Digital Realty cuts ribbon on 5th Australian DC, flags further expansion with purchase of Sydney land parcel

Digital Realty is stepping up its continued growth and investment drive in Australia with the launch of  its Digital Erskine Park II.

In additional, the firm acquired  of a further 1.4-hectare land parcel in Erskine Park.  The site will be home to Digital Erskine Park III, a new data centre facility that will add 12 megawatts of capacity to the Digital Realty Erskine Park Connected Campus upon completion.

“Together, the two new facilities will expand Digital Realty’s Australian data centre footprint to six facilities, bringing the company’s total investment in Australia to over A$1 billion,” the company added. The next generation, cloud-enabled and environmentally friendly facility encompasses 7,000 square metres and will provide up to 17.4 megawatts of critical IT power capacity to numerous Australian and international customers.

Digital Realty’s Newest Sydney Data Centre

Ohio-based provider of equipment and services for data centres Vertiv is supplying power, cooling and uninterruptable power source technology to Digital Realty’s  new Sydney data centre to ensure the facility meets the highest levels of energy efficiency.

“As businesses and consumers, our insatiable appetite for data is driving IT spend in Australia towards $93 billion in 2019 and this is creating demand for more and more data centres,” said Vertiv ANZ MD Robert Linsdell. “This has a huge impact on energy, and we estimate data centres now consume at least five per cent of power generated in Australia, causing concern for businesses.”

“Digital Realty is defining the standard for responsible and efficient colocation and cloud services in Australia, and this expertise will become more vital as businesses continue to invest in energy-hungry, cloud-reliant and data-driven services such as virtual reality and artificial intelligence,” he added.

Member for Mulgoa Tanya Davies MP more professional jobs coming into our region, there are more opportunities for people to live, work and invest in western Sydney, now and into the future,” said Davies.  “The New South Wales government is committed to growing opportunities for people not only to live, but also to work in western Sydney. We will continue to work hard to ensure people throughout western Sydney have access to fulfilling careers right here at home.”

The grand opening was attended by Councillor Greg Davies, the Deputy Mayor of Penrith, and Mr. Graham Davis-King, member and director of the Deerubbin Local Aboriginal Land Council.  Penrith Mayor Ross Fowler also congratulated Digital Realty on the opening of the new facility.

“We applaud Digital Realty’s investment in Penrith, through both the data centre opened today and the company’s plans to build an additional facility in Erskine Park,” said Cr Fowler.  “Council is committed to supporting e-commerce and creating a city that is connected in every way.  This includes access to fast and efficient technology infrastructure.”

Digital Realty CEO William Stein stated, “Sydney’s status as a global hotspot for innovation, and a key city for multinationals as they touch down into the Asia Pacific region, makes it a critically important destination for us. “

“This facility will serve the community well as a strong addition to Sydney’s data and technology infrastructure, which is increasingly under-resourced due to the rapid growth of inbound business and the regional digital economy,” he said.

Digital Erskine Park II Additional Features

  • The newly opened facility was built utilising Digital Realty’s latest state-of-the-art, trademarked 4.0 POD Architecture® performance-optimised data centre design.  The POD Architecture uses a modular methodology to build out raised floor data centre capacity using standard power and cooling building blocks for cost-effectiveness, design flexibility and energy efficiency.  This unique trademarked system leverages Digital Realty’s deep expertise and extensive experience designing and building data centres around the globe.
  • The facility will employ a state-of-the-art cooling solution that includes a pumped refrigerate economiser cycle, ensuring excellent annualised Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) without water usage, a key factor in ensuring a low impact on the environment.  The data centre also features lithium ion battery technology, which provides better performance than traditional lead acid batteries.
  • The new facility will be connected via dark fibre to the existing facilities on the Digital Realty Erskine Park connected campus, bringing together critical data centre, network, cloud and connectivity providers under a single, secure environment for Australian and international customers.  The new facility will have the ability to connect directly to PIPE-IX, the second-largest Internet Exchange in Australia, housed within the Digital Realty Erskine Park connected campus.

“Our new facility will empower our customers to successfully tackle their unique digital transformation objectives with agile data centre solutions built for growth and harnessing the power of proximity needed for latency-sensitive applications,” said Peter Adcock, Vice President of Design & Construction for Asia Pacific at Digital Realty.

