Construction begins on Australia's biggest data centres

Staggering capacity of 6,500 watts per square metre

IT company Digital Sense is developing Australia's highest density data centres with multi-million dollar infrastructure technology to support the growing demand for high-powered computing.

The first of two data centres is being commissioned in Kenmore, Brisbane, in partnership with Emerson Network Power.

Emerson received an initial order worth $3.2 million for the first phase of the project - a 400 square metre section of the 1,600 square metre data centre.

The Kenmore facility will be the first purpose-built high-density data centre in Australia - 2,000 watts per square metre of floor space. The largest data centres currently in operation top out at less than 1,000 watts per square.

Digital Sense is also building a second data centre with Emerson Network Power, code-named Data Centre City, with a total area of 10,000 square metres.

Data Centre City will supersede Kenmore with a staggering capacity of 6,500 watts per square metre to become Australia's largest high-density facility.

It will also support up to 25 kilowatts of cooling per rack with Emerson's supplemental cooling technology.

Digital Sense director, Michael Tran, said high density computing is a reality in today's highly competitive, information-driven global economy, and demand is outstripping supply for the highest possible performance and security from outsourced data centre facilities.

"The problem we face in Australia - and the niche that we're looking to fill - is the lack of true high-density data centres," he said.

"We have large and successful facilities in Australia, but none of them are purpose-built to support true high-density computing across every metre of floor space, and that's where we come in."

Tran says that demand is particularly strong from large government departments, Australia's booming mining conglomerates, large corporate operations, Web hosting services and medical industries.

"These companies can't run their operations without top-notch information systems working 24/7 to support millions of customers around Australia and around the world," he said.

"They're also bound by strict corporate governance laws, so backup and recovery services - which often means locating equipment in multiple secure sites - are never far from the top of their list."

Emerson Network Power Australia national product manager, Mark Deguara, said true high-density facilities pose multiple challenges, not least is the ability to manage and support extreme levels of power and heat that high-density equipment like multi-core blade servers consume.

"Australian companies are demanding computer power an order of magnitude more powerful than what they were using only a few years ago - high-density blade servers processing millions of transactions per second to keep them globally competitive," Deguara said.

"At the same time they don't have the skills, resources or space to house and manage this equipment themselves, so they need to find suitable facilities to host their business-critical systems."

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