NSW Govt moves into south coast data centre

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NSW Govt moves into south coast data centre

May share facility with Canberra in future?

The NSW Government is starting to move IT equipment into its new data centre on the NSW south coast, one of two facilities it is consolidating into under a landmark 2012 agreement.

The state said last year that it would become the anchor tenant for two state-of-the-art data centres at Silverwater in Sydney's west and Unanderra on the south coast.

It received the keys to its space in the Silverwater facility on July 19, and officially opened the centre a month later. It has now also taken receipt of the first parcel of space at Unanderra, which was handed over by facility builder Metronode at the end of September.

The Unanderra site will be officially launched later this morning by NSW finance and services minister Andrew Constance and Metronode executives.

The NSW Government will take a total of 400 racks and 1.5MW of power capacity at Unanderra. The space is being built out and released to the state in two identical stages.

One stage is ready now, while the second stage is due for completion in about a year. 

"The first two stages [that have been committed to the state] are about 1000 square metres of technical floor space [when] taken together," Metronode general manager Malcolm Roe told iTnews.

The Silverwater and Unanderra facilities will operate in an active-active configuration, and Roe said performance tests of the configuration had now been accepted by the state government.

"The state requires that two fibre paths are available between the sites at sub two milliseconds [propagation delay]," Roe said.

"We've done fibre optic propagation delay testing and confirmed that we're well under our 2ms target.

"Those test results were sent through to the state and they've been accepted as part of their site acceptance testing".

Roe also said that Unanderra had achieved a "1.04 partial PUE" [power usage effectiveness] rating in early tests. It's target across both new facilities is less than 1.2, and achieving that will be important if the company is to achieve a high NABERS rating for data centres down the track.

PUE measures how much energy is used by computing equipment.

"We only need to be under 1.3 [PUE] to achieve a five star NABERS rating in Unanderra and Silverwater, and we're confident we can do that," Roe said. "We're on track."

It is understood NSW Health is one of the first agencies to put equipment into Unanderra, which it is using as a disaster recovery site. The NSW Government hopes its agencies will eventually consolidate 130 existing data centres into Silverwater and Unanderra.

Future growth - Canberra?

The Unanderra data centre is far larger than the space that has been committed to the NSW government. If it is completely built out as planned, it will span six build stages, eight data halls and the site will have a total power capacity of 10MW.

Technical floor space in a fully-finished Unanderra would exceed 4600 square metres, according to Roe.

Roe said that Metronode is already fielding interest in Unanderra from federal agencies in Canberra.

"I think what we're seeing is that whilst it's less than two hours by road from Sydney and Canberra, it is also less than two milliseconds by fibre," he said. "It's actually quite an interesting disaster recovery centre for both cities."

NABERS for Derrimut

Although a NABERS for data centres rating for the NSW government data centres is still some way off, Metronode is currently working to have its $150m Derrimut facility near Melbourne certified. The state-of-the-art centre was opened last year.

Roe claimed that Derrimut is "on track to achieve 5.5 stars" under the NABERS system. It is currently being tested at 30 percent load.

Get your tickets to the Australian Data Centre Strategy Summit at the Gold Coast Marriott on March 18-20. VIP and one-day passes are still available.


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