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Intel Opens First European Data Center in U.K.

[May 23] Intel Online Services, the Web hosting arm of Intel Corporation, opened Tuesday its first European data center in the U.K.

The $150 million center in Winnersh, Berkshire, is the fourth in a worldwide network, following the recent opening of other centers on the east and west coasts of the United States and in Korea. It will house 10,000 Internet servers and provide employment for over 200 staff.

Mike Aymar, president of Intel Online Services, delivered the keynote speech at Internet World UK 2000, and explained that the data centers were a major commitment to the Internet by Intel and represented a significant diversification of the chip-maker's business.

"Our location in the Thames Valley will offer fast access to an established Internet infrastructure that services the continent, international financial institutions and global carrier points," said Aymar.

The U.K. data center will provide 24-hour computer capacity to companies that do not have their own internal Web serving resources. It is, however, much more than a co-location facility, having fully managed servers maintained to a mission-critical standard for e-businesses.

By the end of 2001, Intel expects to invest around $1 billion in Intel Online Services, with most of the investment going on building and equipping the data centers. This year should see the completion of 10 Internet data centers, with the Japanese project already nearing completion.

Many major computer manufacturers besides Intel are building their own data centers, a fact that puts Intel into competition with some of its customers such as Dell, IBM and Compaq. Intel has reportedly bought Sun and Dell servers for its data center in the U.K.

On the opening day, the U.K. center had just four customers, among them British Petroleum, BusinessEurope.com and Internet purchasing venture eZoka.com. But with Web hosting expected to be worth $23 billion worldwide by 2003, according to Forrester Research, Intel should have little trouble running its centers at near-full capacity.



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