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Durham University

Computing and Information Services

The Big 3

The Big 3 Project is now complete

The Big 3 Project is now complete

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Our two-year long IT infrastructure improvement programme, The Big 3, has now been completed. Find out what we’ve done to future proof our network, storage and infrastructure for the next generation of Durham University students.


The Big 3 was a programme of work to improve our network, enhance our hosting environment and boost our storage capabilities.

Split into the two phases, the first phase ended in December 2019 having successfully achieved all of its original objectives. The initiative to deliver next generation infrastructure, updating our university network, storage and hosting environments, was delivered to time and budget.

Following this, Phase two was launched. This would see the University implement Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) to modernise the network and create capacity for future growth. This work would then underpin the University's Digital Strategy, by creating a robust, scalable network to meet the future needs of our staff and students.

These new technologies will provide further stability, helping to future-proof our IT systems and provide the very best IT experience for our staff and students.

What we did...

We want our staff and students to have a reliable, resilient network that provides them with high-speed internet whenever they need it.

To do this, we have laid 136.5km of fibre-optic cable throughout the city to ensure all of our University buildings are part of this strong network.

We have put in place a hosting platform that is scalable and more resilient. Using the latest generation hosting technology, this will ensure ongoing maintenance and upgrades without the need for unplanned business-disrupting outages.

The Big 3 has also allowed legacy systems to be decommisioned through standardising our hosting so all University applications are now hosted in a single, modern, resilient platform.

We know our students, staff and researchers need storage. You need to be able to securely store your data, have plenty of space allocated for it, and be able to quickly retrieve it.

Our new storage options enable this. For the academic and research community, we have launched a Storage Manager Tool which will enable you to manage your Personal Research Storage (PRS) and Shared Research Storage (SRS) allocations as required. This eliminates the need for ad hoc solutions, and instead provides a stable, fit for purpose storage solution.

For further information on all the storage options available, read the Service Catalogue Storage pages.