0 In Data Centers

Industry Insight: Top Data Center Operator, NEXTDC, Talks Colocation in Australia

18 September 2017
NEXTDC

Cloudscene recently sat down with NEXTDC’s Group Executive of Sales & Marketing – Adam Scully – to discuss the data center operator’s new facilities, the company’s growth plans, Australia’s data center market and the key issues affecting the data center industry today.

InfographicAustralia’s data center market is robust, dynamic, agile and incredibly well connected, with 18 subsea cables, 230 data centers and 570 service providers.

Ranked #6 in the world, Australia’s colocation market is responding well to enormous enterprise demand for computing power, network bandwidth and data storage, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 12.1% until 2020.

ASX200-listed NEXTDC, is one of the leading data center operators in Australia with eight colocation facilities and ~800 customers.

As one of the few colocation providers in Asia Pacific with Uptime Tier IV certifications, NEXTDC dominates Cloudscene’s Oceania Data Center Operator Leaderboard, ranking 2nd only to Equinix.

Reporting a 33% revenue jump last financial year, NEXTDC attributes the rapid adoption of cloud services as its primary demand driver, resulting in a record year for connectivity with 6,300 cross connects.

Cloudscene recently sat down with NEXTDC’s Group Executive of Sales & Marketing – Adam Scully – to discuss the data center operator’s new facilities, the company’s growth plans, Australia’s data center market and the key issues affecting the data center industry today.


NEXTDC has facilities across Australia, where are you seeing the most increase in demand and growth?

“Australia is experiencing unprecedented demand for cloud and enterprise colocation with the market’s data center needs evolving more rapidly than ever before. This has driven a significant reduction in customer-run data centers and server rooms in favor of hyperscale colocation and cloud.

NEXTDC is expanding its capacity with the planned launch in FY18 of three new data centers in MelbourneBrisbane and Sydney, which will have direct connectivity to our existing facilities in those cities.

NEXTDC has already built out around 36MW of 44MW of potential capacity across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth and Canberra, with each site and market chosen for specific reasons, and has a further 82MW-plus in the pipeline as we focus on second-generation sites.

S2 will be NEXTDC’s second data center in Sydney, and a second Brisbane data center will go live later this month. In Melbourne, a facility with 40MW of capacity at full fit-out is also well along in its construction phase.”

Cloudscene - NEXTDC

 

What is the biggest challenge you believe the data center industry will face in 2017?

“Data centers are the nervous system of the world’s data distribution, and as the digital economy picks up momentum, they’ll need to support more users who are consuming more applications and resources which are demanding higher bandwidth and availability.

Keeping up with demand is a big challenge, not just for space, but increasing levels of power and network access.

Compute and storage hardware is converging and increasing in density, which requires more power per-rack. Older data centers are generally unable to provide the required power per square meter to operate this equipment cost efficiently.

That being said, it’s hard not to mention electricity supply and cost as a current challenge, given the current state of Australia’s power supply and distribution network.

NEXTDC is very excited by the host of major investments into renewable energy production happening around the country, which promises to stabilize supply power prices.”


Sydney is the #8 ranked colocation ecosystem in the world (find out more). What makes Sydney such an important data center hub to the APAC region?

Australia has a very stable and buoyant economy with very strong demand for IT and platforms the rest of the developed world takes for granted.

Considering the closest top 10 ranked colocation ecosystem is on the other side of the continent in Singapore, the east coast of Australia has relied on Sydney, due to its proximity to subsea cables, to connect Australia to the west coast of the USA and East Asia, and host services nationally.”


Both outages and security breaches are some of the top concerns for the data center sector, what strategies has NEXTDC employed to avoid these issues?

“Infrastructure hosted within NEXTDC’s facilities is protected by strict physical security systems and protocols, which feature a multi-layered security access system with individual authentication via biometric fingerprint readers and ID access cards.

We have gone to great lengths to remove the threat of downtime from our facilities as much as possible. Our data centers feature multiple redundancies in critical systems, an extremely robust power distribution system designed in-house, and clever separation of power and water utilities within the facilities.

We have planned for B2, M2 and S2 to receive Tier IV Certification of Constructed Facility before launch, and with B2 ready to open late September, we expect it will be an Australian first. With fault tolerance being a key feature of Tier IV facilities, this means our new data centers will have the ability to withstand individual equipment failures or distribution path interruptions from an unexpected event or planned work activity and maintain IT operations. Tier IV also provides continuous cooling, as well as fire segregation and leak containment between all N+1 paths and critical equipment.”

Cloudscene - NEXTDC


The data center sector’s carbon footprint is equivalent to the airline industry (see previous article), what are some of the ‘green’ strategies implemented by NEXTDC?

“The need to be ‘green’ is very much a part of the need to reduce costs, with green design and technology remaining an integral part of NEXTDC’s ethos.

We’re continuing to build rooftop solar, free air and water cooling systems into our new facilities. For example, the output of the M1 data center’s 6,000m2, 400kWpk rooftop solar array is 100 percent consumed by the resident customers.

Energy efficiency is a key benefit of colocation through economies of scale, and as power densities increase, so will the need for power from clean, reliable sources. In order to be able to help our customers meet their carbon footprint targets, we need to continue to reduce the amount of power needed to run our facilities.

For more information on NEXTDC’s facilities and services, check out their profile on Cloudscene.

Cloudscene - NEXT DC

ADAM SCULLY, NEXTDC
As the Group Executive for NEXTDC’s Sales and Marketing business units, Adam Scully drives NEXTDC’s engagement with its market and the broader ICT industry. This responsibility sees Adam draw on his 25 years’ experience in senior sales management roles in leading companies such as Symantec and IBM to improve shared outcomes for NEXTDC’s channel partners and deliver best-value services to NEXTDC customers.

 

If you’d like to take part in an interview with Cloudscene, reach out to our team via marketing@cloudscene.com

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