Woolworths is building a 3000 square metre data centre in an undisclosed location in Western Sydney, a facility designed to significantly improve the power efficiency of the supermarket giant's operations.
Sources familiar with the build told iTnews the data centre will be at the cutting edge in terms of energy efficiency courtesy of Woolworths' board-level commitment to favourable environmental outcomes.
The data centre will use "free cooling" - for example - pulling in cooler outside air to cool computing equipment such that air conditioning will only kick in when the temperature inside the facility exceeds 21 degrees celsius.
This could limit air conditioning use for up to nine months of the year.
And in a relatively new twist, the roof of the facility will also feed rain water captured in tanks on the property directly in the data centre's cooling systems.
The supermarket giant plans to power the data centre at around 1200 watts per square metre, but maintain a capability to power up to 5,000 watts per square metre in small, contained areas.
Aisles in the server rooms of the facility will be kept cool by funneling hot air directly out exhaust pipes at the back of server racks into an overhead plenum, from where the hot air is pushed out of the facility.
Woolworths also intends to build-in synchronous replication of data between two of its data centres - an active-active connection that allows for the ultimate level of resiliency.
A spokesman for Woolworths confirmed the build is underway, but wishes to comment only when construction is complete.