Metronode opens second Melbourne data centre

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Metronode opens second Melbourne data centre
Air filters in the Melbourne2 facility.

Targets agencies and enterprises with $150 million facility.

Leighton Holdings subsidiary Metronode has launched its second data centre in Melbourne, and its first facility to use modular BladeRoom kit imported from Britain.

The $150 million Melbourne2 data centre supports up to 12 megawatts of IT load and more than 3000 equipment racks within 14 BladeRoom pods, split evenly across two floors.

Metronode general manager Malcom Roe told iTnews that the facility’s ground floor was nearing capacity but there was space available on the upper floor, which also housed an unnamed government customer.

The Tier III data centre will also house a cloud provider and co-location provider, both of which require high-density computing.

Metronode styled the data centre as “the first purpose-built facility featuring free air cooling to deliver world-leading energy efficiency”.

It boasted a power utilisation efficiency (PUE) rating of less than 1.2, which meant that a sixth of the data centre’s power bill went towards non-computing equipment, such as lighting and cooling.

A PUE of 1.0 is considered "ideal".

Roe told iTnews last year that the BladeRoom modules achieved a PUE of 1.04 under “full load” in Metronode’s tests.

No solar power

Metronode's Melbourne2 launch comes a month after competitor NextDC unveiled its own $130 million data centre in South Melbourne.

According to NextDC founder Bevan Slattery, the M1 facility had an average PUE of 1.35, lowered partially by a 400 kW rooftop solar array.

Roe told iTnews that Metronode had decided not to install solar panels as it would require "ten times the site's surface area to be effective".

"Per megawatt, it is more expensive to the customer," he said.

"It is more effective to buy credits from a renewable provider. Solar panels on this roof would maybe power the lights in this reception room."

Roe planned to expand the Melbourne2 facility in five phases, to reach up to 27 MW within five years.

Victorian technology minister Gordon Rich-Phillips welcomed the facility as a “further boost to Victoria’s vibrant technology sector”.

Rich-Phillips urged government organisations to rely increasingly on third-party outsourcers, instead of running in-house projects that often produced products that were “redundant by the time they hit the market”.

“In the 20th century, the focus was on gold. Now the focus of industry and government is on data,” he said.

“Data centres are an important opportunity for the state.”

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