Scotland's Digital Future: Data Centre Colocation In The Scottish Public Sector

Guidance and principles on data centre colocation. Sets out how to select a colocation site (service standards, energy efficiency, security etc.) a model Memorandum of Understanding and colocation case studies in the Scottish Public Sector. Developed wi

Understanding the Risks


The geographic landscape in Scotland makes colocation an attractive proposal as the country is small enough to connect public sector data centres to organisations easily, and enables staff to travel between the data centre and their place of work in a short time should any work be required that necessitates physical access.

The risks in locating a data centre will have been assessed by the facilities owner when it was built. You should however satisfy yourself that the potential impact of any location related risks such weather-related disasters etc. are fully mitigated.


In considering a colocation facility it is important to look at connectivity and ensure that this will meet your requirements or can facilitate your requirements cost effectively. Factors that should also be considered are existing or planned links with networks such as the Scottish Wide Area Network ( SWAN) and connectivity to the joint academic network ( JANET) etc.

Any data centre should be designed to have multiple access routes for telecommunications carriers.

Power Supplies

Given that a data centre is heavily dependent on the constant supply of electricity and connectivity, specific attention should be paid to the ability of your chosen provider to deliver this. Ideally electricity should be sourced from two independent grid systems, and connectivity supplied from more than one vendor.

The power supply to the data centre should be delivered over separate cables entering at separate points at each end of the building. To ensure no single points of failure exist each supply should be protected by uninterruptible power supplies ( UPS, i.e. batteries) and backed-up by generators. Each generator and UPS should individually be capable of taking the site load and in the event of a failure an automatic transfer should ensure continuity of energy supply.


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