Macquarie Telecom will invest $17 million into a new data centre in Canberra to meet rising demand for cloud and cyber security services from government agencies.
The company behind Macquarie Government on Tuesday said the inital investment would go towards the construction of a 1.5 megawatt (MW) facility, with work expected to begin in July.
The new data centre, dubbed Intellicentre 5 (IC5), will increase the capacity of Macquarie’s Canberra campus to 4MW once completed in December.
It will sit alongside the company’s existing Intellicentre 4 (IC4) facility, and will be expanded further in the future if required.
The company pointed to the “significant expansion of Macquarie’s Government business in recent months” as a reason for the new investment.
It said that “42 percent of agencies and personnel [are] now using its cyber security, secure internet gateway (SIG) and cloud services”.
The Australia Taxation Office is one of those agencies; it selected MacTel to provide secure internet gateway (SIG) and cyber security services for at least the next three years in December.
Macquarie Telecom managing director Aidan Tudehope said the new facility will serve the requirements of government as the adoption of cloud and cyber services continues to accelerate.
“Risk to government of a cyber breach and the dependency on cloud services are at an all-time high – we’re not just going to return to the 'norm' after this pandemic, and facilities of this calibre are an essential requirement in Canberra,” he said.
“Government departments need to have clarity over data sovereignty – who controls the data, where does it reside, and who has access.
“We cover these bases by ensuring Australian control and access only by Australian Government-cleared specialists.”
Like IC4, the new facility will have "the latest physical and virtual security and compliance credentials to manage Government cloud workloads at the protected, secret and above levels”.
“These include being designed to achieve Tier IV data centre standards, being SCEC Zone 5 ready, and retaining 120 plus NV1 government-cleared engineers,” the company said.
Tudehope said the IC5 South Bunker would also provide a “safe haven for agencies that don’t want all their eggs in one basket”, by allowing agencies to split data “between our facilities or other providers”.
The new data centre will also create a number of new permanent temporary jobs across cyber security, engineering and construction.
Assistant Minister for Finance, Charities and Electoral Matters Zed Seselja said the new data centre “will not only create valuable jobs, but build sovereign security skills and capabilities”.
The investment will make use of the government’s instant asset write-off and backing business investment – two coronavirus stimulus measures introduced for businesses.
Together with the build of its IC3 hyperscale facility at Macquarie Park in Sydney, MacTel said it will inject around $100 million into the economy this year.