Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Data centre and solar power station for Canberra

A consortium of Sanctuary Energy, Wizard Power and Springfield Land Corporation has proposed a $220 million data centre and solar thermal power station for Canberra. This is separate to the Canberra Technology City (CTC) consortium of ActewAGL, Technical Real Estate, Galileo Connect and CB Richard Ellis proposal for a data centre and gas fired power station.

Previously I criticised the CTC proposal (mostly for the way it was presented) and suggested a data center with roof mounted solar power station. The new consortium didn't tkae up my idea of putting the power station on the roof (they propose to use a separate site), but are proposing to use ANU's thermal solar technology.

There is also a suggestion to site a data centre at Cooma, near Canberra. Of course, provided the site is in Australia, so that Australian law applies to it, and it has access top a fibre optic backbone, it does not matter how far the site is from Canberra. The new Mach Technology Data Centre just opened at Noosa in Queensland would do just as well (it has a fibre optic link to Brisbane).

One a handful of staff is needed at a data centre. The users of the computers in the centre never need visit it (in almost three decades in the ICT industry I have only been into a large computer room a handful of times). It would be preferable for security reasons to ban visitors and keep the exact location secret.

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