The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) will compete with the likes of Equinix and Global Switch to provide data centre services to rival exchange Chi-X.
The ASX spent some $35 million last year to build out a new high-speed data centre in Gore Hill, with space for 100 of its own cabinets and 500 cabinets of its co-located market participants.
But by the time the so-called Australian Liquidity Centre (ALC) launched in February, the ASX had halved its leasing arrangements with facility owner Securus.
ASX chief information officer Tim Thurman told the FIX conference yesterday that the exchange faced a saturated co-location market.
“Co-location is still very key to us but it gets to a certain point where that gets saturated,” he said. “The next step is taking the space we’ve got and utilising it for other areas.
“We’re expanding services for [the ALC], looking at selling that more as a technology services base than co-location.”
As of June this year, only about a third of available ALC data centre space was occupied, with 59 co-location customers accounting for a total of 76 cabinets in the facility.
For comparison, the ASX hosted 20 customers in its Bondi data centre, which now functions as a back-up facility.
Thurman, who formerly worked at Credit Suisse in Canada, Alpha Trading Systems, and the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX), said the ASX would adopt a similar model to the TSX’s parent TMX Group.
“In Canada, we had probably about five [exchange] data centres and the biggest one by far was TMX. They offered their data centre as a service: co-location, to their client base and their competition,” he said.
“We’re looking at doing the same thing here in Australia with the ALC. We’ll co-lo but also provide facilities and services for other backup sites, primary sites, market data vendors and so-forth.”
Earlier this year, ASX chief executive officer Elmer Funke Kupper said the exchange was looking to locate ASX ‘hubs’ in international data centres, while hosting those partners’ hubs in the ALC.
It began hosting a hub for the Singaporean Exchange (SGX) hub in September and has also commenced discussions with data centres in London and North America.
“This has been a plan of the ASX for a while,” Thurman told iTnews on the sidelines of this week’s conference.
“We’re taking the facility and offering it to our competitors as their primary or DR site. With that, there are a lot of synergies for our client base.
“So what we’re trying to do now is try and get people not to think of it as an ASX data centre; it’s a technology centre and our client base will benefit off that also.”
Although Thurman named Chi-X as a target customer, he said formal discussions between the companies is yet to commence.
“What we would do is we would compete with Equinix on pricing and say, by the way, your [Chi-X’s] clients will like it too because they can just cross-connect into you from their co-lo with me.
“It’s a win-win for everybody, I think.”