“Sydney is ideally placed on the Eastern Seaboard, with the fibre optic backbone that runs up through Brisbane and Queensland, and down to Canberra and Melbourne.  It picks up a large part of the Australian population and is strategically located along submarine fibre cable routes.”


Digital Realty’s Continued Expansion:  Digital Erskine Park III
Given the significant demand for the company’s recently completed data centres in Sydney, Digital Realty has acquired an additional land parcel to support the next phase of the Erskine Park connected campus.  The new site was strategically selected to provide easy network and operations access from the company’s existing Erskine Park facilities.  Design and planning work for the new 12-megawatt facility is expected to begin shortly, with incremental capacity scheduled to be delivered by 2020, subject to planning approval and customer demand.

Digital Realty will employ up to 500 local contractors during construction of the new facility, providing another boost to the Western Sydney economy.  Once fully operational, the data centre will provide up to 30 additional permanent roles, including facilities managers, engineers, security personnel and additional contractors.

“We are excited to further expand our presence in Sydney, a key market for us in Australia and the wider Asia Pacific region,” said Krupal Raval, Chief Financial Officer for Asia Pacific at Digital Realty.  “The time is right for this expansion.  Given the fantastic market demand we have seen for our newest facility that just opened, we have already started the design and planning process for the next phase of our Erskine Park connected campus.  We expect to break ground soon, with the goal of delivering our next data centre for customers requiring critical IT space in Sydney by 2020.”


Sky the limit for ANZ space industry as NZ launches rocket while Australia ups satellite push

Sunday’s successful rocket launch by Kiwi company Rocket Lab heralded not only the first commercial launch for the company, but also the launch of the first CubeSats from an Australian firm.

Adelaide-based IoT startup Fleet Space Technologies, used Rocket Lab’s ‘It’s Business Time’ mission to launch two 1.5U satellites which will be the foundation of a global IoT communications constellation.

Rocket Lab’s Electron launch vehicle lifted off from the Mahia Peninsula on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand at 16.50 on Sunday, deploying six satellites into low earth orbit. Around an hour later the Curie module, which successfully separated from Electron on orbit, also deployed a drag sail technology demonstrator, designed and built by High Performance Space Structure Systems, to passively de-orbit inactive small satellites and reduce space junk.

The two Fleet Promixa satellites are the first of a fleet of more than 100 small, low cost nanosatellites, weighing less than 10kg and about the size of a shoebox, that will provide internet connectivity for millions of sensor devices in remote locations around the world.

The Fleet satellites are the first commercial tests of Fleet’s software-defined radios which will be used to transmit data across S-band and L-band frequencies in space.

Also on the manifest were two Spire Global Lemur-2 satellites, an Irvine CubeSat STEM program educational CubeSat, and a Tyvak Nano-Satellite System-built GeoOptics satellite.

Peter Beck, Rocket Lab founder and chief executive, says the mission marks a new era in access to space.

“The world is waking up to the new normal. With the Electron launch vehicle, rapid and reliable access to space is now a reality for small satellites,” Beck says.

Rocket Lab, which says its mission is ‘to open access to space to improve life on earth’ was founded by Beck. Silicon Valley venture capitalist Vinod Khosla later invested in the company which opened a corporate headquarters in the United States. The company has successfully deployed 11 satellites.

The successful mission will be followed in a matter of weeks by another, this time for NASA. The NASA mission will see the deployment of ELaNa (Educational Launch of Nanosatellites) CubeSats which will conduct a range of new, on-orbit science and technology demonstrations and research, including measuring radiation in the Van Allen belts to understand their impact on spacecraft and demonstrating new technology such as a solar sail blade.

The December mission will be the first launch for NASA’s Venture Class Launch Services, constituting the smallest class of dedicated launch services used by the agency.

Rocket Lab is using a rapid manifest process taking just weeks, which it says will enable it to provide ‘flexible and frequent launch opportunities’.

“This approach supports commercial companies and governments alike to rapidly deploy space-based assets and get them operational faster,” says Beck.

Optus’ Origin, Sumo deals show comms services taking on role of utilities

A key trend of telecoms and energy companies converging could well be a sign for telecoms that communications services are fast becoming a utility,  according to data and analytics company. GlobalData.

Optus Wholesale recently entered into agreements with two retail energy service providers—Origin Energy and Sumo Power—in Australia.

“This is not the first time energy and telecoms have met in the Australian marketplace,” said GlobalData, referring to MVNO Amaysim launching retail energy services in 2017 after purchasing online retailer ClickEnergy for A$120 million.

