Seemingly located half way between the Canary Wharf/ Popular grouping and the City, when I headed to out to find the Colt London data centre in Shadwell, I thought there was a good chance this was a mistaken address.
From the air this small office development looked promising, with a large amount of plant on the roof and alongside the building. And indeed, Shadwell (click on map to open in Google maps) is home to a data centre.
Although the two entrance pavilions seem to be offices the two buildings connected to these gateway buildings are occupied by data centres.
Located alongside tobacco dock this unassuming former office development is a Tier 3 data centre that contains 1,406m2 of secure resilient space. The data centre opened in 2000 as this planning application shows.
The buildings had all the characteristics of I’m coming to recognise of an office converted into a data centre. Reflective windows were in abundance, allowing me to take my now mandatory selfies:
Along with the roof mounted chiller units there were also very visible power and chiles units occupying former car parking spaces (presumedly no longer needed as the number of occupants of the building has been much reduced).
The building also had its fair share of vents and on some of the upper floors the removal of windows left plant clearly visible.
Although there were some visible cameras this site did not have the overt security presence that some other data centres have. Also of note was that one of the other units on the site was occupied by DHL (their vans are visible in some of the pictures) – physical logistics and data logistics sharing the same location.
This data centre also had very discrete signage. Colt is not mentioned on the gateway sign across the road and only discrete signs by the doors showed the company’s presence.