UK universities sign massive back-up deal

Written by Will Sturgeon, Contributor


The organisation which manages the UK computer network connecting all higher and further education institutions, as well as the schools' network and research councils, has signed a deal for automated back-up, archiving, hosting and web file services with vendor InTechnology.

The UK Education and Research Networking Association (UKERNA) manages the JANET network, which it claims is the third largest network in the UK, with more than 18 million users across 1,000 institutions.

Tim Kidd, production services director at UKERNA, said the deal is a reaction to the changing ways in which academics and institutions use the network.

"JANET users want to do a great deal more across the network than they did five years ago and we aim to help them, in particular by increasingly being an enabler of networked value-added services," he said in a statement.

"A survey among users last year demonstrated that there was a strong demand for off-site backup services. Users are passing much more data around the network which needs to be stored safely and securely."

The wider rollout follows a successful smaller-scale project in London conducted at institutions such as Birkbeck College, King's College, The London Business School and The University of Westminster.

An exact value could not be put on the deal, however it "could be extremely big", according to a spokesman.

Currently a deal which sees 15 London institutions subscribing primarily to just one service from InTechnology generates revenue "in the order of £1m", said the spokesman for the company.

As such, a deal which could see multiple services taken up across all JANET-connected institutions would represent "a significant multi-million pound business opportunity for InTechnology", he added.

Editorial standards