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QLD's super data centre to open for Christmas

QLD's super data centre to open for Christmas

Cutting-edge biometrics, vehicle traps and green power set for two more sites.

Artist impression of Polaris 1

Artist impression of Polaris 1

Queensland's new $220 million high-tech data centre will host it's first tenants within three months.

The tier 3 data centre, dubbed Polaris 1, is a joint venture between insurer Suncorp and the Springfield Land Corporation which planned and developed the town of greater Springfield in South East Queensland over 16 years ago.

The 14,000m², three-story building will co-locate enterprise organisations including Suncorp, NEC and Fujitsu with Queensland government departments and councils, including its service provider CITEC.

Polaris 1 uses environmentally-conscious resources and technology, including non-potable water for cooling, saving a potential 650,000 litres a day, trigeneration power feeds, and rotary Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPSs) which do away with a fleet of lead-acid batteries.

Springfield Land Corporation development executive general manager Chris Schroor said two more Polaris data centres are planned to accommodate burgeoning local and overseas interest.

“The second centre will have huge appeal to South East Asia as an overseas disaster recovery centre, once Pipe's Guam fibre link is finished,” Schroor said.

“We have planned Springfield to have sufficient power and water to handle [Polaris 1] and there is plenty of resources to put in [Polaris 2] in north Brisbane.

“[Polaris 1] was going to be about a 500m² data centre, and it soon turned into 14,000m² building with 7000m² of raised floors.”

Construction of Polaris 1 will be finished at Christmas, at which point the last vacancy is expected to be sold.

The data centre will be connected to the Springfield to Brisbane dark fibre network – a first for the state – which is owned by the Springfield Land Corporation and managed by Pipe Networks.

Physical and IT security across Polaris 1 has been hardened to appease enterprise customers and comply with government regulation. Biometric devices are installed throughout the complex, including deep-palm and fingerprint readers, while huge vehicle and man traps measure the weight of people and machinery and can isolate unauthorised access attempts to the complex.

NEC's Smartcatch system monitors video feeds throughout the building and uses behavioral analysis and facial recognition to flag malicious activity which can be sent to remote devices.

“If someone walks the wrong direction along a one-way access path, or is hiding something then [Smartcatch] will pick it up and alert security, and the traps can work out if someone is leaving with something they shouldn't be,” Schroor said.

He said the toughest challenge was selling space at a time when Polaris 1 was little more than a blueprint.

“It's very hard to bring in innovation into such a set environment which controls systems that are absolutely core to some businesses,” Schroor said.

Polaris 1 uses a fully modular design to allow available power to be upgraded from 800 to 1500 watts per square metre, and support 60 kilowatt racks, Schroor said, without impacting resident customers.

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