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Metronode opens eco-friendly data centre for Victoria

Time to shut down old school bit barns

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Leighton’s data centre subsidiary Metronode has opened its second wholesale data centre in Melbourne.

Investment in the new facility, the M2, is between AUD$150- $180 million and is part of Metronode’s capital intensive, four year, $500 million national data centre rollout.

In May, Metronode announced it would invest $183 million in two new data centre facilities in Silverwater and Wollongong in NSW after securing the NSW government’s data centre tender.

Metronode General Manager Malcolm Roe said that despite the apparent glut of data centre deployment in Australia, Metronode was operating to meet current demand which was being pushed by the need to replace outmoded data facilities.

“We are building sites to meet existing market demand. The Australian market is as much about replacing old stock and shutting down inefficient, old data rooms as it is about new demand driven by cloud services and NBNCo,” Roe said.

He added that customers were shutting down their data rooms nationally due to high power costs and the realisation that small bit barns offer poor economies of scale compared to a mega watt facility.

He said that the NSW government’s data centre consolidation strategy was a leading example of the trend. As part of the tender the Government is shutting 109 data centres which will be folded into Metronode’s two new NSW facilities.

The M2 facility is billed as Australia’s first, large-scale energy efficient data centre. The Derrimut facility boasts direct free air-cooling and modular plant systems to deliver power utilisation efficiency.

It also features on-site rain water detention and harvesting and an intelligent site monitoring system. The new breed of data centres offer a power utilisation efficiency (PUE) of less than 1.2, compared to a normal data centre which can run in excess of 2.2.

Roe said that next on the agenda was the start of construction of a second data centre in Perth, with plans for a new Canberra facility to be built at the end of the year.

Government data needs are core to the overall data centre market growth as was cloud, Roe said. “Cloud demand is certainly not a myth, its real and it is working at a data centre near you today,” he said.

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