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HP axes plan to build $60m data centre in Tuakau

UPDATE SEPT 16: HP has scrapped plans to build a $60 million data centre in Tuakau. 

A statement from the company reads:

Our New Zealand clients and wider business community have identified an increasing requirement for geographic separation of their data centre locations. To address this need, HP has realigned its recently announced data centre strategy in New Zealand. This strategy will see the replacement of the Tuakau data centre development, with a refreshment of an existing Auckland data centre, plus a review of locations for an additional site.

NBR asked HP how much it was spending on the Auckland refurbishment and whether a new site would see a datacentre of the same size and specifications as the Tuakau centre. 

HP said it could not provide any further information at this time beyond the statement above.

The company recently announced plans to spin off the PC side of its business and to drop its webOS operations, discontinuing the TouchPad.

HP to build $60m data centre in Tuakau, middle of nowhere

MARCH 10, 2011: HP will build a $60 million datacentre in Tuakau, a small town in the north of the Waikato. The facility will open early 2012.

Construction is expected to begin within the next two months, HP enterprise services country manager Gavin Greaves said this morning.

Mr Greaves said Tuakau was chosen because of its low risk of natural disaster, its proximity to their Mt Wellington datacentre and its power, water and network capabilities that run “to the gate” and from diverse sources.

HP New Zealand managering director Keith Watson began the briefing by expressing the company’s deep sadness for the city and people of Christchurch.

The new datacentre, he said, was a “really significant investment” in New Zealand and its digital economy, and said businesses large and small were requiring instant, connected and interactive services.

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Tuakau; use controls top right to zoom or manoeuvre.

Mr Greaves said the datacentre would provide the infrastructure businesses needed for cloud computing services, application modernisation and data centre operations, which would enable clients to devote their resources to business growth.

The site, described by Mr Greaves as a “green field”, has an initial space of 500 sq m with “multiple expansion options” for future growth.

The design is based on HP’s Converged Infrastructure architecture, which the company describes as “next-generation data centre design”.

There will be an average power density of 1.6kW per square metre across the floor.

Power and floor space will be scalable to meet clients’ current and future growth needs.

The datacentre will be built to HP Concurrently Maintainable design, which the company says will allow continuous operations with no planned downtime and is comparable to the TUI Tier Three classification.

It will provide automated system management and have multiple power and cooling distribution paths, and redundant components, including generational capabilities.

It will service areas including New Zealand and the broader Asia Pacific region, HP said, and was part of a global US$1 billion HP transformation to retire old assets and build new facilities.

The facility, with the Auckland data centre, will provide an Active/Active configuration, which HP says will enable “concurrent systems to run with real-time synchronization between the sites”, meaning the Auckland data centre will remain in action with HP continuing to review and maintain the ecosystem, Mr Greaves said.

Mr Greaves said clients make architectural decisions about the hardware and software they use and HP would continue to support them in this.
“Obviously we would encourage them to use HP hardware and software.”

HP would not say how many jobs would be opening at the new data centre, with Mr Greaves saying there would be better indications of this in the future. However an HP spokesperson said the developer, with whom negotiations are underway, had estimated hundreds of construction jobs.  This afternoon the company clarified this number a little, saying about 100 would be created, but that a specific number was a matter for the developer.

More by Alex Walls and Chris Keall

Comments and questions

Might need armed guards to keep the locals out ;-)

" It will create a few hundred construction jobs? " Where are they going to find staff to that, they will all be in Christchurch or Australia!

Umm.. "Tuakau was chosen because of ....its proximity to their Mt Wellington datacentre"

Last time I was in Tuakau, it was nowhere near Mt Wellington.

And I was thinking the same thing @BigHammerNZ :)

geez you guys would think they used a couple of empty cans and a taut piece of string... a simple ping between Tuakau and Mount Wellington would be less than 25 ms even with old copper ADSL i.e. as there is under 50kms between the sites... and they presumably could have a fibre backbone all the way seeing as Vector already has fibre in Mt Welly and they'd be able to lay their own one from the nearest fibre node into their new data centre.

In the 21st Century, that distance 'on the grid' would make the sites practically linked at the hip but geographically distant enough to reduce risk. You only have to look at Christchurch to see what a major event can do for server disruption...