According to GlobalData Research, demand for energy services in Australia is expected to grow at an average rate of 1.6% over 2018 to 2020, faster than that for mobile communications (1.4%) or fixed communications services (1.3%).

“Meanwhile churn in the energy space is incredibly high with retail energy providers constantly changing pricing schemes to lure new customers,” the firm added.

“The shift for telecoms companies into the energy market comes as competition is driving down communications services prices and margins,” said GlobalData telecom technology and software analyst Malcolm Rogers. “Several telecoms providers have seen margins on core businesses like fixed-line voice and basic broadband decline as consumers increasingly see communications services as a basic utility like electricity or water.”

Rogers said utilities by their nature fetch lower margins as customers see them as easily interchangeable substitutes, fueling the process of commoditization. “Commoditization of telecoms services has been a topic of concern in the industry for a while, with many telecoms companies investing in other industries like software or entertainment to try and diversify their revenue.”

Optus is competing with Telstra and TPG for market share on Australia’s government owned national wholesale broadband network (NBN). Optus and Telstra are looking into ways to secure as many customers as possible ahead of the TPG and Vodafone Hutchison Australia merger.

As part of the deals, Origin Energy and Sumo Power will sell Optus NBN home broadband, voice and Optus mobile fixed broadband in a bundle with residential energy services. Both companies hope to add postpaid mobile services from Optus to their bundling options in the near future.

“The deals seem to benefit the energy companies and Optus, as increasing competition from disruptive players is a challenge for both industries,” said Rogers. “If all goes well for Optus, making deals with energy providers to resell Optus NBN broadband will help to increase its NBN market share.”

8×8 snaps up Jitsi open source comms tech from Atlassian

8×8 has acquired the Jitsi open source video communications technology from Australian software firm Atlassian, along with its team of open source video technology experts.

Jitsi’s set of modular open-source projects that allow businesses to easily build and deploy secure video communication services.

“The best video communications solutions are so intuitive and reliable that they help employees conduct shorter, more productive meetings. 8×8 has already developed a world-class meetings solution for enterprises, and we’re focused on maintaining leadership in delivering reliable, crystal-clear video and audio conferencing quality across mobile and desktop applications,” said Dejan Deklich, Chief Product Officer at 8×8.

“Incorporating Jitsi’s open-source technology into our video communications technology platform, and having Jitsi’s talented engineering team play a role in leading our development of dedicated conferencing applications and WebRTC, will open new paths for our customers and further enhance our meetings solution.”

Jitsi is designed to run thousands of video streams from a single server. “It’s fully open source with a community of developers supporting the project as well as 100 percent standards compliant using technologies like WebRTC,” said 8×8. “At the heart of Jitsi is the Jitsi Videobridge conferencing server and Jitsi Meet conferencing and collaboration application.”

Under the deal, Jitsi’s video communications technology – which will be integrated into 8×8’s Meetings video and audio conferencing platform – will remain open source, ensuring that Jitsi stays in the forefront of Video Conferencing industry developments, including new application use cases.

“The open source community has played a critical role in advancing Jitsi’s projects by validating its use in a diverse set of environments and complementing the core team’s development. As part of this acquisition, 8×8 is committed to continuing to support the growing developer community, and we are excited to engage even more,” said 8×8 Chairman and CTO Bryan Martin.


Vodafone targets Chinese tourists with Australia-wide Alipay partnership

Vodafone has struck a strategic partnership with Alipay, which will enable 110 of the carrier’s stores across Australia to accept China’s primary payment method.

Under the agreement, Vodafone will offer Chinese tourists their preferred QR code payment method in-store, opening a new marketing channel to reach Chinese nationals before, during and after their visits to Australia.

Vodafone will utilise Alipay’s  in-app marketing functionality to promote its pre-paid sim cards to Chinese nationals on holiday or travelling for business.

Vodafone  – which noted it is the first major telco in Australia to sign an agreement with Alipay – said that following a successful testing period, the technology has now been switched on nationwide.

“This includes Vodafone stores in each of its international airport locations where it is targeting Chinese visitors who want to access local mobile services shortly after touching down,” it added, noting that Alipay has some 700 million active users in China and that about 10,000 Australian merchants accept Alipay payments.

Australia’s first sub cable linking Sydney & Perth lands in Coogee

The INDIGO consortium has flagged another key milestone in the implementation of its INDIGOcable system, with the landing of the its  Central subsea communications cable at Coogee Beach in Sydney.

