Australia’s $1 Billion Data Center Consolidation

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The government of Australia hopes to save up to $1 billion by centralizing all its data center services, a project that will extend through 2025.  Phase one of the consolidation plan includes aggregating demand for data center space and defining the standards to be used in procuring equipment and floor space. The second phase will see government departments sharing solutions and technology and the third phase will show adoption of new opportunities in technology, processes or policy.

“It’s spread across Australia, located in not just large enterprise data centres but also in cupboards, converted offices, computer and server rooms, and in commercial and insourced data centres,” said Minister for Finance and Deregulation Lindsay Tanner. “These are primarily older data centres that are reaching the limits of their electricity supply and floor space. With government demand for data centre ICT equipment rising by more than 30 per cent each year, it was clear that we needed to reassess how the government handled its data-centre activities.”

A panel of data center providers will be selected later this year and each must offer a minimum of 500 square metres ( 5,380 square feet ) of floor space and a lease of 10 years with opportunities to extend the lease for another five. The government currently spends an average of $850 million a year on data center needs and occupies 30,000 square metres (322, 800 square feet) of floorspace. 

“The strategy will attempt to consolidate sites in order to reduce data centre footprint, but also intends to use cheaper cooling methods such as ambient air temperature in order to reduce costs and environmental footprint,” said Tanner.

The $1 billion savings figure came from a requested British efficiency expert review that showed ways the government could slash technology and communication costs.  The Australian website examines much of the opposition being mounted by those disagreeing with the plan and those proposing it.

The announcement from Mr. Tanner came Monday at the CeBIT Future Proofing Your Data Centre conference.

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