Micron21 considers Tier IV data centre certification

$9 million data centre expansion to be complete by July 2015, says MD James Braunegg

Victorian data centre operator Micron21 could become the first Tier IV certified data centre in Australia once a $9 million expansion project is complete by July 2015.

The data centre is located in the suburb of Kilsyth, some 30 kilometres west of Melbourne's CBD. Micron21 managing director James Braunegg said it is building the expansion to a Tier IV standard and is looking to get audited by international data centre certification organisation, the Uptime Institute, depending on cost.

If it does go ahead with the audit, this would make it the first data centre in Australia to achieve Tier IV certification, the Micron 21 MD said.

“Large data centres find it very hard to become Tier IV because if they need five generators to run, they need five spare generators as well. Because our site is smaller, we can build a lot more redundancy because it’s more cost effective to do so at a smaller scale than a larger scale,” said Braunegg.

The new data centre equipment and hardware is arriving in February 2015 and Braunegg expects the expansion will be completed by July 2015.

“We are building our own dark fibre network in between major networks in Melbourne to provide interconnectivity. That’s in between NEXTDC and Equinix to provide guaranteed dark fibre capacity between the two locations,” he said.

Micron21 has been busy with other projects as well.

In early 2013, it began implementing A10 Networks load-balancing application delivery controllers (ADC) to provide flexibility and performance when the data centre was under heavy demand. Before the implementation, it had been using software-based load balancing technology which had limited capabilities, said Braunegg.

“We bought four ADCs, giving us 80 gigabits of physical capacity, which was invaluable for us in supporting high-demand customers requiring on-demand services instantaneously,” he said.

For example, Micron21 was given the opportunity to host Melbourne’s 2014 White Night arts festival. In order to provide concurrent access for over 1 million visitors who were browsing event information online, the ADCs were used to manage load balancing and traffic acceleration.

“During the White Night festival, the flexible traffic acceleration [FTA] processing capacity resulted in a load reduction of 80 per cent on each front end server from the native optimised software application stack, greatly reducing the number of front end servers required to distribute load to the project target of more than a million visitors,” he said.

Braunegg added that the A10 ADCs have increased the data centre’s efficiency while reducing operational costs.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

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