being highly popular with the sector. We welcome the University of Bristol as the newest tenant.”

Kelly Scott, Account Director, Education at VIRTUS Data Centres added: “It is fantastic to see this shared services model paving the way to real innovation that advances meaningful research.  It is gaining real traction in the public sector and education establishments are leading the way by sharing infrastructure resources to be smart about organisational efficiencies.  The more institutions that use the facility, the lower the cost for everyone else already there.”

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About Jisc:

Jisc is the UK higher, further education and skills sectors’ not-for-profit organisation for digital services and solutions.

We operate:

          shared digital infrastructure and services

          negotiate sector-wide deals with IT vendors and commercial publishers and

          provide trusted advice and practical assistance for universities, colleges and learning providers.

Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call 0203 006 6056


The University of Bristol

The University of Bristol is one of the most popular and successful universities in the UK. It was ranked within the top 40 universities in the world in the QS World University Rankings 2015. The University of Bristol is ranked among the top five institutions in the UK for its research, according to new analysis of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, and is the 4th most targeted university by top UK employers

Bristol is a member of the Russell Group of UK research-intensive universities, and a member of the Worldwide Universities Network, a grouping of research-led institutions of international standing.

The University was founded in 1876 and was granted its Royal Charter in 1909.  It was the first university in England to admit women on the same basis as men. 

The University is a major force in the economic, social and cultural life of Bristol and the region, but is also a significant player on the world stage. It has over 16,000 undergraduates and nearly 6,000 postgraduate students from more than 100 countries, and its research links span the globe.

Thirteen Bristol graduates and members of staff have been awarded Nobel Prizes, including Sir Winston Churchill who was Chancellor of the University of Bristol from 1929 until 1965.