A data centre for Whangarei?

Stuff reports:

Northland Inc chairman Colin Mitten and a group of local businessmen are hatching an audacious plan to build a $125 million data centre in Marsden near Whangarei.

The proposed data centre would be the first “Tier 4” data centre in Australasia, meaning it should be less prone to outages than even the relatively modern facilities built in New Zealand over the past few years by Datacom and IBM.

Mitten said the facility could benefit from, but was not dependent on, Hawaiki Cable’s plan to build a new trans-Pacific fibre-optic communications cable and land it at Bream Bay, near Whangarei.

He believed the chances of that US$350m (NZ$403m) cable project going ahead were “better than 50:50”. Hawaiki’s chief executive, former Alacatel-Lucent executive Remi Galasso, moved his family to New Zealand a few months ago which Mitten took to be a sign of his commitment.

“We mean to engage with Hawaiki further in terms of, ideally, co-locating the termination of the cable,” Mitten said. However, he said there was no formal partnership between the cable and data centre ventures as yet. …

He envisaged the facility would comprise eight 500 square-metre halls, each capable of hosting about 350 racks of computer equipment. However, ACCL would start by kitting out only two to reduce its start-up costs. The $125m expected budget would be the total for setting up the facility and fitting out all eight halls.

At the moment, there are only a small number of true Tier 4 data centres, in the United States and Europe, and none in Australasia, Mitten said. “It sets a very high benchmark in terms of the security of data.

“We have an unparalleled opportunity to attract some of the world’s biggest companies and create exponential job and economic growth opportunities in the region, and the next few years will be crucial to this endeavour,” he said.

Sounds a great initiative. Not sure how the business case will stack up, but would be a great economic boost to Northland if they can make it happen

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