The University Shared Data Centre (USDC) opened on 1 August 2011, the information below is historical.

The University Shared Data Centre (USDC) Project will deliver a fully equipped shared data centre for the collegiate University which:
  • meets international standards in sustainability and efficiency
  • utilises the latest fibre and copper technologies
  • provides resilience for the University's business-critical ICT services
  • provides the foundation for a suite of shared infrastructure services

The University Shared Data Centre will be equipped to provide a suite of services managed by OUCS. These include co-location and virtualised infrastructure ('cloud') services. The services are currently being scoped and defined by OUCS.

The University Shared Data Centre is on South Parks Road within the Oxford Molecular Pathology Institute (location) and will be fully operational by August 2011.

Interested in the USDC and the services?
Please email your details and a summary of your data centre needs to:
We will endeavour to keep you informed of the USDC and the surrounding services.

Project Objectives

The project team will:
  • oversee the sign-off of the Shared Data Centre 'shell' from the contractors;
  • define the 'soft fit-out' (how to equip the Shared Data Centre) and manage that process to ensure it meets the needs of the University;
  • consult the University on its IT infrastructure needs and establish the demand for co-location services from day one of opening;
  • develop a service level description, policies and a cost-recovery charging structure to support the co-location services;

1. Our Priorities

When planning the design and fit-out of the University Shared Data Centre, the project team ensured that the University Shared Data Centre met the latest environmental and business priorities of the University:


The Shared Data Centre will provide resilience for the University's business-critical ICT services, the fit-out includes:
  • Dual resilient 'Uninterruptible Power Supplies' (UPS): electricity is supplied from two separate substations each supplying a separate UPS
  • Dual power bars to each cabinet from separate feeds: each cabinet has two power bars fed from separate power distribution units which are fed from independent UPSs
  • Critical service protection: there is no single point of failure as critical services are dual-honed
  • Network connectivity from two incoming optical fibre feeds via diverse routes from the University backbone network

Energy Efficiency

The Shared Data Centre was designed by specialists to ensure it meets international standards:
  • It meets TIA942, the international infrastructure standard for data centres
  • The data centre will operate 'Trigeneration' cooling, using an absorption chiller which consumes less electricity than conventional cooling and leads to considerable savings in energy consumption
  • It will be equipped with 'cold aisle containment' to maximise cooling efficiency and provide a 500 kilowatt cooling capability upon opening
  • In-rack cooling via chilled water will ensure that higher density equipment remains at the correct temperature without having to cool the entire centre

Green IT

The University of Oxford is committed to reducing its carbon foot print and seeks to minimise environmental costs where possible:

A Secure Environment

The University is investigating advanced security measures within the Shared Data Centre, these include:

  • A Biometric Proximity Reader entrance system, which relies on thumb print identification
  • An anti-tailgating security portal and a 365 degree CCTV camera system
  • Individual proximity readers on each cabinet
  • Fire prevention is provided by a localised high pressure water vapour fire suppression system in the floor and ceiling
  • The floor includes a leak protection system

2. Project Schedule

Latest news: The USDC building shell was officially handed over to OUCS on 24 January 2010

3. Reporting

The Shared Data Centre Project reports to the PRAC ICT Sub-committee on a termly basis. The reports are available within the ODIT Project Summary Reports.

The project also reports fortnightly to the OUCS Senior Managers Group to highlight any new risks or concerns.

4. Project Team and Support

  • Project Sponsor: Director of IT, Paul Jeffreys
  • Senior Manager: Mike Fraser
  • Shared Infrastructure Services Manager: Pete Jones
  • Data Centre Operations Manager: David Birds

The USDC project comes within a programme of projects which is overseen by an internal project working group. The programme draws on expertise from across OUCS.