Kao Data partners with Jisc to accelerate UK public sector, academia, and scientific research computing

Kao Data, the specialist developer and operator of data centres engineered for AI and advanced computing, has formed a new commercial partnership with Jisc, the UK’s digital, data and technology agency focused on tertiary education, research and innovation. 

As part of a new data centre referral agreement, Jisc has chosen to work with Kao Data – specifically its Harlow campus due to the high-capacity connectivity that already exists between the facility and the Janet network – to provide members of Jisc’s +18 million user-base with access to scalable, sustainable, and highly connected data centre capacity. 

Following a rigorous due diligence process, the unique commercial partnership, which is supported by Jisc’s legal and procurement teams, will allow organisations utilising Janet – the UK’s national research and education network (NREN) – to utilise Kao Data’s Harlow campus as a shared, high performance data centre resource, accelerating opportunities for ground-breaking UK research and further supporting Government efforts to become a world-leader in science, technology, and AI by 2030. 

As a member of Jisc’s data centre referral service, Kao Data’s Harlow campus will provide almost limitless opportunities for scalability, alongside a simple, easy-to-access reference model that includes pre-agreed, preferential pricing.

The agreement adds significant strength to Kao Data’s world-class connectivity capabilities, including its location as the closest hyperscale on-ramp within the London-Cambridge Innovation Corridor. With both Megaport and Console Connect on campus, public sector, academic and research organisations can enjoy secure, high-speed connections to key cloud providers. 

Kao Data’s sustainability credentials, including its 100% certified green energy provision, operational and SLA-backed PUE of <1.2, and its HVO-powered back-up generators will also play an important role in helping Jisc’s users significantly reduce the environmental impact of their compute at a time when AI-related electricity consumption is predicted to increase by up-to 134 TWh annually. 

“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 Centre 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 centre 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.”

Kao Data’s NVIDIA DGX-Ready Harlow campus, the UK’s largest data centre development, has become synonymous with all forms of high-density, GPU-accelerated computing, and remains home to some of the UK’s leading and large-scale bioinformatics, life sciences, and research workloads. 

They include NVIDIA’s Cambridge-1 Supercomputer, which is now part of NVIDIA’s DGX Cloud platform and home to founding partners such as King’s College London, AstraZeneca and GSK, the European Bioinformatics Institute (EMBL-EBI), and AI Start-Up InstaDeep – recently acquired by BioNTech to help pioneer AI-powered drug discoveries and fast-track the development of next-generation immunotherapies. 

Through the new commercial partnership with Jisc, organisations from across London, Cambridge and beyond can plan their infrastructure deployments for the Future of Compute, perfectly positioning them to capitalise on the upcoming wave of AI-supported technologies and helping to propel UK research efforts on to the world-stage. 

“As the UK’s preeminent provider of data centres 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 centre resource in close proximity to major technology hubs, which will benefit its users for years to come.”

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