The†European Business Reliance Centre, or EBRC, is a member of the†European Data Centre Association†(EUDCA) and a provider of data centre, cloud, and managed services. Its vision is to become a centre of excellence for the management of sensitive information in the heart of Europe, supported by its geographical location in Luxembourg. It works actively to take forward this vision, including as part of EUDCA. Recent work has involved leading on development of European standards for cloud processing of personally identifiable information.

A one-stop-shop business partner in the heart of Europe

EBRC has been operating and innovating for about 15 years, but remains relatively small, with just 160 employees. It is a subsidiary of POST, formerly PT&T, and its turnover was a respectable Ä45 million in 2013. It is a regulated company, and meets Professional of the Financial Sector (PFS) standards in Luxembourg.

It claims to provide a service as a unique end-to-end, or one-stop shop, business partner, supported by six strategic areas:

  • advisory services, largely about managing ICT risks and outsourcing;
  • managed services, offering end-to-end management of sensitive ICT infrastructure, through agile and flexible services;
  • cloud, providing technology as a service for fast and secure use by businesses;
  • security, marketed as ĎTrusted Security Europeí, enabling its clients to focus on their core business, while EBRC ensures that any threats to data, communications and ICT infrastructure are carefully handled;
  • resilience services, including business continuity planning and management; and
  • data centre services, provided from five ĎResilience Centreí locations around Luxembourg, East, West, South and two City sites.

Itís a pretty impressive offer, and itís supported by plenty of certification and labels, including ISO 27001, ISO 20000, ISO 14001, ISO 9001 and ISO 50001, Tier IV Design and Facility from the†Uptime Institute, participation in the European Code of Conduct for Data Centres, and membership of the Green Grid. It is also actively engaged in corporate social responsibility.

EBRCís expertise and high quality offering have also been recognised by a number of national and international awards and prizes, with awards ranging from Best Risk Mitigation Service Provider through Best Regional European Data Centre Facility to a European Award for Cloud Services. National awards include recognition as a great workplace, as well as one for Green IT and awards for managed services projects.

Data centre audits

EBRC also offers data centre audits, to provide both technical and financial details for organisations. These audits are designed to overcome communication problems between technical and non-technical staff, and ensure a shared understanding of problems and choices for the future. These may include refurbishment, upgrade, new construction, or acquisition. The methodology used covers audit, analysis, conclusions, establishing scenarios, data crunching, economic analysis, selection of future options, and then scenario implementation. A full audit takes from several weeks to a few months, including development of recommendations.

The initial audit covers all aspects of infrastructure, including environmental issues, architecture, electricity and cooling, as well as risks and IT security. The analysis then considers each layer of the system and sub-systems, focusing on system interactions, risks and IT security. The idea is to understand the risks and security implications fully, because these are often unexpected.

The scenarios developed as a result may vary from upgrade or refurbishment, through moving or construction through to outsourcing, or even a mixture of strategies. There will probably be five or six scenarios developed for any one audit. The clever bit is that data for each scenario is then entered into a model, which crunches the numbers and allows assessment of alternatives on similar terms. The model takes into account technical information, operational constraints and management needs, covering capital and operating expenditure, both initially and longer term. This allows the company to find a suitable balance between technical, operational, and investment options, manage the risks and also take into account what it wants to do. For example, some companies may be looking for the lowest operating costs, where others will prefer to pay a little bit more, whether upfront or routinely, to reduce the risks.

An end-to-end partner

And of course, with EBRC offering data centre services as well, itís ideally placed to help clients to implement their chosen solution, whether thatís a migration, managed services, or construction of their own data centre. It is easy to see why EBRC suggests that its service offering is unique in being fully end-to-end, and a genuine one-stop shop for businesses looking for ICT support, advice and services.

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