Global Switch joins data centre gold rush

Global Switch has joined a throng of organisations unveiling new multi-million dollar facility plans with an application to the NSW Department of Planning for a $200 million data centre in Sydney.

The organisation is planning to build the new 34,000sqm facility – called Sydney 2 - next to its existing data centre in the inner-city Sydney suburb of Ultimo that is running close to full capacity.

“The demand for data housing is growing at a substantial rate – as demonstrated by the success of our existing Sydney facility,” Global Switch executive chairman, John Corcoran, said in a statement.

“Data centres play a crucial role in supporting the operation of both business and government and we believe Sydney 2 will be a vital resource for customers needing to outsource their IT infrastructure to a facility which offers the highest levels of capacity, reliability, security and operational support.”

The announcement comes on the same day Brisbane telecommunications provider, Over The Wire, opened the doors to its new data centre in Spring Hill, Brisbane.

Both companies follow a slew of data centre announcements in recent months that represent significant capital investments and construction job growth, with facilities often costing upwards of $100 million and needing 500-plus staff to build.

In April, iiNet (ASX:IIN) touted its green credentials with the launch of its new energy efficient data centre at its Osborne Park facility in Western Australia.

In February, TransACT launched a new 1000 square metre data centre to take its total number of facilities to three, with the first opened in 2001.

And in December Australian Data Centres (ADC) said it will open up a 3000 square metre Tier 3 facility in Mitchell, Canberra, by the third quarter of 2010.

ADC's announcement followed news from Fujitsu that it will build a new data centre in Perth, Western Australia and also reports that Melbourne, Sydney and Wollongong could play host to new world-class data centres as part of investment plans by a joint venture group that includes the company behind the Polaris facility in Queensland.

Analyst firm IDC has described Australia as having some of the oldest data centres in the Asia Pacific region. It says this "is significant in that old data centres are more expensive to maintain, less reliable and often unable to cope with the demands placed on them by modern servers and storage".

Global Switch is also part of an interim data centre panel — comprising Polaris Data Centres, Canberra Data Centres, Fujitsu, Global Switch Property and Harbour MSP — for the Federal Government’s whole-of-government data centre strategy.

The panel, which is a prelude to what is expected to be a highly competitive whole-of-government tender in the third quarter of this calendar year, will continue to exist until the end of the year, but will no longer accept approaches from agencies. Since its inception in September last year, the panel has seen interest from 10 Federal Government departments inside and outside of the ACT, including Centrelink.

Check out photos of HP's data centre in Sydney or Internode's facility in South Australia.

For more information on data centre providers search the Computerworld Data Centre Directory.


Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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