Universities band together for co-lo storage

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Universities band together for co-lo storage

UTS, UWS sign with Macquarie Telecom.

The University of Technology Sydney and University of Western Sydney have teamed up to share storage space at Macquarie Telecom’s Tier III data centre, in a move expected to save millions of dollars.

While the sector generally works together on many initiatives, UTS chief information officer Chrissy Burns said in this case it was “serendipitous timing” for both organsiations.

UTS director of infrastructure and IT operations Peter James said both universities were looking for new data centres, with UWS looking to refurbish and update one centre, and UTS moving into its new city campus and in the process switching out its disaster recovery facility.

“It made more sense to go jointly together to the market to see what we could get, rather than build our own,” James said.

UTS will now host its disaster recovery centre at its city campus, with its production systems running from the Macquarie Telecom facility.

The co-location deal will run for three years, with a two-year renewal option.

UTS will store around a petabyte of data under the new arrangement, James said, growing at a rate of around 50 percent year on year.

“It has slowed down recently. At one stage it was looking at an 80 percent increase. There was a sudden rush when the words ‘big data’ went out and now there’s more rational stuff happening.”

Burns said the organisation included Macquarie Telecom in its shortlist because of its connectedness to the AARNet network.

“It’s critical when you think about the research data that might be needed to be transferred across our network – the speed and the capacity is critical for us.”

UWS Director of Information Technology Services Kerry Holling said collaborating with UTS on procurement meant it could offer students and staff a higher level of service that was more cost effective and sustainable.

UWS recently kicked off an IT reform program to support its blended learning strategy.

“We need to ensure that our learning and teaching, research and administrative systems can handle these demands, and we now have the surety needed to support growth and the deployment of new services,” Holling said in a statement.

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