Hey, I have family living on a lifestyle block in Tuakau! It is so close to Pukekohe that I don't think "South Waikato" is geographically correct either!

depending on where abouts in Tuakau you live you are either in the super city of Auckland or Waikato......Onewhero, Te Kohanga and Port Waikato are now classed as Waikato and not south auckland

Tuakau is the Gate way to Waikato, None of Tuakau is part of Auckland.

user of financial reports

Well said. I think it is way over due that the Corporates realised that you don't have to be in the CBD or anywhere near it to do business these days with the technolgy we have available. I think and hope we will see alot more of this -- major companies putting operations in smaller centres.

It takes an American company to realize that CBD's are overpriced and congested. Tuakau has a main trunck for both rail and fibre, handy to the motor way- basically everything Silicone Valley had back in the day!

good on you anonymous, yes NZ companies need to get out of their small box thinking. Mind you, it wasn't that long ago that albany was a green fields location, or more recently botany downs and highbrook.

Mentioned this to a local Tuakau resident and he thought I was having him on.... he said theyd need more than armed guards. And thats coming from a local... he was happy tho that it might generate a few jobs for the locals while it was getting built.

This datacentre initiative to service New Zealand and Asia is a very great initiative in itself, but it could become very profitable indeed to look into some larger possibilities.

What about encouraging, also, Indian interest in creating datacentres in New Zealand, perhaps including at Tuakau? And why not, also, similarly encourage some Chinese interest?

How about connecting a technology-oriented campus to a site with such centres? This could, among other things, do research on how more relevant and useful international connections and networks could be built up and otherwise add value to their information services.

With some imaginative thinking, plannning and action, little geographically-remote New Zealand could transform itself into a "Switzerland of the information era."

I wonder, are John Key's government and Gerry Brownlee's Ministry of Economic Development on to this, or would they like to be?

Wouldn't mind moving back to my home town to work for HP once its built.

Good on you HP. As an IT person living in Pukekohe, I look forward to opportunities to work closer to home.

Yeah! Go Tuakau ... it's not all bad! some of us are loyal, conscientious citizens. Raise our profile!

Tuakau is in Franklin District you ignorami, yes the one the Jaffas just stole from us!

And for the record it is the middle of everywhere which is exactly why HP are building here " run to the gate services from diverse sources".

And get your facts straight Keall, it is no way 500 sq m, my house is almost bigger than that, and I live near poor, lost Tuakau.

You guys have got to get out and see the country sometime, Auckland and Wellington suck and Christchurch, well less said eh. Good old Steve Tew couldn't send just one little World Cup game to Counties and now he gets none for Chch, how ironic.

couldnt of said it better my self. corporates need to pull there heads out of each others asses and see the rest of NZ has to offer. there are and have been alot of successful business in Tuakau . I grew up in Tuakau its a great little town, i still call it home.

Franklin District was split with approx 1/2 going to Waikato District Council.

Tuakau IS in WDC. There is even the new Tuakau Area Office operated by WDC.

Oh dear, it is hard not to laugh at this blog, there is so much mis-information in it. Tuakau is in the Waikato District Council as of November 1 last year, that is why there are new WDC offices in Dominion Rd TUAKAU. As correctly stated in part of the above blog, Tuakau (whilst largely undeveloped at this stage) is in the MIDDLE OF EVERYWHERE. No more than 2 hours drive from 1/2 of NZ's population. It is a stable geo environment with good links to power, fibre and gas. And those who made negative comment about the locals, do you really think we are worse than any other local town or Auckland CBD, are you kidding, read the local crime reports. There will be plenty of employment created here through the build, not everyone can or will go to CHCH to find work, in fact we might find that there are a few wanting to come the other way.

Does anyone know which developer they are "negotiating" with , recent developments in the industry show very little concern for local sub-contractors to have a part in the project delivery?

Realignment of strategy, yeah right. You only have to look at HPs share price, its lower today than it was in March 2009 (the supposed low after the GFC).

The bosses in US have realigned their cheque book to support the bottom line.

At least it'll make the Tuakau haters happy I guess ....

What a sad and pathetic spectacle this once-great company has become.
Clueless board and management have completely lost the plot. Hiring carly then firing mark hurd were amongst the dumbest decisions of the past ten years.