Conroy barracks for HP datacentre build

Conroy barracks for HP datacentre build

Summary: Communications Minister Stephen Conroy threw his weight behind HP's multimillion-dollar datacentre investment in Sydney's western suburbs today at the official launch of the project.

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Communications Minister Stephen Conroy threw his weight behind HP's multimillion-dollar datacentre investment in Sydney's western suburbs today at the official launch of the project.

HP plaque unveiling

David Caspari (left), Paul Brandling (centre) of HP and Minister Stephen Conroy (right) unveil the plaque for the new HP datacentre. (Credit: Luke Hopewell/ZDNet Australia)

The datacentre, worth an initial sum of $119 million, is to be situated at Eastern Creek in Sydney's west. Stephen Conroy arrived fashionably late to the media briefing to throw his support behind the project.

"A next-generation datacentre such as the one announced today will provide vital infrastructure that will, among other things, allow more Australian businesses to move their IT operations to the cloud, reducing costs and improving information sharing," said Conroy.

"I have no doubt that increased data capacity, combined with the roll-out of the high-speed broadband via the [National Broadband Network] NBN will ensure that Australia becomes one of the world's leading digital economies," Conroy added.

HP has 13.4 hectares of available space on the site, and is planning an initial build of 2320 square metres — the equivalent of nine tennis courts. The initial build is set to be completed by the end of the 2011 calendar year.

HP's vice president of Enterprise Services in HP South Pacific, David Caspari, said that plans were in place to ramp up the size of the datacentre to the equivalent of 45 tennis courts of usable space; however, the extended build would depend on customer interest and uptake.

"This [expansion] will give us the ability to hold dramatic high densities of infrastructure," Caspari said.

The purpose of the datacentre, according to Caspari, is to support its customers in their move to the cloud and everything-as-a-service IT environments. He added that the centre is designed to reduce operational risk for businesses, save them money and enable more service delivery technology.

HP expects the datacentre to comply with Tier III uptime compliance regulations, providing 99.982 per cent system availability. However, HP would not be drawn on exactly when the centre would be officially rated by the Uptime Institute.

Caspari told journalists that the new centre will support customers situated in Australia and abroad, linking itself in with a network of other similarly scaled facilities around the world.

When asked whether HP would team up with the Federal Government for its expected cloud migration, both Caspari and Conroy were cagey.

"Government procurement guidelines are very clear, we need to get value for money for taxpayers, but I'm sure this is the sort of investment that will ultimately be very valuable and worthwhile for all of its customers," Conroy said.

Meanwhile, Caspari wouldn't be drawn out on whether HP intends to bid for government cloud contracts.

At its peak, HP expects the project to create 200 jobs for the construction industry in Australia.

Topics: Cloud, Data Centers, Government, Government AU, Hewlett-Packard

Luke Hopewell

About Luke Hopewell

A fresh recruit onto the tech journalism battlefield, Luke Hopewell is eager to see some action. After a tour of duty in the belly of the Telstra beast, he is keen to report big stories on the enterprise beat. Drawing on past experience in radio, print and magazine, he plans to ask all the tough questions you want answered.

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