UK operator Kao Data has teamed up with Jisc to give the latter's customers access to its Harlow data center capacity.

Jisc provides digital, data, and technology services to UK education and research institutes. Through the agreement with Kao, users of Janet (the UK's national research and education network) will enable Jisc's 18 million+ user base to access capacity at the Harlow data campus.

Kao Data Harlow
– Kao Data via LinkedIn

The Harlow campus is located within the London-Cambridge Innovation Corridor and has both Megaport and Console Connect on-site meaning that Jisc's users will have access to key cloud providers. It is also a Nvidia DGX-ready site, and is home to Nvidia's Cambridge-1 supercomputer, which is part of the DGX Cloud platform.

“AI-powered computing is advancing academic research at an unprecedented pace, but as both energy demands and datasets increase in size and scale, they compound the requirement for access to scalable, resilient, and highly connected infrastructure,” said Alec Wright, cloud and data center services manager, Jisc.

“The ability of our partners to support complex scientific data models while meeting technological and sustainability targets is, therefore, a key consideration as we grow the range of Jisc data center services. We’re proud to name Kao Data the first of our referral partners as we seek to bolster academic and scientific research efforts across the UK.”

Just last week, Kao Data launched the second data center on its Harlow Campus, KLON-2, a 10MW facility.

“As the UK’s preeminent provider of data centers engineered for AI, we’re delighted to have formed this unique commercial partnership with Jisc, providing its academic and research communities with high-performance infrastructure designed to deliver the highest levels of sustainability,” said Spencer Lamb, chief commercial officer, Kao Data.

“We look forward to working with Jisc to support its members’ lifesaving research efforts, and to help them establish a new high-performance data center resource in close proximity to major technology hubs, which will benefit its users for years to come.”

Also in UK academia, a consortium of universities sought vendors for a £20 million data center management and infrastructure contract earlier this year. The seven top bidders will be selected in January 2024.

In July 2023, the University of Strathclude's Continuous Manufacturing and Advanced Crystallisation (CMAC) medicines manufacturing research center in Glasgow, Scotland, installed an on-premise supercomputer dedicated to AI and comprised of Nvidia DGX H100s.