back to article Rackspace in Crawley: This is a local data centre for local people

Rackspace has completed its Crawley data centre in West Sussex, and claims that it is among the most power-efficient in the UK. The new facility is 130,000 sq ft in area, and the site covers 15 acres in all. It is designed for up to 50,000 servers. The amount of power available is initially 6MW across two suites, with plans …

  1. frank ly Silver badge

    Nice picture ....

    .... but it has no precious things inside.

    1. Roj Blake Silver badge

      Re: Nice picture ....

      I see lots of Space, but no Racks

      1. Wedgie

        Re: Nice picture ....

        It's Crawley. The kit was probably nicked in the time it took the 'tog to press the shutter release and the shutter errrr releasing.

        1. Lionel Baden

          Re: Nice picture ....

          i'm guessing you live near Crawley too then :)

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nice picture ....

      ...which is why it is the most power efficient in the UK. A 12 MW grid connection, 6 MW of on site backup, but actual energy use about 3 kW for all the fluorescent tubes lighting up the empty space.

      1. Tom Samplonius

        Re: Nice picture ....

        "...3 kW for all the fluorescent tubes lighting up the empty space"

        The lights need to be on to take the picture. Large data centres of this style have used motion detecting switches for lighting for years. I've been through Equinox centres a few times, and they all completely dark, except for the segments happen to have people in them.

    3. John Sturdy

      Re: Nice picture ....

      They're all virtual, and hence too small to see ;-) That way, when the NSA break the door down, they won't find them.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “Companies prefer to keep their data local,” Texas-based Rackspace tells us. That may be so, but data locality and privacy is causing a massive headache for Microsoft and other cloud giants right now.

    That raises an interesting question (which the sub header alludes to): what would happen if Rackspace got served with an warrant for data access in the US, for a UK customer? As far as I can tell, they will have to comply as a US company (if the events surrounding MS & Ireland are an indication).

    Anyone with a legal background willing to have a go at that one?

    1. Nextweek

      Didn't the recent Kim Dotcom legal issues prove you are stuffed. The American legal system can remotely shutdown any remote servers?

      (I am not commenting on the Dotcom case, just the influence that the American legal system had on remotely hosted servers, i.e. Canada)

    2. Vimes

      Funny you should mention Microsoft. You should ask Caspar Bowden. He's the former head of privacy there, and seems to be strongly of the opinion that US company = US law, regardless of location.

    3. Lusty Silver badge

      If only there were some way to obfuscate your data so that when your cloud provider sends it to the authorities it's unreadable...oh yes, encryption. If a UK based company holds the encryption keys on their own premises then the U.S. authorities can't force them to hand them over because the UK company isn't subject to American laws. Yes, the data will be handed over, but it won't be readable so who cares?

      1. Roj Blake Silver badge

        Try telling that to the US authorities.

      2. Peter Gathercole Silver badge

        Encryption @Lusty

        If you were just using cloud storage, such that the data was being encrypted as it left your site, and decrypted as it entered your site, this may work.

        Unfortunately, if you actually processed any data in a cloud service, it would need to be able to decrypt and encrypt the data as it was used, requiring the encryption keys to be on cloud servers themselves, and thus as vulnerable to being snaffled as the data itself!

        So, unfortunately, encryption is not the answer to all the issues.

      3. Dave Howe


        if a US company had data keys in the US, but a UK individual was able to obtain them, he could be required to under UK law - and the applicable law (RIPa) even allows a gag order to be attached.

    4. nick soph

      Legal opinion? What for?

      1. Kevin Johnston

        Have to agree, when was the last time that a US 'Force' stepped away from a planned action because it broke the law of the country it would take place in?

    5. kmac499

      The Luxembourg solution.

      Maybe RackSpace 'UK' should simply pay Rackspace <insert_haven_of_choice_here> a squillion or two a year for the use of the name rackspace, and deny all knowledge of any actual business done is this country..

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: The Luxembourg solution.

        Maybe RackSpace 'UK' should simply pay Rackspace <insert_haven_of_choice_here> a squillion or two a year for the use of the name rackspace, and deny all knowledge of any actual business done is this country..

        That's not going to work. Either you have a clear, legally acceptable defensive model or you are not running a sustainable business, and you shouldn't pretend you can protect customers.

        Although, that strikes me as the Silicon Valley model anyway. OK, forget what I said :).

    6. Dave Howe

      No need for speculation

      A US judge ordered the hard drives of a news org (indymedia) removed and handed over to the FBI, and Rackspace complied with that order - In their London datacenter.

    7. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Anyone with a legal background willing to have a go at that one?"

      IANAL but as ever the devil is in the detail. A quick look at Webcheck shows an E&W company Rackspace Ltd. Who owns this? Are all the officers of the company UK citizens? What is the legal relationship with the US company? Are the agreements which create that relationship with the US company under English law? Do the agreements forbid handing over customers' data to anyone except the customers unless ordered to do so by an English court?

      These are the sort of questions that any customer's legal department should be asking of any hosting company with whom they are thinking of doing business.

  3. ZedThePirate


    Was it just me or did anyone else read "badge readers" as Badgers?

    I thought, that must be some good security if they are using trained badgers!

    Pub O'Clock you say?

    1. Alistair Silver badge

      Re: Badgers?

      If you're seeing Badgers at work, I'd suggest that pub o'clock has come and gone.

      I however am seeing Cat. But I'm WFH today and the damned animal loves lying on my wrists whilst I type.

      But since it is approaching over here, have one anyway.

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