Proximity proves some clouds really do have silver linings

July 13, 2023

Black Nova discovers a pearl of a data centre in Swindon after initial set back.     

Founded in 2015 Black Nova Designs provides over 1000 business and home user clients with a wide range of cost-effective and reliable IT services. These include web design, hosting and SEO, bespoke cloud solutions, managed IT services, Wi-Fi installation and cabling. The company prides itself on delivering a highly responsive and personal service direct from its experienced team based in Calne, Wiltshire.

Moreover, Black Nova is highly focused on sustainability – from helping to protect marine life and coral reefs – to combating e-waste and its impact on the environment. This led to it becoming a local IT collection centre for unwanted IT gear, ensuring the reuse and subsequent donation of serviceable devices to local schools as well as ethical disposal of end-of-life equipment through sustainable recycling methods. Most recently, following a last-minute letdown by another provider, Black Nova moved its hosting hardware to Proximity Data Centres in Swindon, a colocation facility that is constantly innovating to reduce its environmental impact.

Project Requirements

In 2022, Black Nova decided to investigate basing its servers at a fit-for-purpose data centre. This was driven by the strong and accelerating demand it was experiencing for web hosting services and which accounts for around 80% of sales turnover.

In line with its growth strategy, Black Nova evaluated the potential of several colocation providers. For minimizing network latency, the chosen data centre needed to be locally based in the Swindon area with the power and space available to scale-up web hosting and Infrastructure as a Services (IaaS) solutions as the business grew in line with future demand. A further prerequisite was demonstrable sustainability credentials to align with the two founders’ longstanding commitment and passion for environmental issues.  

“We were already hosting over 600 client websites and decided for greater data security, resilience and business continuity it was prudent to factor in a colocation facility,” said Black Nova’s Founder, Kyle Holmes. “We also knew that business was going to ramp up significantly in the coming two to three years which would see a further 60 – 70 hosted websites coming on stream per month!”

Key data centre decision criteria included:

  • Resilience, Security,
  • Available space and forward power
  • Green credentials
  • Convenient location
  • Low latency
  • On-site Engineering support    
  • Price-competitiveness

The Solution

“Prior to going with Proximity we were committed to outsourcing our IT to another local colocation provider,” added Black Nova’s Managing Director, Danielle Holmes. “We were especially excited to think we had found one which claimed to be carbon-neutral and was as committed to the environment as ourselves.”

However, it was not to be: “At the very last minute they tripled their pricing which made the move totally untenable. This was very inconvenient as we were ready to migrate our servers across and could have been left in a risky position had we not moved swiftly to rescue the situation.”

Fortunately, a timely SOS alert on LinkedIn calling out to alternative local colocation providers turned up trumps.

“Proximity’s Business Development Director, Mike Howell, responded within minutes!” recalled Kyle. “I was immediately impressed by the ‘can-do’ attitude and being ready, willing and able to help us out there and then while also prepared to make it work from a pricing perspective. The silver lining was Proximity’s environmental credentials with its 100% renewable sourced power and future commitment to energy efficiency initiatives such as solar and wind power generation.”

Within two weeks Black Nova had successfully migrated its servers to Proximity’s Edge 7 Swindon-based data centre and installed a high-speed low latency 10GB network connection. The smooth transition was facilitated by the modular design of the data centre. This not only allowed Black Nova’s racks to be quickly and easily accommodated in a secure, dedicated ‘pod’, it also offers energy efficiencies when it comes to the power required for cooling. Additional power to rack is also readily available along with further space and increased network bandwidth when required.       

Proximity’s 89,000 sq ft facility in Swindon provides capacity for up to 2000 racks and has a power usage efficiency (PUE) of just 1.3. A total of 7MW power is currently available with potential to increase to 14MW. With excellent road and rail infrastructure and easy access to digital fibre routes connecting London to Ireland and the USA, the  Tier 3 facility  is ideally positioned to serve businesses along and near to the M4 corridor. This includes the congested data centre conurbations of Slough and West London.

Concluded Kyle: “We count ourselves fortunate that Proximity found us in our time of need. As the saying goes, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ which for us shone even brighter when we discovered an alternative green data centre on our doorstep. It offers all the future proofing we will need as we continue to grow rapidly. Their competitive fixed pricing and experienced on-site engineering personnel are further ticks in the box.”      

About Proximity Data Centres

Proximity Data Centres operates a rapidly growing trusted network of regional carrier-neutral edge data centres across the UK. These allow clients to locate their data in local markets, close to the data end user. By choosing Proximity’s network of edge data centres enterprise, public cloud and content service provider organisations maximise competitive edge through reduced latency, enabling improved response times and reduced transit costs.

The company is fully committed to providing energy efficient and sustainable facilities which are built to tier 3 industry standards and are ISO 9001, 14001 and 27001 compliant. Full on-site support, transition and onboarding is provided to customers. For maximum convenience, a straightforward customer contracting model is provided with a single set of SLAs covering one or multiple sites, as required. Scope of services is tailored to suit regional demand.  

Further Information:

Proximity Data Centres

T: +44 (0)3300 250 138

[email protected]

Press Enquiries:

Nigel Parker

Fulfil Communications

T: +44 (0)7778 872457

[email protected]

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