The tower is scheduled for completion in the middle of next year, and will complement NextDC’s existing Malaga centre, but to establish a presence earlier the company recently switched on a ‘micro’ data centre on the same site at roughly 1/10 the scale.
The micro centre is a company first but with the Singapore to Perth and Perth to Sydney ‘Indigo’ internet cables switched on in May this year NextDC chief operating officer Simon Cooper said he saw an opportunity.
“It’s not something we as a data centre operator have done a lot of yet, primarily because we’ve been focused on these relatively large scale ones in and around city centres,” he said.
“Perth has got to the point where we want to have two large scale data centres, but one of the challenges with large scale centres is they do take time to get built.
“As it happened the same time we were considering to start building our second large scale data centre Perth was also being blessed with a couple of new subsea cable connections towards Singapore and Sydney.
“We wanted to pull all of these together and build a micro-site or micro data centre at the location of the new large scale centre, that way we can very quickly offer connectivity sevrices, and it will have sufficient racks for equipment and connectivity so that the submarine cable providers can offer sevrices there.”
Up until last year WA only had one subsea internet cable, the SeaMeWe-3 cable, switched on in 1999, but it was plagued with reliability issues and was regularly damaged by ships.
In the past year three more cables have been switched on, Vocus Communications’ Australia-Singapore Cable and the Indigo cables, which credit Telstra and Google as partners, in May.
Vocus is one of the country’s biggest communications infrastructure companies and competes with NextDC in the data centre space. It owns seven of WA’s 16 data centres.
Mr Cooper said the switching on of the Indigo cables were huge news for WA.
“With the subsea cables Perth is that much more connected to Asia, which is increasingly important in the long run,” he said.
“I think its huge because the old cable did a good job but it was pretty old, so it was relatively expensive and relatively unreliable.
“It’s going to change the opportunity for people to grow their business out of Perth.”
Hamish Hastie is WAtoday’s business reporter.