Services company Guardian IT has targeted firms keen to store their data outside the City with the launch of ScaleNet, a 55-mile broadband fibre optic ring around London.
The fat pipe connects to Guardian IT's Docklands and Old Street sites, where users connect to a 200,000 square foot data centre in Hounslow via leased lines.
Some firms have been keen to store data outside city centres following the 11 September attacks on New York which destroyed some Manhattan-based centres.
ScaleNet was launched this week and has signed asset management company Legg Mason Investors as its first customer.
"We already use Guardian IT's data centre for business continuity and web and data server hosting. Our equipment and data is at the Heathrow site and we use ScaleNet to get to the data centre more efficiently," said Mike Hinden, IT director at Legg Mason.
Users typically sign contracts for three years. Services available include hosting mirrored data systems and using the data centre as a disaster recovery site.
Stephen Bean, marketing director at Guardian IT, said: "The ScaleNet ring now allows companies to use the Hounslow data centre for the affordable oursourcing of IT productivity."
Hinden added: "It is a lot cheaper for us to put in one leased line connection to the Docklands site to access our data."
He explained that the company's overall costs increased marginally when it started using ScaleNet but that the business benefits outweigh this.
"It vastly reduces our business risk because, although it will never be zero, it takes it to its lowest point. Taking on this service was a business generated decision that emanated from the IT department," he said.
But the outsourcing of critical business data has security issues that must be addressed before users pass over the data.
"We do not have any security concerns because the whole network is firewalled. Guardian IT does not have access to the data and, in our industry, outsourcing services is the norm," said Hinden.
Bean added: "Since the 11 September attacks in New York we have adjusted our marketing campaign because many companies have asked us whether it is possible to have data stored in a centre well outside London."
He said that the company had cancelled the planned closure of its Bracknell site as a result.
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