Canberra puts 'greenfield' data centres in agency reach

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Canberra puts 'greenfield' data centres in agency reach

Active-active, end-to-end services now possible.

The Federal Government has added eight ‘greenfield’ data centres to a burgeoning list of options available to agencies under whole-of-government arrangements.

Data centre operators Fujitsu, Metronode, Enterprise Data Corporation, Global Switch and Macquarie Telecom all had under-construction facilities added to the panel.

They joined a host of other providers offering migration services and existing facilities under separate panel arrangements.

Ann Steward, chief information officer of the Australian Government Information Management Office (AGIMO), said in a blog post yesterday that ‘greenfield’ facilities provided “more potential data centre space to the panel, allowing demand to be met throughout the panel’s lifespan".

“Agencies procuring data centre facilities from the panel will enter into 10-year leases, with an option to extend the lease for five years,” she said.

 

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Enterprise Data Corporation - which had an existing Victorian facility approved for the panel in May - had its Sydney II data centre approved in the latest round of appointments.

Sydney II was being built as part of a $350 million investment by the firm. It was expected to come online around the middle of next year.

Chief executive Jude Jacobs said the admission of Sydney II expanded the options available to agencies.

Agencies could choose either Sydney or Melbourne for a primary or secondary facility or they could run both in an active-active configuration.

“In the past, network cost [and] performance requirements limited the ability to have geographically spread state-to-state redundancy,” Jacobs said.

“These restrictions no longer apply. Agencies now have robust secure active-active solutions through EDC’s panel nomination, and will now be able to deploy similar strategies in line with accepted industry corporate governance.”

Fujitsu had facilities in Greystanes (NSW) and Fyshwick, an industrial suburb of Canberra, approved.

The services giant was also on a separate panel approved to provide data centre migration services, meaning its addition to the facilities panel could allow it to offer end-to-end service to agencies.

A Fujitsu spokesman did not respond at time of writing.

Metronode had centres in Victoria and the ACT approved while Macquarie Telecom won the addition of two sites at North Ryde, north of Sydney.

Macquarie Telecom was to open its $60 million Intellicentre 2 there sometime around the end of the year.

Its existing Sydney site was already part of a separate facilities panel formed by AGIMO in August.

Global Switch had its forthcoming $200 million Sydney2 facility added to the panel. Construction began in the second quarter of this year and was expected to take 18 months.

The panel formed part of the Australian Government's Data Centre Strategy 2010 – 2025, which was designed to avoid $1 billion in future costs.

Agencies were expected to engage panellists when their existing leases expired or they changed current IT outsourcing arrangements, requiring new or different data centre space.

However, departments including Defence had begun seeking exemptions from AGIMO to escape use of some panels, citing gaps in the services provided under the panels formed by the government agency.

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