Rackspace sets up first Australian datacentre

The cloud service provider is launching its 9th datacentre globally, at Erskine Park in Western Sydney.
Written by Spandas Lui, Contributor

Cloud service provider Rackspace has launched its first Australian datacentre in response to growing customer demand for local hosting capabilities.


Rendered art of Rackspace's Erskine Park datacentre.
(Credit: Rackspace)

Rackspace established a presence in Australia in 2009. It already has eight datacentres operating in the US, the UK and Hong Kong, servicing more than 190,000 customers. Lonely Planet, Tourism Queensland and Kogan are among some of the provider's local clients.

The new datacentre, located in Erskine Park in Western Sydney, is in the late stages of construction, and will be ready to receive customers towards the end of the year. The company will initially offer its managed virtualisation product from the facility, and gradually introduce its full suite of offerings, including its OpenStack private cloud distribution product, in the coming months.

Rackspace hopes to lure SMB, enterprise and government customers, as well as multinationals that want to set up a presence in Australia.

"We have a lot of options in the company right now in terms of where we want to put our investments, and datacentres are a very large investment for us," Rackspace Asia vice president Jim Fagan said. "So there is high confidence throughout the company that Australia is going to be a very successful market for us."

Rackspace signed a 10-year agreement with Digital Realty, the datacentre's owner, to operate in the facility. The agreement gives Rackspace the option to expand into a 1.4MHz data hall, which will have about 400 cabinets when full.

Running Cisco networking kit, the datacentre will use free air cooling, and will include a number of security certifications.

When coming to the decision to host a datacentre in the country, data sovereignty was important for Rackspace. The company was eager to note that it already offers customers contracts under NSW law in Australian jurisdiction that complies with local privacy laws. This will be extended to agreements in the new datacentre.

Customers also have the option to host their data abroad.

Putting data sovereignty and privacy issues aside, hosting in Rackspace's local datacentre will be charged at a premium due to the high cost of bandwidth in Australia, according to the company's country manager Mark Randall.

"Bandwidth is many more magnitudes more expensive here than it is anywhere else in the world," he said. "In a per byte per month, we are expecting it to be almost identical to our pricing in other markets and certainly, when it comes to bandwidth, we are going to have a very transparent pricing model that says you have this much included and shows the excess cost.

"We're not going to make excessive margins on bandwidth; we're not a telco — that's not our business — but because the costs are higher, we are going to have to charge more."

Rackspace will begin its presale efforts today. The company has not yet released a price list.

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