CDC breaks ground on new data centre

Fyshwick 2 will bring Canberra Data Centres' total capacity up to 60MW

Canberra Data Centres (CDC) has started construction on a 20MW data centre in Fyshwick, Canberra.

The $150 million Fyshwick 2 – slated to come online in 2018 – is CDC’s fifth data centre and will be its largest to date.

Around 100 jobs will be created during construction, with around a dozen highly skilled personnel hired to run the new data centre in the longer term.

The new facility has been targeted squarely at governments and their service providers. CDC already delivers data centre services to more than 40 federal government departments and agencies as well as the ACT government, connected by the ICON fibre optic network.

Graphic of future Fyshwick 2 facility
Graphic of future Fyshwick 2 facility

Microsoft in August announced it had partnered with CDC to offer two new hyperscale cloud regions, one of which will run from Fyshwick 2.

“Government estimates that its data holdings will be 100 fold larger in the next decade than they are today,” said CDC chief executive Greg Boorer. “The addition of Fyshwick 2 will ensure enough capacity for two to three years’ growth in the market we operate in.”

Boorer added that although CDC had 30 per cent spare physical footprint and significant reserve power capacity to serve current clients and prospects; Fyshwick 2 was being developed to meet the “runway of demand” anticipated for Azure services, and continued demand from the public sector and other partners.

Boorer described in May the “snowball” effect of government agencies and service providers joining the CDC ecosystem.

Greg Boorer, CEO of CDC
Greg Boorer, CEO of CDC

High tech, top secret

The two CDC campuses – in Fyshwick and Hume – are home to the only commercial data centre facilities in Australia with the security controls and Defence accreditations needed for the handling of Top Secret government data. 

The new facility is designed to handle data classifications up to Top Secret, and will also offer clients access to on-site Top Secret office space.

It is being built to run in an environmentally sound way; the use of air cooling and a closed loop water system will save up to 150,000 litres of clean drinking water per day, CDC said.

Resilience is assured with power sourced via two grid connections and two generator farms. Generators will also be capable of supporting the local community in times of power crisis as was the case in February 2017 during two days of exceptional heat waves when CDC handed back enough power to keep lights on in up to 30,000 Canberra homes.

The new build will bring CDC’s total capacity up to 60MW. The company has invested more than $500 million into the ACT over the last ten years.

ACT Chief Minister Andrew Barr welcomed the investment.

“This demonstrates to the world that Canberra is a hub for innovation in cloud technology and services in a market that is becoming increasingly crucial for business, for individuals and for governments around the world,” he said.