Red Cloud readies Bibra Lake data centre

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Red Cloud readies Bibra Lake data centre

Long-term strategy to bring capacity to the regions.

Data centre start-up Red Cloud will bring its first facility online in Perth’s southern suburb of Bibra Lake in September, with an initial capacity of 120 racks and 2MW of power.

CEO Carl Woodbridge told iTnews the facility – which is housed in a repurposed commercial warehouse – is currently in the process of mechanical and electrical fitout, which should wrap up in the next six weeks.

Rather than traditional raised floor, Red Cloud uses fabricated modules from British firm Cannon Technologies as the basis for its data centres.

The modules each house 40 racks and UPS in a 2N configuration. All modules will share other plant – power back-up and cooling – in an N+1 configuration.

“We have 2500 square metres in the warehouse and 2MW at the gate, and that will incrementally increase to 4MW based on demand,” Woodbridge said.

“We’ll have what looks like at least three 40-rack modules on day one, possibly five depending on how negotiations go between now and September.”

The company expects customers will take and control a full 40-rack module, though Woodbridge said modules could be “sectioned into multiple zones” to ringfence access by different personnel.

Bibra Lake is Uptime Institute Tier 3 certified, Red Cloud said. The company also plans to pursue a NABERS rating, however the scheme requires the facility to have been operating for at least a year.

Woodbridge said Red Cloud would pursue Tier 3 certification for the full network of data centres it plans to build.

Its next location is likely to be Hobart, which will be green-lighted if undisclosed “pre-requisites from the Tasmanian government and telcos” are met.

Ultimately the company is hoping to build a presence in or near every major capital city as well as some major regional centres.

The regional play could potentially separate the company from its larger rivals.

Large data centre operators face challenges in addressing demands to process data closer to the network edge, such as for IoT or sensor environments.

While there might be a reticence among larger operators to build small and geographically diverse facilities in regional areas, Red Cloud hopes to fill that gap by offering to sell small, regionally-based modules to the big players.

“We’re supporting the larger global data centres to get closer to the edge,” Woodbridge said.

“They have a lot of cloud customers and content delivery that they need to move closer to the population, but their model doesn’t allow them to do that.

“By offering them a module, it allows them to push their clients further out without losing them. They can take a module and control it themselves."

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