Polaris a pricey jewel in NEC's crown

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Polaris a pricey jewel in NEC's crown

Data centre to be used for NEC's cloud services.

NEC Australia intends to use its investment in Brisbane's Polaris data centre to meet increased demands for the provision of managed services, after struggling to fill its 306 racks worth of space with co-location customers.

NEC Australia's seven year lease at the $241 million, five-story Polaris data centre was a key consideration after the company retrenched the management layer of its Professional Services division, which had previously been in control of the vendor's data centre strategy.

Alex Gatiragas, general manager of managed services solutions at NEC Australia told iTnews that under the restructure, the sale of co-location space at Polaris data centre now falls under his remit.

Sources told iTnews that for the first year of its investment in Polaris, NEC had sold only a handful of its 306 racks of space within the facility.

Gatiragas conceded that the co-location business at Polaris has underperformed.

"We have had problems with the co-lo business," he said. "When we first tried to secure business in Queensland, we very quickly realised that techies wanted to flick the switches and see the lights."

Customers with a national presence were interested in the high-availability Polaris facility, but insisted on their most critical applications being hosted closer to corporate headquarters in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne.

Under NEC's restructure, the company has crafted a plan to use a greater proportion of the Polaris investment for the provision of managed services to NEC customers, rather than for selling co-lo space.

"Most success [at Polaris] so far and growth for the future will come from managed services," Gatigaras said, citing growth in the provision of managed virtual server, security and storage services.

NEC Australia was considering moving some of its managed services customers out of its Melbourne data centre - which is running close to capacity - and into the Polaris facility, he said.

This should allow for more co-location space in Melbourne and help justify the expensive seven-year lease at Polaris.

"A large part of our growth is expected to come from cloud and hosted services," he said.

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