NSW datacentre consolidation ramps up

The NSW Government has detailed expressions of interest for its proposed datacentre reforms.
Written by Jacquelyn Holt, Contributor

The NSW Government has detailed expressions of interest for its proposed datacentre reforms. Opened 27 October and closed 1 December, the state government has received 17 EOIs from companies including CSC, Fujitsu, Oracle and Sun Microsystems.

A shortlist will be selected for tender applications by March 2010, with the contract expected to last up to 20 years — 10 years minimum with two five-year extensions possible — and will include design, construction and maintenance of the sites.

Other companies vying for the contract include Canberra Data Centres, Datacom Systems, Enterprise Data, Equinix, Global Switch Property, Gresham Rabo Management, Leighton Contractors, Macquarie Capital, Macquarie Telecom, Tier 5, Verb IT, and The Trustee for the Plenary Group Unit Trust and the Australian Centre For Advanced Computing And Communication.

Currently there are 130 large and small datacentres located in NSW to service the state's digital information. Digital information volumes are expected to increase five-fold between 2008 and 2012. In the process, the government hopes to create up to 500 jobs and reduce the costs and energy consumption involved in processing increased quantities of data.

The upgrade will consolidate the state's 130 facilities into two purpose built, green datacentres by 2011. NSW Heath and Education departments will tenant the locations, and other departments will move over as their need for datacentre space increased.

The buildings, which may be either purpose-built or existing sites, will be selected depending on space and performance qualities (including energy efficiency). Contract holders would be responsible for financing any new constructions.

The Hunter Valley, Illawarra, the Goulburn region and within the Bathurst to Blue Mountains area have been sited as potential locations for the datacentres, with government documents also including NSW-owned land in other states as possible options. The priorities for the sites include reliable infrastructure and the low ambient temperatures of each of the potential regions.

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