Emerson and Digital Sense pioneer first Australian high-density data centres

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Emerson and Digital Sense pioneer first Australian high-density data centres

Digital Sense has chosen Emerson Network Power Australia to provide infrastructure to build two of Australia’s highest-density data centres located in Brisbane.

Michael Tran, director of Digital Sense, explained that Emerson was selected based on its expertise in providing high-density equipment and support throughout the design and implementation stages of development.

“We actually investigated all the major vendors and when it came to Emerson there were two things that stood out. The first was the quality of the equipment and the second key point is that they were extremely friendly to work with and able to provide us with a lot of assistance and direction,” he said.

The initial project has been commissioned in Kenmore, Brisbane. The 1,600 square metre facility will be the first purpose-built high-density data centre in Australia, offering 2,000 watts per square metre of floor space. A second collaboration between Digital Sense and Emerson, code-named Data Centre City, will produce a 10,000 square metre data centre also located in Brisbane.

“There aren’t many high-density data centres in Australia and Emerson has the international experience for something of this size,” said Tran. “Utilising their experience in the industry and applying some of their knowledge and lessons learnt was a really plus for us.”

Referring to the Kenmore project, Tran explained that the design stage had been finalised and Digital Sense was now in the midst of implementation. He expects the project to be completed in July this year.

“Emerson have coordinated and worked with us to get it online very quickly and very effectively,” he said.

Digital Sense has been working with the local channel on two fronts, stated Tran. He claimed the infrastructure itself provides several opportunities for resellers to offer equipment, network security and systems in general; adding there are also prospects in terms of ongoing service and support.

“When everything goes live we’re going to get a lot of clients fronting up to our doors and asking us questions. So we want to work closely with resellers to provide clients with solutions very quickly,” he said.

The facility will support up to 25 kilowatts of cooling per rack with Emerson's supplemental cooling technology. Referred to as ‘Smart Cooling’, the product can reduce the total cooling requirement of a data centre by around 15 percent in the same physical space, claimed Mark Deguara, national product manager at Emerson Network Power Australia.

“It is designed to cool equipment rather than human beings,” he said. “Vendors were talking about it but it wasn’t necessarily being taken up. Now it’s no longer talk, its real-world situations and for us to have solutions designed for this is a huge plus.”

Tran predicts enterprise demand for high-density data centres will intensify in coming years, and vendors appear to be pre-empting this trend by designing IT equipment with high-density infrastructure in mind.

“We found this interesting considering the lack of facilities to accommodate the equipment. It’s being sought not only by the client but by the vendors,” he said.

Deguara reiterated Tran's assertion by emphasising the importance of adaptability in generating growth in this market.

“We saw it coming three years ago and now it’s here. Certainly we can’t rest on our laurels because it’s a changing world. What a data centre looks like today may change completely and we need to able to adapt our technology,” he commented.
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