MK Data Hub Installation begins

On 27 October Paul Alexander’s team arrived at UCMK with the first load of data hub equipment to begin the installation.

The MK Data Hub is the key component that will curate all data involved in MK:Smart, which is a collaboration between a range of public sector and commercial partners. The Open University, who are leading the project, are collaborating with the University of Bedfordshire, who will be hosting the MK Data Hub at UCMK (University Campus Milton Keynes).

The technical design of the MK Data Hub has been primarily undertaken by project partners OU and BT, supported by UoB and others in the development of a computing architecture that will gather, store and analyse significant volumes of data, allowing for innovative apps and services to be developed that will inform and support the growth of Milton Keynes.

The Data hub Technical Operations Team have given themselves the nickname MK:Smart DTOP and each stage of the installation process has been documented on Twitter.

It all began with the team tweeting a picture of the stacks of boxes containing data hub equipment they would be building at UCMK in Central Milton Keynes. Since then it’s been non-stop – installation of power distribution, blade chassis, management servers, networking and firewall equipment, including connecting everything up with hundreds of metres of both copper and fibre cabling.

The giant 3D puzzle has required the Data hub Technical Operations Team to work long hours, and take regular breaks to refuel with pizza, but nothing has dampened their spirits, not even the interruptions caused by unexpected rain showers – not ideal for carrying electronic equipment between buildings!

In the coming weeks significant progress will be made configuring the equipment to connect to the internet, internally communicating between the two main site locations and building and installing the software that will run the MK Data Hub.

Follow Paul’s team’s progress on Twitter via @MKSmart_DTOP

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