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Sunday, 01 February 2009 09:58

$220 million dedicated data centre to open Feb 3

Australia will have a new "digital fortress" when what is claimed to be the country's first purpose built disaster, terrorist and earthquake proof ICT Facility opens its doors on February 3. Construction on the $220 million Polaris Data Centre started in June 2007.

The new Tier 3+ storage facility is located in the Queensland satellite town of Greater Springfield, 25km west from Brisbane. The facility will be officially opened at 10.30am and then immediately locked down behind a wall of bullet proof glass, biometric fingerprint scanners, dark fibre network and state of the art “man traps”.

The Data Centre has been designed as a primary and secondary ICT facility and acts as a disaster recovery site, Internet data centre and carrier interconnect exchange. Firms using Polaris are QLD banking and insurance group Suncorp, and NEC, which plans to use Polaris as a reserve site in case earthquakes should strike Japan.

The five storey centre was developed by the Springfield Land Corporation in partnership with Suncorp and constructed by Thiess while Strategic Directions Group was responsible for the technical design.

Strategic Directions' Mike Andrea, who also designed the Treasury Data Center in Canberra, said today that anyone attempting to enter the Polaris Center after the lock down would need to breach no less than five levels of security before he could penetrate a building already being rated as one of Australia's most secure.

“Such a mission would require him to crack biometric fingerprint testing, a multitude of cameras, bullet proof glass and a series of purpose-built "man traps" - equipped with weight-based floor sensors that trigger locks and alarms in seconds,” Mr. Andrea said today. “It will also be impossible for an intruder to follow a staff member into the building,” he said.

"The system is so sophisticated will actually weigh you and notice that your weight has changed," Mr Andrea said. "It will not release the internal door and will send an alarm back to the security centre."

“The only way to open the doors then would be to swipe a personal access card.”

The "Man traps" are installed on each of the three data floors in the five-storey data centre, which will be home to some of the state's most sensitive business information. Similar “Vehicle Traps” have been installed covering all approaches to the building itself.

On the ground floor the Polaris Center stores 1.5 million litres of recycled water for cooling plants and enough chemically neutral inert gas to use for fires in the three data centre floors upstairs.

Polaris also has two back-up power units in case the 22.5 megawatt on site power plant malfunctions.

The five-storey information hub comprises 14,000 square metres of floor space, with 7,000 square metres of raised floor area or net lettable space over three levels.

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Stan Beer co-founded iTWire in 2005. With 35 plus years of experience working in IT and Australian technology media, Beer has published articles in most of the IT publications that have mattered, including the AFR, The Australian, SMH, The Age, as well as a multitude of trade publications.

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