Revera, Datacom in $70 million data centre spend-up

After winning all-of-government cloud computing contracts, each company plans to build a major new data centre - one in Hamiliton, one in Wellington.

Both companies who won government infrastructure-as-a-service supplier contracts will build multi million dollar data centres.

Revera has started work on a $40 million structure in Wellington and Datacom, majority owned by NBR RIch Lister John Holdsworth, will begin work on a $30 million centre in Hamilton early next year.

The companies were awarded 10 year infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) supplier contracts by the Department of Internal Affairs. The department said IaaS allowed agencies to buy infrastructure on demand, reducing the need to buy their own hardware.

"Government Infrastructure as a Service is the first step towards government cloud computing, in which an increasing range of services can be provided using this ‘on demand’ model."

Revera said work had begun on a 4000 sqm site in Upper Hutt's Alexander Industrial Park.  Named 'ART' (Alexander Road, Trentham), Revera said the facility was Tier-3 built to the TIA 942 global standard and was scheduled for completion in April 2012.

The site was chosen from a short-list of hazard-safe locations and after geo-testing, Revera said.  The new facility meant Revera would operate five data centres, with its Tawa site near to capacity.

Revera general manager business development Robin Cockayne said it became clear that uptake of services would require additional capacity so a site was secured in 2010.

He said all number of connectivity providers would be involved with the new centre and Revera was in talks with Vector, TelstraClear, Vivid and FX Networks.

The five Revera data centres served as a network using Cisco Multi-Protocol Label Switching, or data packet forwarding technology, Revera said.  This technology underpinned Silver-Lining DR, a disaster recovery service, which had a Recovery Point Objective of five minutes, Mr Cockayne said.  This meant in the event of a disaster, clients would only ever lost the last five minutes of data entered into the network, he said.

He said a data centre network provided more options in the event of a disaster.

"If one data centre is disabled or inaccessible then capacity isn't substantially diminished. Combined with MPLS networking we're able to manage remote data centres as a single entity, providing instant options."

And the second government IaaS supplier, Datacom, said it was beginning work on a $30 million site in Hamilton. 

Chief operating officer Steve Matheson said the new centre would be available to commercial customers other than the government and would be connected to all the major telcos. "We wouldn't want to rely on one, because we're looking for a competitive situation, so we consider ourselves telco neutral."

He said Hamilton was chosen due to the earthquake risk in Wellington and as a more acceptable option to non-Wellington customers, as Datacom's Orbit data centre was located in Albany.  He said Hamilton was also chosen since telecommunications had become distant-independent and therefore it did not cost any more to access telecommunications at a distance.

Opened in 2009, Mr Matheson said Datacom had invested at least $40 million in the Orbit centre so far, which would provide fail over for the new Hamilton centre, and vice versa.

Mr Matheson said Datacom was currently expanding the Orbit centre in anticipation of the load from the government contract, but would not comment on the budget for this expansion.

Fletcher Building had been contracted for construction, he said, and the centre would be available in early 2013.

Department of Internal Affairs acting chief executive Peter Mersi said the procurement syndicate would save an estimated $50 to $250 million over 10 years.

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