Spark Digital datacentre supports telco's cloud push

Spark Digital, formerly known as Gen-i, has been building its datacentre capacity in Wellington and Christchurch. On Thursday, it will launch its new T3 Auckland facility.

New Zealand telco Spark's IT services division, Spark Digital, will launch a new Tier 3 datacentre this week, saying the complex is "as good as it can get in New Zealand".

The datacentre, in Takanini, south of Auckland city, features a "bulletproof and fire-resistant" security centre that also has its own oxygen supply, Spark Digital said. The third floor cooling plants feature flood proofing — in case there is a problem with the water piping, the building is earthquake proof, and its diesel tanks are reinforced to "take a direct hit from a fully-laden tanker".

Spark Digital said Tier 4 datacentres — which boast "military-grade security levels" — can't be built in New Zealand, because the country only has one electricity network.

Takanini's four data halls house 100 racks each.

"This building includes a first for any New Zealand datacentre, as it features an innovative, Kiwi-designed base isolation bearing system in place to support the main structure, which will maximise its resiliency," said Lloyd Selby-Brown, Spark Digital's head of infrastructure, when posting a time-lapse video showing the datacentre's construction.

Spark, formerly known as Telecom NZ, has been bolstering its cloud computing capabilities in recent years, first with the NZ$96.5 million acquisition of government and corporate cloud services provider Revera last year, followed by the buyout of cloud desktop specialist Appserv in June.

"As we transform to Spark, we think this puts us in an outstanding position to help New Zealand businesses navigate a digital future in which cloud computing will become increasingly important," Spark chief executive Simon Moutter told the NZ Stock Exchange after the Appserv deal.

Moutter said new or imminent datacentre business totalling in excess of 250 racks had been added since the beginning of 2014, and investment in new capacity is continuing.

"In Wellington, a new Revera centre opened last year that is now 100 percent allocated, with a third centre due to open in October.

"In Christchurch, a new greenfields centre opened in August and is already over 30 percent full."

He said that 38 percent of capacity at the new Takanini datacentre has already been allocated.