Catch up on this week’s round-up of the latest hosting and tech news. Here’s what we’ve uncovered since our last edition.
Datacentre heat recycling
Because of the heat they generate, cold climates are generally a good place to build data centres as they can keep the costs of cooling down. This is perhaps why Microsoft is building a new data centre in Finland. At the same time, Finish people need to keep their homes warm, which is why Microsoft has announced that it is planning to recycle the excess heat from its new Helsinki data centre to supply a neighbourhood heating network. Working in partnership with energy company Fortum, the project will help heat 250,000 homes in the region.
This approach is highly sustainable: as Microsoft will only use renewable sources of energy to power its Finnish data centre, it ensures that the excess heat that Fortum uses is from a clean source. At the same time, every Kilowatt that’s recycled is a kilowatt that Fortum doesn’t need to generate separately via the coal-powered generator it is currently phasing out.
According to Microsoft, the heat recycling project in Finland will be the biggest in operation once up and running. However, a district heating network in London, powered by recycled business heat and operated by the company Vattenfall is expected to supply up to half a million homes in the capital when complete.
BT adopts cloud for CX
BT is to make greater use of the cloud as part of its company-wide digital transformation plan. The adoption of cloud infrastructure will provide it with the tools necessary for growth and innovation, including data analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning while also improving API management and security.
By creating a business-wide, AI-based data strategy and overhauling its product development, the company aims to provide better customer experiences and create new revenue opportunities while also cutting costs and minimising risk. BT hopes to complete the migration by 2023.
£10m R&D Competition
The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has launched a competition that will provide £10m in funding for R&D into disruptive network technologies.
Together with the establishment of the new UK Telecoms Innovation Network, the competition seeks to develop an innovative and secure supply chain environment. The aim is to give emerging UK telecommunications firms access to funding, help them form collaborative partnerships and provide them with testing facilities in order to design new and enhanced technologies for the country’s broadband and mobile networks.
Since Huawei was banned from the UK’s 5G network in 2020, the DCMS has been working to develop Open Ran and is particularly keen on partnerships where equipment is interoperable and not dependent on a single provider. The current situation with oversees 5G vendors running UK networks is seen as a potential national security risk.
New EC regulations
The European Commission (EC) is proposing new cyber and data security regulations to protect the bloc’s public administration from the growing number of threats. As part of the proposals, the mandate of the Computer Emergency Response Team will be extended to cover all institutions, agencies and bodies within the EU.
The move will see the Computer Emergency Response Team rebranded as the Cybersecurity Centre, and this will be steered by a new multi-agency cybersecurity board that also has responsibility for implementing and monitoring new regulations. The proposed regulations include requiring all EU institutions to have cybersecurity frameworks for governance, risk management and control, and for them to have regular assessments and improvement plans. Bodies will also have to notify the Cybersecurity Centre without delay if incidents arise. At the same time, regulations regarding data and information security will be modernised to account for the rise in remote working and the growth of digital transformation.
For the UK, this may mean a greater divergence between EU and UK regulation than at present.
According to President Biden, companies in western countries should boost their security, with intelligence agencies saying there is an increased risk of retaliatory cyberattacks from Russia or those acting on its behalf.
For most businesses, the biggest threat is from highly infectious ransomware that can easily spread from company to company causing widespread disruption, as the WannaCry virus did in 2017 when it affected millions of computers in countries across the globe.
The major concerns, however, are for attacks on organisations responsible for core infrastructure, such as energy firms, healthcare providers, transport companies, government agencies and defence services.
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