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Pacnet opens Sydney data centre

Pacnet has opened the first stage of what will be an almost 4000 square metre data centre in Sydney and has flagged its goal to become one of the top three regional data centre operators within two years.

Pacnet has taken three floors in a building at 133 Liverpool Street in the Sydney CBD and has opened the first stage of 550 square metres on one floor. Pacnet defended its decision to go for a CBC location, saying that it offered more resiliency in power supply and more connectivity options than rural greenfield sites. Also it was much easier and quicker for customers to visit.

The building also houses a new network operations centre that replicates PacNet's existing NOC in Singapore and that is able to take over control of Pacnet's global submarine cable network if necessary.

Speaking at the opening of the centre, Pacnet CEO, Bill Barney said: "Today we are the 20th largest data centre in the region, Our aspiration is to be number two or number three over the next two years. We are looking to be a major player in this space."

He explained that Pacnet presently operated around 100,000 square feet (9,300 square metres) of data centre space, but most of this is presently leased. "We started building our own data centres in Hong Kong last year, followed by Singapore. Sydney is our third and we expect to have eight or 10 of our own data centres by the end of 2012.

"Our plan is to partner with major content companies across the region. We are looking at a tier III or III+ approach not a tier IV approach."

He added: "We intend to leverage our network because today the average customer in our data centre buys six or seven dollars of networking for every dollar of data centre."

Pacnet is also planning a much larger data centre what it calls its "Asia Gravity Centre". Barney said this would most likely be in Hong Kong and would be announced later this year. It will be a high density, high power facility with space for some 2000 racks. "It will be our biggest and most powerful data centre and one of our key Internet exchange points," Barney said.

Pacnet is primarily targeting the SME market with its push into the data centre business, according to Barney. "I think there is a huge opportunity for companies like ours that have focused on the SME space where there is almost no IT infrastructure or personnel. We believe SME will be the fastest growing portion of the cloud space in the next two to five years."

Frost & Sullivan forecasts the regional data centre market to grow at 20.2 percent CAGR until 2016 and to be worth $US7.9b this year. It says four out of five regional data centres are running at 90 percent of capacity. The ANZ market is forecast to grow at 13.2 percent annually: from just under $US600m this year to $US1.1b in 2016.

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