Security, resilience and sustainability are the cornerstones to a solid digital research strategy.

Being mindful of security, resilience, and sustainability in a funding application will help to ease its passage through the panel review process and can save time later in a project. It is important digital research outputs are underpinned by high quality infrastructure and support, to assure users the resource will continue to be available, and funders the assurance their investment is a wise one.

KDL has developed an enterprise level infrastructure with multiple levels of redundancy. We currently provide a home for around 130 web domains.

All of the projects we collaborate on have high specification servers. These servers don’t exist as vulnerable individual hardware boxes but instead are virtual computers that run on dedicated resources on a powerful VMWare cluster. This configuration means that in the event of any systems failure an entire server can be replicated very quickly, with a minimum of downtime. It also saves on physical space and energy. The entire cluster of virtual servers is backed up to a secure offsite location, protecting research data from any physical risk.


The data centre used by KDL employs multiple measures to secure the hardware and data against physical risk.

Access to KDL project servers can be enabled for all of our project partners regardless of where they are located in the world. Access is provided through multiple layers of security. Our servers are protected by the King’s College firewall and an additional KDL’s security layer. Only members of the KDL team working on a project will be able to access the project server. 

We host around 160 projects on our infrastructure, most of which have a web presence. According to our REF2014 analysis, our web servers served over 130 million web page requests in a single year. Because REF is so important, KDL have a protocol in place for automating reporting of website usage. This applies to all our projects and gives detail beyond that available from simple Google Analytics implementations.

Large volumes of images and other media are a feature of many research projects. Our infrastructure allows us to store in the region 4.8TB of images across multiple projects, on dedicated image storage servers, and we have the ability to provision more as required.