The consortium – which comprises AARnet, Google, Indosat, Singtel, SubPartners, and Telstra – said installation of the INDIGO Central cable is slated for completion by early  December, after which the project will deliver a new pivotal subsea comms link  between Sydney and Perth.

It follows the recent landing of the INDIGO WEST cable linking Singapore to Perth and the start of the INDIGO Central marine rollout from Perth.

5bd692ef5882fThe INDIGO West and Central subsea cables are designed to complement each other and when adjoined, will provide Australia’s first and only direct optical path linking up Sydney and Singapore.

“Construction of the overall INDIGO cable system is on-track and will be ready for service by mid-2019,” SubPartners said.

The aim  of the 9,200km INDIGO cable system, made up of INDIGO West and INDIGO Central, is to bolster links between Australia and the fast-growing South East Asian markets, providing lower latency and improved reliability.

“Using today’s coherent optical technology, the cable’s two-fibre pairs will be capable of supporting up to 36 terabits,” said SubPartners.

Superloop CEO Drew Kelton, on behalf of SubPartners, tipped the INDIGO completion as a major  boost to Superloop’s strategy in the APACs region to build international capacity and connectivity between its metropolitan networks.

“We’re on a journey to interconnect and virtualise businesses across the Asia Pacific region, and the go-live of INDIGO will accelerate that plan significantly,” he added.

AARNet CEO Chris Hancock classed the landing event as a significant milestone for the INDIGO project as well as a great leap forward for research and education in Australia.

“The first trans-Australian submarine cable will provide a critical diverse express path between Sydney and Perth to support the huge data transfer demands of the Pawsey Centre, NCI, and the significant growth in data-intensive collaborative research for all “researchers across the country,” said Hancock.

Features and Specifications
Cable Features Specification
Cable Distance (main trunk) 4,850 kilometres
Total Fibre Pairs 2
Cable Power Design Double End Fed
Total System Capability 36 Tbps

Initial Interconnection Points
Australia Perth: Wellington Street
Australia Sydney: Alexandria
RFS Q1 2019

Vertiv steps up ANZ smart cities focus with trio of key hires

Critical technology infrastructure firm Vertiv has created three new strategic roles in a bid to meet rapidly growing demand for its suite of cloud and smart cities offerings.

Glen Trestrail will head up service and project management as the new senior director of that business in Australia and New Zealand, while Jonathan Buchanan will lead the cloud, colocation and BFSI team and Matt Lawler joins asf solutions architect based Canberra.

Trestrail will be able to draw on some three decades of IT experience, most recently with Canon Australia. He will be tasked with developing a high-performing team as Vertiv continues its drive into the edge and smart cities space.

Screenshot 2018-10-25 22.07.22
Vertiv ANZ MD Robert Linsdell

“The need for data centres to run uninterrupted, and to optimal energy efficiency levels, is greater than ever in the IoT and smart cities era,” said ANZ MD Robert Linsdell.

“We need a strong services team to effectively manage that expectation and help enterprises and government organisations realise their smart city ambitions.”

Additionally, Jonathan Buchanan joins from Metronode and will be charged with expanding Vertiv’s cloud and colocation business across the whole of Australia. “Gartner recently predicted Australia’s colocation and hyperscale market was worth almost $400 million and increasing,” noted Vertiv.

“Sydney has become a natural technology hub for hyperscalers and businesses investing in cloud computing,” said Tony Gaunt, senior director, cloud, colocation and BFSI, Vertiv. “How cloud and colo fit into an organisation’s wider digital strategies and distributed data centre network is more important than ever, and we’re seeing higher demand for helping businesses get that structure right.”

Finally, Matt Lawler, who joins from F1 Solutions, will lead Vertiv’s operations in Canberra, following rising demand for cloud and colocation services in the region driven by the Federal Government’s Secure Cloud Strategy.

He’ll also oversee support of the smart city initiatives taking place across the city, resulting from the ACT Government’s Smart City Strategy.

“Historically, much of our activity in Canberra has been managed out of Sydney with the assistance of local partners,” added Linsdell. “But we see a great opportunity in the shift to cloud and the smart city initiatives taking place in the city. We know how to optimise data centre networks – from cloud and colo to core and edge – to ensure maximum efficiency, a timely subject at the moment, and ‘always on’ digital services.”