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Government

NSW awards datacentre consolidation deal

A new deal between the NSW Government and Metronode will see over 100 datacentre facilities currently in use by the state consolidated into two datacentres by year's end.
Written by Luke Hopewell, Contributor on

A new deal between the NSW Government and Metronode will see over 100 datacentre facilities currently in use by the state consolidated into two datacentres by year's end.

Data cables

(Credit: Luke Hopewell)

Metronode, a subsidiary of Leighton Contractors, has been awarded a contract to build two new, Tier III datacentre facilities in western Sydney and the Illawarra region before the end of 2012.

State ICT Minister Greg Pearce said that the facilities will offer up to 9MW of IT load. A 2008 review into the state's datacentre usage said that the government would likely need 5.8MW of IT load before the end of 2012. This means that the new facility is geared towards future IT investment by the government, following the launch of the ICT strategy earlier in the month.

Pearce said that the datacentres are not for the exclusive use of the government, despite it having commissioned them. Other clients will be able to use Metronode's two datacentres, but the state will retain exclusive rights over the equipment.

State agencies will gradually be moved into the new facilities once they open later this year.

Pearce said that the new construction work will likely add hundreds of jobs to the local economy.

"The NSW Government estimates construction of the centres will create 250 jobs across both sites, while the operational phase will support network and ICT jobs in NSW on an ongoing basis," Pearce said in a statement today. He added that the deal is about driving IT efficiency, and striving to meet the better citizen-services goal that forms the backbone of the state's ICT strategy.

"We are committed to making it easier for NSW citizens to interact with government, to harness the opportunities provided by ICT to improve government operations and to develop the ICT industry in NSW."

The government announced the deal this morning, after almost four years of waiting.

The tender for the work was outed in late 2009, when the government asked the industry how it could efficiently migrate 130 datacentres into two. The project was then besieged by delays.

Although 17 candidates tendered for the work, it wasn't until two months after the announcement deadline that the then Labor government announced the shortlisted candidates.

Global Switch Property, Gresham Rabo Management, Leighton Contractors, Macquarie Capital Group and the Plenary Group Unit Trust all made the government's shortlist.

The field was slimmed down to three in March last year, after Plenary Group Unit Trust and Gresham Rabo Management pulled out of the running.

Almost a year of silence preceded today's announcement, but Pearce affirmed the government's commitment to driving growth through ICT.

"The NSW Liberals and Nationals are committed to improving service delivery for residents in NSW, who expect fast, efficient and timely services," he said in today's announcement.

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