Data Centers

Photos: Inside a new build datacentre

Work in progress

Welcome to Slough, or the "Silicon Valley of Berkshire".

Slough may be a town of only 122,000 people but its concentration of fibre links makes it home to datacentres for major hosting companies, such as Rackspace and Equinix.

This tier 3+ datacentre belongs to Paragon Internet Group, which operates three companies offering shared web and cloud service hosting. It hosts more than 200,000 websites for 70,000 customers, ranging from individuals to multi-national companies.

It is Paragon's first datacentre and building it was something of a landmark moment in the life of Paragon's young co-founder and CEO, Adam Smith.

"We're infrastructure geeks at heart. Myself and three other founders are server nerds," he said.

"I don't have any kids so this is basically like my baby. It's something that I wanted to do for 10 years. It was definitely on my bucket list and now it's been done."

It was Smith who dubbed Slough the "Silicon Valley of Berkshire" at an event to show off the datacentre this week.

It took about six months to complete the datacentre, which officially opened in November last year. This shot shows the 9,300 square foot main hall of the datacentre during construction.

The datacentre will cost about £1.5m once fully kitted out with servers. When compared to the cost of the company co-locating its servers in third party datacentres, which is what the company did previously, it will “pay for itself in the first year”, said Smith.

By Nick Heath

Nick Heath is a computer science student and was formerly a journalist at TechRepublic and ZDNet.