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The Crown Estate Azure Project Goes Live

27 Feb 2013

ClearPeople’s new big data management repository for The Crown Estate’s Marine Data Exchange is now live to the public.

Using Microsoft SharePoint and Windows Azure to collect, share, and exchange in excess of 1 petabyte (one million gigabytes) of data with energy developers and the public, The Crown Estate is now able to easily and cost effectively provide wind farm data to those who need it.

ClearPeople, who have worked with The Crown Estate since 2011, was instrumental in leading the Crown Estate to the cloud because of its proved technical ability and specialised business expertise.

The Crown Estate considered several cloud-based solutions - including Amazon Cloud, Google Cloud, and IBM Tivoli storage - but ClearPeople proposed Microsoft SharePoint and Azure as the most efficient and cost effective solution.

ClearPeople suggested managing and storing data internally for the Marine Data Exchange website through Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, Microsoft SQL Server 2008 R2, and Windows Server 2008 - exposing data externally through Windows Azure.

Azure was selected due to its scalability and elasticity. The Crown Estate was able to deploy this cloud-based solution with zero infrastructure required to deliver a huge quantity of content to the public.

The system is hosted within the Marine Data Exchange website, which was designed and developed by Loud & Clear, ClearPeople’s creative services division.
Gabriel Karawani, Director and Co-Founder of ClearPeople says: "By delivering the public facing site through Windows Azure's 'Platform as a Service' ClearPeople was able to provide The Crown Estate with a ‘pay as you go’ model which can be scaled up, both in terms of infrastructure and budget, depending on demand and success. The benefit to the public is a highly accessible system with a user friendly search and Bing map interface, giving the user access to very large datasets. It is quite unique."

Pete Edmonds, The Crown Estate’s Marine Data Manager and head of the Marine Data Exchange project said: "Our Marine Data Exchange utilises the latest technology to create an easily accessible hub for crucial data which will save businesses time and money and will help increase environmental sustainability. All of this will provide a measurable boost to the blue economy."

Nigel Spencer, Head of Information Services at the Crown Estate says: "Working with Microsoft and ClearPeople has been a very positive experience. We plan to use Windows Azure for the new Knowledge Network for marine renewable energy." ClearPeople and The Crown Estate are looking to launch the Knowledge Network later in 2013.


About The Crown Estate

The Crown Estate is responsible for managing the marine seabed around the U.K. on behalf of the Queen, and is custodian of an estate valued at £7 billion (U.S.$11 billion). As a public body it plays a major role in the development of the U.K. offshore wind farm energy industry. In doing so, it operates as a commercial real-estate business managing and tendering the current round of offshore wind, wave, and tidal leases.