The purpose of this project is to increase the resilience and efficiency of the datacentres at both the James Clerk Maxwell building at the King’s Buildings and the one in Appleton Tower, which is in the central area of the University. The plan is to improve both datacentres to a Tier 2 Uptime Institute Performance Standard, or as a minimum to improve operational resilience to an acceptable level which is similar to Tier 2.


This is being done in collaboration with our colleagues in Estates who have engaged an external consultancy to review the datacentres to provide a number of recommendations for improvements. A draft report has been produced and a further comprehensive report will be produced once additional requested information from the University is provided.



The items designated as in scope for this project are detailed below:


* Review and evaluate against the Uptime Institute Tier ratings at system and facility level

* Linking into the proposed Strategic Review of University of Edinburgh Estate Wide Data Centre Facilities to establish long term aims and benefits

* Data gathering and production of information not available that is required to investigate upgrade of the facilities

* Full electrical, mechanical and physical IT connectivity review for both existing Data Centres

* Production of Data Centre Handbook, including Single Point of Failures and an Issues and Actions log

* Recommendation reports for rectifying issues identified and developing the budget for measures to upgrade to the improved resilience levels required


Out of Scope

* The Advanced Compute Facility at Easter Bush is not managed by ISG and as such is not in scope for this project. This will be done as a separate piece of work.


Changes to Scope will be logged as a Change Request and recorded on the Project Scope Change page of the project website.


Objectives and Deliverables

Project deliverables are as follows:


* Provision from the University (ISG and Estates) of the following information for both Appleton Tower and JMCB Data Centres to AECOM in order for them to provide a comprehensive report of recommendations:


Information Required &  Owner

1 Full set of electrical drawings -  Estates

2 Full set of mechanical drawings -  Estates

3 Accurate rack layouts with kW per Rack or kW per row -  IS

4 Rack active equipment's list with ratings -  IS

5 Accurate electrical main single line diagram -  Estates

6 Equipment rack layouts -  IS

7 Generator information - make, size, model, footprint and diesel tank information -  Estates

8 UPS information including Make, Size, Model, Battery Information and Footprint -  IS

9 The  UoE expansion percentage for both data centres in the future - IS

10 Relative Humidity data -  Estates

11 Chiller information including Make, Size, Model, Footprint and Performance/Efficiency Info -  Estates

12 Cooling units including Make, Size, Model, Footprint, Control Set Points and any water requirements -  Estates

13 Air handling units including Make, Size, Model, Footprint, Fan Ratings, Air Flow rates and information on numbers and types of coils, filters etc. -  Estates

14 Controls and BMS information -  Estates

15 Detail on the installed structured cabling systems within each Data Centre - IS

16 Detailed information on external data connectivity into datacentres -  IS


* Comprehensive report from Aecom with recommendations and details for the following:


1. Improved power provision in JCMB and AT

2. Improved cooling efficiency at JCMB and AT

3. Improved lighting efficiency at JCMB and AT

4. Other activities required to achieve Tier 2 (or similar) status


* Production of full electrical, mechanical and physical IT connectivity documents/drawings at both data centres

* Production of a Data Centre handbook detailing Single Points of Failures and an Issues and Actions log



The principle benefits that will be derived from this project are:


* Greater resilience for the Datacentres with no single points of failure in both cooling and power which would also allow for continued power resilience during periods of planned maintenance

* Reduction in energy costs

* Improved metering for both power and cooling in both datacentres to allow us to monitor our PUE figures more accurately 

* Reduced carbon emissions 

* Potential to provide commercial opportunities to host services on behalf of institutions (if Tier 2 status achieved)


Success Criteria

The success criteria will be defined once the report from Aecom has been received and next steps agreed. 


Alignment with Strategic Vision  

This project will deliver benefits, change and innovations in alignment with the IS Strategic Vision and the University's Strategic Vision for 2025. ** Check the Annual Plan on ITI SharePoint to see how the project's deliverables and benefits have been aligned to Run/Grow/Transform and the Strategic Themes **  

Run / Grow / Transform

Which activity does the project contribute to? The project could be one or more of R/G/T.

IS Strategic Vision the main elements of the vision that this projects contributes to are highlighted in bold.

Student Experience

Student experience and the unique Edinburgh offer May enhance experience
Online and distance learning leaders May enhance experience
Library national and international leadership May enhance experience

Research and Innovation

Research IT and Data Sciences May enhance experience
Innovation May enhance experience
Collaborative leadership  and social responsibility May enhance experience

Service Excellence

Process improvement, efficiency, quality and best practice

A clear improvement will be brought about in this area

Long‐term IS strategic planning and linked professional services

A clear improvement will be brought about in this area

Information Security

A clear improvement will be brought about in this area


University's Strategic Vision for 2025 the main elements of the vision that this projects contributes to are highlighted in bold.

A unique Edinburgh offer for all of our students Commentary
• all of our undergraduates developed as student/ researchers with clear, supported pathways through to Masters and PhD No effect
• all our students offered the opportunity to draw from deep expertise outside their core discipline No effect
• a highly satisfied student body with a strong sense of community. No effect
Strong and vibrant communities within and beyond the University – making the most of our unique offer of world-leading thinking and learning within one of the world’s most attractive cities No effect
A larger, more international, staff who feel valued and supported in a University that is a great and collegial place to work, develop and progress No effect
More postgraduate students – underpinned by the best support in the sector to ensure we attract the brightest and best regardless of ability to pay No effect
A strong culture of philanthropic support focussed especially on our students and on outstanding research capabilities. No effect
Many more students benefiting from the Edinburgh experience (largely or entirely) in their own country – supported by deep international partnerships and world- leading online distance learning No effect
Sustained world leading reputation for the breadth, depth and interdisciplinary of our research supported by strong growth in research funding and strong international partnerships – drawing from well-established and less well developed sources

No effect

An estate that matches expectations, responds flexibly to changing student and staff needs, and showcases the University

No effect


A deeper and earlier collaboration with industry, the public sector and the third sector – in terms of research; knowledge exchange; and in giving our students the best possible set of skills for their future

No effect



Digitial Transformation Commentary
Describe how the changes this project delivers will contribute to the digitial transformation of the Service             No effect                  



IS Change Programme - How will this project's Deliverables and Benefits promote the Themes  

Indicate if the project deliverables and benefits contribute to the themes with the IS Change Programme.

IS Change Programme Theme How the project deliverables and benefits contributes to change
Project Management

The project manager assigned to the project has been brought in externally for both ISG and Estates

Working Together

This is a collaboration between Estates and ISG

Standards and Technical Leadership

The project will be executed in line with standard project management practice and Prince2 methodology. 

Staff Learning and Development

As above

Service Based Culture  
Equality and Diversity  
Flexible Resourcing

External consultancy is being used as well as being internal resource

Communication and Branding  

Project Info

Data Centre Efficiency & Expansion
ITI - Enterprise Services (ENT)
Management Office
Project Manager
Lawrence Stevenson
Project Sponsor
Graeme Wood
Current Stage
Project Classification
Start Date
Planning Date
Delivery Date
Close Date
Programme Priority
Overall Priority