Verizon doubles Canberra datacentre capacity to woo government customers

It's all part of the US-based company's datacentre vision for Australia.
Written by Spandas Lui, Contributor

Verizon has doubled the capacity of its datacentre in Fyshwick, Canberra, in anticipation of more demand from the public sector.

The company, which has over 200 datacentres around the world, added an extra datacentre room into its existing facility, expanding its operational footprint from about 320 square metres to roughly 620 square metres, according to Verizon.

"We had the intention when we first put the datacentre in two years ago to make it very modular physically and electronically," Verizon vice-president for Australia and New Zealand John Karabin told ZDNet. "We had spare capacity in the building, and we just basically kitted out floor space, all the electronics, including UPS and generator, to expand our capacity and host more equipment."

He could not disclose the cost of the capacity expansion, but commented that it "wasn't cheap".

The company has two datacentres in Canberra, and the majority of clients already in the Fyshwick facility are from the government sector. But increasingly, enterprise customers in Australia want to explore disaster recovery, and are looking to do that in the country's capital.

"We're finding some of our commercial customers are thinking more about disaster recovery and are looking for a bit of separation [from their existing hosted services], so Canberra does provide that nicely," Karabin said.

With increased competition in the datacentre services space, Karabin said Verizon is remaining competitive by steering away from the pure co-location space. Instead, it is focusing on managed services.

"We tend to offer managed virtual hosting, applications hosting, secure internet connection, and so on," he said.

One of the biggest challenges facing Verizon is keeping operational costs down in Australia, according to Karabin.

"Electricity and employment is costly here, and we have to be as efficient as we can possibly be," he said. "When our company looks at how we invest globally, we have a certain pool of capital, and we have to make sure we get the best returns.

Verizon isn't interested in building an more large-scale datacentres, and will instead invest in making the most of its existing assets in Australia, which includes datacentres in Sydney and Melbourne as well, according to Karabin.

"In Australia, we're looking at really running more and more of our cloud-managed virtual hosting out of these facilities and getting more out of what we have currently, rather than expanding too much more from a footprint perspective," he said.

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