Virtual Harbour provides safe refuge for data driven business

aql founder and chief executive officer Dr Adam Beaumont has hailed the upcoming launch of their new Virtual Harbour platform, which will provide safe and reliable cloud computing solutions to businesses and organisations across the UK, as a milestone moment for the tech industry in the region.

Virtual Harbour is being delivered in partnership with Leeds-based cloud computing specialists virtualDCS, to provide cloud Infrastructure to businesses and organisations in the Leeds City region and beyond.

The new, globally scalable, cloud hosting platform will be underpinned by the existing connectivity, security and high availability of the aql datacentre estate. 

aql’s high-security datacentre sites in Leeds are connected to the main internet exchange, IXLeeds, and offer resilient connectivity to networks that typically carry public sector and academic traffic, including high capacity network into the NHS and national teaching hospitals.

Virtual Harbour will also provide enterprise virtual hosting and managed services.

Dr Adam Beaumont, founder and chief executive officer of aql and co-founder of the new venture, said: “As a datacentre operator, we have to concentrate on delivering a solid, connected datacentre platform to our clients.

"To move into the specialist cloud market, we needed to find a partner to build an experienced team, and this has led to the partnership.  In the end, solid technology is one thing, but working with great people is most important.

"Leeds and aql’s datacentres are a major high-capacity node for the UK internet, and a point where all networks meet. For businesses wanting to store data securely at rest, or move it about at a rate of terabits per second, we’re the right choice.”

Richard May, director at virtualDCS and co-founder of Virtual Harbour, said: “Virtual Harbour represents a great new opportunity to provide eco-friendly cloud services to the public sector.

"Leveraging our experience delivering efficiencies in the private sector, we are looking forward to providing the same expertise and value to publicly-funded organisations who are looking for tangible green alternatives to other costly solutions.”

aql also serves as a global telecoms platform, hostings tens of millions of telephone numbers for the 'app' industry – powering the B2B and B2C communications to some of the largest and fastest growing global brands, so scalability and robustness are engineered in.

The telecoms operator also runs an ultra-fast broadband network across the region, allowing customers hyper-fast access into the platform.

Commenting on aql’s low-carbon, high performance datacentres, Beaumont added: “When I used to be a lecturer at Leeds University in the mid-90s – my specialist subject was Thermodynamics, which is the study of the flow of heat and energy.

“Our datacentres are designed to export heat into the new district heating scheme which is being planned in Leeds city centre.  This will allow the megawatts of excess heat created from data processing, to be donated to the city to help address fuel poverty.  We’ve thought very carefully about how we conserve energy and deal with efficiency and waste.

“The platform is also housed in the same datacentres which we house high performance computing for the UK academic community, allowing power densities of up to 50 Kilowatts per rack (the equivalent of 50 kettles per square metre of power capability).  This capability has been borne from a recent PhD programme we sponsored at Leeds University.”


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