IBM likely to close Australian data centre

Clients being advised of migration plans from vintage Cumberland Forest bit barn

IBM's Australian tentacle is considering the closure of a data centre in 2019, The Register has learned.

The data centre is an oldie but a goodie, located at the company's Cumberland Forest facility in Western Sydney. Vulture South hack Richard Chirgwin recalls touring it in the mid-1980s.

Documents seen by The Register say that while the data centre remains operational, it ought not to be considered for current clients as it is expected IBM will vacate the entire Cumberland Forest facility in 2019.

An IBM spokesperson told The Register that IBM's lease on the facility is up in 2019 and that no decision has been made on the site's future. Our sources tell us that ongoing job cuts mean the offices attached to the data centre will likely be surplus to requirements come 2019.

The spokesperson would not confirm the closure of the facility, but did say IBM is migrating customers to other data centres.

Cumberland Forest does not host IBM Cloud, which the company operates from two other data centres in Sydney, so this move will not reduce IBM's ability to make a strategic move to cloudier sources of cash. The Register understands that the facility is mostly home to equipment IBM tends under outsourcing or managed hosting deals.

The likely closure of the facility accords with IBM's global push to consolidate sites, as the company maintains premises far closer to Sydney's city. Cumberland Forest is adjacent to a business park and isn't far from some of Sydney's smaller centres of commerce, but is over 25km and an hour's drive from Sydney's central business district, and 90 minutes from its airport at peak times. That makes it a handy disaster recovery option, but tricky to visit for most users and hardly a desirable destination for the millennial workers IBM's keen on hiring these days. ®

UPDATE: IBM's comment that no decision has been made about the site seems a little odd in light of an ITnews.com.au report saying the site has been earmarked for residential redevelopment.

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