Friday, 8 May 2009

Virgin Media Trials 200Mbps Service

Virgin Media is about to trial 200Mbps broadband. Great for consumers, but it will have a massive affect on data storage not just because of the new services that will be on offer. HDTV, 3D TV and other bandwidth hungry services will be on offer. The BBC’s recently launched HD iPlayer service will be readily available and other services such as You Tube will only increase the amount of HD content.

All this data needs to be stored somewhere, and more commonly content is being stored locally (by the service provider) to improve download speeds. In other words, these very large files are being duplicated left, right and centre.

These massive amounts of data all has to be stored somewhere – increasing the demand for more and more data centre space.

It’s not just what’s available we need to think about. More bandwidth for consumers will enable them to upload increasing amounts of content – videos, PC backups etc at lightening speeds. No one will think twice about doing it, and in our experience, people are very good at creating their DVD masterpieces and their weekly backups – but not so good at deleting data. So the amount of data to be stored will increase exponentially. Purging policies exist to some degree in most companies (but don’t go nearly far enough – what about all those funny emails that never get deleted and copies sent to anyone we can think of?) Training the public at large to purge their data is going to be an uphill task.

This is a serious issue. The data centre ‘industry’ is trying to reduce its environmental impact. With companies profiting from the amount of data stored by individuals, and by viewing larger and larger files there is no incentive for them to reduce this impact.

The time is fast approaching where more data will be stored for ‘leisure activities’ than for business activities which should be investigated as the percentage is most likely swinging more and more to the home user leisure activities – who are incredibly difficult to control.

Migration Solutions is a specialist computer room and data centre specialist offering independent advice on the design, build and operation of data centres and computer rooms. Visit our website at

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