Barrick Gold is consolidating its five global data centres into the web-scale Switch Supernap facility in Las Vegas as it seeks gains from data generated by its mine assets.
The mine giant – which has operations in Kalgoorlie – said the transition was “about 75 percent complete with the last phase being the transfer of the company's South American servers” into Switch.
The full consolidation is expected to be completed “later this year”.
At that point, the miner said, “Switch will be the global repository for Barrick's Oracle and Livelink database applications, as well as the company's email servers".
Barrick has been hosting an Asia Pacific instance of Oracle in Empired and Oakton facilities under a “multi-million dollar” agreement struck by the two service providers in 2013. The contract was for an initial two years with annual extensions..
iTnews understands the hosting of this instance remains unchanged under the Switch deal.
A spokesperson for Oakton's new owners Dimension Data declined to comment, while comment was still being sought from Empired.
Switch is within 20 minutes of the company’s new global IT operations, which were moved from its corporate headquarters in Toronto, Canada to Nevada last year.
Barrick’s global technology team comprises about 55 staff who manage Barrick’s data centre, server and storage environments and run its six instances of Oracle R12 ERP globally alongside other systems.
The team is expected to grow to 75 IT workers by the end of this year.
A report by The Las Vegas Sun said Barrick was not alone in relocating its IT operations closer to Switch.
But another reason for selecting Nevada to host IT is that it brings IT close to operations, including the company’s Goldstrike, Cortez and Turquoise Ridge mines.
Barrick Gold has made no secret that it intends to put its consolidated IT infrastructure and Switch’s networking power to use in solving efficiency challenges on its mines, both nearby and across the world.
“Everything from mine design to energy management to data management and storage is constantly being evaluated for ways to innovate and improve,” Barrick's chief operating officer Richard Williams said.
"If our ambition is to be world class at an operational level, it's not enough to have great mining assets. We must also develop our data management capabilities.
"It's possible to see how a mine is doing minute by minute and avoid problems that come when you engage in planning but lack access to the right data or to sufficient data.
“Our partnership with Switch will help us enhance our capabilities in this important area."