Digital Realty Trust eyes up data centre acquisitions

One Sydney data centre to be built by 2012, more to follow says APAC head

US data centre provider, Digital Realty Trust, has announced plans to launch in the Australian market with construction to shortly begin on a Sydney data centre -- the first of potentially many to come in the Asia Pacific region, according to its regional head.

Digital Realty Asia Pacific regional head, Kris Kumar, said the company has acquired a 3.48 hectare development site in Erskine Park, Sydney, for approximately $10.7 million.

The $100 million construction for a 9,300sq m facility will begin in early August and is scheduled for completion in mid 2012.

The Erskine Park site is capable of supporting approximately 18,600 square metres of data centre development with over 11.5 megawatts of capacity.

The building is designed to support four 1440 kW data centre performance optimised data centres (PODs) which are manufactured by Digital Realty.

“We are naturally green and responsible about the way we design our data centres so we can improve efficiency and reduce the amount of electricity that customers consume," said Kumar.

“That includes a lower carbon tax payload on their electricity bill.”

The company currently offers data centre services via its Singapore-based site to companies in the mining, financial services, government and telecommunications sectors. The Sydney facility will hold data for up to 10 of its enterprise-level customers.

While Kumar would not say what other sites it planned to build data centres at in Australia, he did confirm that the company was considering another site in the near future.

“We build our own data centres but we also do acquisitions of existing facilities," he said. "There could be another one established here.”

The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: DLR) and while there are no plans as yet to list on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), Kumar said he would not rule this out in the future.

“We just need to get some scale first [in APAC]. We acquired a 330,000 square feet data centre in Singapore last year and as we build more data centres in key Asia Pacific markets, we will review a listing on the local exchange,” Kumar said.

However, these expansion plans would not include New Zealand as he said the NZ market was “too small” for its wholesale data centre provider business model.

Digital Realty, together with Macquarie Capital, has also placed a bid in the NSW Government consolidation of data centres contract.

Data centre reform is one of the eight "People First" programs of the NSW government which will involve acquiring capacity in two dedicated data centres based in Sydney and Illawarra to house the computer systems from 130 existing decentralised government agency data centres throughout NSW.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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