Sydney universities to co-locate primary data centres

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Sydney universities to co-locate primary data centres

Joint tender seeks host for 36 racks of gear.

The University of Western Sydney and University of Technology, Sydney have kicked off a joint project to outsource their primary data centres following separate reviews of their IT strategies.

Tender documents issued last week indicated that the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) sought to improve its IT infrastructure and capacity planning by moving its production environment to a “modern data centre facility”.

UTS planned to demote its in-house, primary data centre in Sydney’s CBD to a high-capacity disaster recovery and development site, replacing an existing secondary data centre at its Kuring-Gai campus in the city's north.

The university approached the market for a data centre host last year but later agreed to partner with the University of Western Sydney (UWS) on the project, due to their “similar requirements and desired outcomes”.

Like UTS, UWS planned to outsource its production environment and demote its primary data centre in Parramatta to a disaster recovery site, after determining that both its Parramatta and Kingswood facilities were nearing capacity.

The universities sought a tier-three co-location host for a three- or five-year contract, commencing 2 July.

The site was to be “located within the Greater Sydney area”, at an “appropriate distance” from the soon-to-be-secondary data centres in Parramatta and Broadway in the Sydney CBD.

That distance would ensure that neither university suffered outages at both primary and secondary data centres due to natural disasters, road closures, or failures in power or communications links.

Additionally, the site was to be carrier-neutral and include – or be willing to install – points of presence for research network operator AARNet.

Both universities required “caged or technically secured” spaces, with UWS leasing space for 20 racks and UTS leasing space for 11 racks in the first year and five additional racks in a subsequent expansion phase.

According to tender documents, UTS racks drew an average of 4kW and a maximum of 15kW of power, while UWS racks drew an average of 5kW and a maximum of 8kW.

The universities required a 24x7x365 access control system and CCTV monitoring with digital recording of all entry and exit doorways.

Citing a service availability target of 99.98 percent, no more than one critical fault per quarter and no more than three non-critical faults per month, the universities called for information on tenderers’ performance during the past year and any service level rebates offered.

Vendors were invited to bid for the project until 30 April.

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