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Rackspace launches first data centre in Australia

Rackspace launches first data centre in Australia

NSW government expects data centre will create 50 jobs over three years in Western Sydney.

Rackspace announced its first Australian data centre, a multi-million investment to be located in Erskine Park, West Sydney. At a press conference in Sydney, Rackspace officials said the announcement is a response to demand from Australian customers to keep data within national borders.

The new data centre, in the final stages of construction, will be Rackspace’s ninth in the world, and it expects to switch on its first customers over the data centre late this year, the open Cloud company said. The data centre is built by Digital Realty.

“This will represent an over tens-of-millions dollars ... long-term investment over the next ten to twenty years,” said the company’s managing director for Asia Pacific, Jim Fagan. The company plans to immediately offer its enterprise managed virtualisation product, and “over the coming months” introduce the rest of Rackspace’s products, including OpenStack, he said.

Rackspace sees Australia as “one of the most mature IT markets” in the Asian-Pacific region. The company has had business in Australia for a decade. “However, in the past couple of years, one of the major requests from Australian customers was the ability to actually host them from a data centre here on shore.”

The New South Wales government helped secure the deal in Western Sydney with payroll tax rebates. The data centre is expected to create 50 jobs over three years in Western Sydney, said New South Wales Deputy Premier and Minister for Trade and Investment, Andrew Stoner.

“This investment is the latest in a trend confirming Sydney and New South Wales’ status as the Australian home for the expanding digital economy and for Cloud-based services,” Stoner said.

The Australian data centre’s capabilities are similar to the company’s centres elsewhere in the world, Rackspace officials said. It uses free air cooling to achieve a PUE of 1.3, said Rackspace country manager for Australia and New Zealand, Mark Randall. For security, the data centre has UTI Tier III Design and Construction certifications at launch, with certifications planned for SSAE16, ISO 27001, ISO 14001, PCI, and ASIO Intruder Resistant once fully operational.

The low PUE score will help companies "offset any carbon tax implications that they are likely to face in the future," said Digital Realty senior vice president Kris Kumar.

Randall said pricing would be similar to what Rackspace charges in other parts of the world. However, bandwidth costs are more expensive in Australia than other countries, and would have an impact on price for Australian customers, he said.

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