SP Strap

Stuart Paul Interview

We recently met with Stuart Paul, Data Centre Director at Manx Telecom's Greenhill facility. Their third data centre to open on the Island, it was opened earlier this year.

Stuart it's obviously very loud in here and we're surrounded by some quite technical equipment.  What exactly is going on?

The noise is predominantly the cooling system - that very important we want to keep everything nice and cool.  This is our third data centre and it's very important for us as our customers now expect expect resilience not only within the facility.  It gives multiple back-up and offers the solution that will give them the ability to have production operating in one of our Tier 3 facilities and back-up in the other one and vice-versa.  And we have interconnects between both data centres so it's a very, very quick back-up system, virtually immediate.

Stuart Paul

As well as in this site, Manx Telecom has also recently invested in the 4G network.  Do you think that continued investment in the sector is needed in order to continue to bring inward investment and businesses to the Island?

I believe it's in someways our duty to invest in the Isle of Man, we are the predominant telecommunications company on the Island.  Our customers expect the best.  4G is the latest, it is the best, it's a global offering and the Isle of Man needs to stay abreast of global offering.  It also very important that when we are trying to attract customers to the island it doesn't matter whether it be for the data centre or banking which ever vertical they may be from; communication is key, if they are from Singapore for instance they want to download data or files -the quicker the download the better, the more efficient.  So yes it is something do and I fully support that.

In terms of the IT and Telecomms infrastructure here how does that compare with the rest of the UK?

I wouldn't compare it to the best of the UK I would compare it to the best in the world.  This facility is world-class it has been certified as a Tier 3 uptime institute facility.  That was the design brief.  It meets all those requirements.  We stand toe-to-toe with the rest of the world.

I'd imagine that there must be a few challenges here especially as we are in an offshore location.  For example, would you say there is a shortage in skilled and trained employees here?

I believe the Island does in some respects, and there is a lot of good work going on to try and get a centre where we can develop those skills on the Island and I know there is an awful lot of investment planned in that.  Which is great news for the Island.  We are very fortunate ourselves as we had a predominately engineering team and we've been able to upskilled certain areas or certain individuals in those areas which has certainly helped our data centre facilities.  Getting the right people with the right skills is not only an issue on the Island but the same thing applies in the UK and I would suggest globally.

As well as opening this new site recently MT has recently launched its DDOS software.  Can you explain to us what it is and why businesses may need it. 

Many years ago DDOS had another name to it, it was called cyber attacks. these were malicious attacks by individuals who, whether it be for financial gain or just to be spiteful in some cases, would launch many types of attacks such to try and bring a business down technically because we all rely on our infrastructure now - emails or getting to a website - if they can disrupt that it can be very harmful.  Now the DDOS protection we've just gone with, Radware we've upgraded, we've invested in that product and it's to give our customers more protection and the thing about Radware is they are constantly developing their solutions so we've actually not just bought a flavour of it we've actually bought into technology going forward; into research so we are always ahead - before they attack us.


Would you say that you offer the best protection on the Island?

Well I hope we offer the best protection globally yes it's a global issue it's not an Island issue.  DDOS attacks come from anywhere so I would hope and I know that we spend a lot of time and money investigating and our due diligence around having the right product that yes we have as good a product as anywhere else in the world.

To watch the interview click play below.