Our data centre and flooding in York

tl;dr: Our York data centre is comfortably above the maximum level of flooding from a predicted 1 in 1,000-year event, according to an independent report that we commissioned before purchasing the building.

If you look at Bytemark’s location on a map or view the railcams on the side of our building, you’ll see that our data centre in York is across the four tracks of the East Coast Main Line from the River Ouse.

As York is located at the confluence of the rivers Foss and Ouse, the city is no stranger to rising water levels. In fact, most years it hits the headlines due to flooding of some description. So, quite reasonably, we have had customers get in touch to ask whether we are – or will ever be – at risk.

That’s why I want to reassure everyone that we are at an extremely low risk of flooding – our building is above the level of a predicted 1 in 1,000 year event.

How can you be sure the risk is so low?

We can be confident about this because we commissioned an independent flood risk assessment before buying the building. The report used the latest UK Environment Agency modelling of flood levels to conclude that the building (and surrounding roadways) are almost 0.5 metres higher than the worst possible case modelled for flooding over 1,000 years – even taking into account the impact of climate change.

This puts our building into the lowest risk category for flooding and the Environment Agency states that land in this category may be developed “for any purpose”.

ISO 27001

Since back in 2013, Bytemark has been ISO 27001 certified. This is an information security standard where accreditation is awarded following the successful completion of an audit. Follow up audits are then regularly carried out to maintain the accreditation.

Part of the ISO 27001 process involves considering any risk factors. Of course, for Bytemark one of these factors is a possible flood risk. The extremely low likelihood of this happening, as outlined in our assessment, means it is not considered a substantial risk.

If you would like to learn more about ISO 27001, you can request a copy of our latest certificate by contacting hello@bytemark.co.uk.

You can also learn more about how we built our data centre in our step-by-step guide to the process.