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

Tech giant scales back plans.

Alex Walls and Chris Keall
Fri, 16 Sep 2011

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.

Alex Walls and Chris Keall
Fri, 16 Sep 2011
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HP axes plan to build $60m data centre in Tuakau