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Second phase of Melita data colocation centre complete

Melita is close to opening the second phase of its data colocation centre in Madliena, which is 10 times as large as its first phase, effectively doubling the aggregate national capacity.

The first phase of the colocation centre, which hosts around 20 racks, has already been fully taken up, with clients lauding not only the technical specifications of the centre itself but also the centre’s surroundings, which are on high ground, away from flight paths and far enough from main roads for security but without being inaccessible.

The first companies in the second phase will be going live within weeks, with construction complete and only finishing touches to the reception under way.

Some companies use the centre as a back-up or recovery centre to mimic their own servers while others rely entirely on Melita.

“The centre’s environment is very expensive for companies to replicate as it has to be able to resist physical threats such as sabotage, power outages and security breaches,” said Melita’s director of customer experience Malcolm Briffa.

The technical specifications in colocation centres are very high, able to handle thousands of transactions per second, crucial for everything from gaming companies to financial service providers.

A colocation centre is only as effective as its broadband connection, and Melita is carrier-neutral, giving its clients the option of having access to one or more operators. It is also flexible in the allocation of racks, allowing its clients to choose part or all of a rack, as well as having multiple units available.

Melita uses Level 3 providers on the mainland, saying that this improves latency – in simplistic terms the delay in transmission – but the Malta Communications Authority is studying various options, Mr Briffa said.

“The ideal would be to bypass Italy and have our link further north, say in Marseilles,” he said.

“Compare it to the difference between taking a non-stop flight and one which stops at an intermediate airport.”

One thing that has changed substantially over the years has been fibre capacity for connectivity. Mr Briffa said Malta has enough for the “next 1,000 years”, with Enemalta now also offering capacity on the electricity interconnector cable.

However, there is still no formal agreement between operators to share each others’ cables in the case of emergencies – as happened a few years ago – and the agreement to switch traffic has to be done on an ad hoc basis.

“Operators need to feel safe. There should not be any element of uncertainty or vulnerability to risk,” he said.

“Colocation and connectivity go hand in hand. You cannot have one without the other.”

Source: Times of Malta

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