Australia's largest data centre operator NextDC is eyeing expansion into Asia as its vision of a neutral national data centre network nears reality.
This month NextDC will open its P1 Perth data centre — its fifth since its first B1 Brisbane data centre went live in October 2011.
The company, which was launched by one of Australia's most successful IT entrepreneurs, Bevan Slattery, now operates data centres in Canberra, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and has more than 100 channel partners.
Slattery left the company in July last year to found Megaport, which is investing $62 million in the Singaporean market over the next three years.
NextDC chief executive Craig Scroggie told ARN the opening of the the P1 datacentre marked a crucial point in the development of the company, which now has a market capitalisation of almost $450 million.
"It's a pretty important milestone for the company because it's the first time we have really had a national network of datacentres," he said.
"We knew a single price and single SLA to industry, as well as carrier and vendor neutrality in the Cloud were pretty important."
But when Perth opens in late February, the datacentre-as-a-service model, for the first time will be a national model."
In a boost to its channel credentials, the company also signed a national agreement with Dimension Data in July last year, which allowed the system integrator's customers access to datacentre space around Australia.
Scroggie said the second priority for this year was to build continued strength in the channel.
"Predominantly we are a channel led organisation where big telcos can sell datacentre-as-a-product with their networks or their Cloud computing solutions.
"And we have the system integrators who have some datacentre footprint, who are looking for one company to work closely with.
He said the channel was a really important priority.
"We have more than 100 channel partners who use our datacentres and combine it with something they sell.
"We are focused on aligning the datacentre industry with the Cloud industry, that's why our channel relationships are so important."
Scroggie said he was building an ecosystem, which is what customers are buying today.
"They are looking at the data as a service model and we are seeing an emergence of networking-as-a-service," he said.
"The era of hybrid Cloud is well and truly upon us and the days of customers buying hardware, network switches and storage... those days are over.
"Organisations will still buy the same infrastructure but they are going to leverage Cloud providers like we have never seen it before. "The number one outcome is that customers will pay only for what they use."
Gartner analyst Geoff Johnson said NextDC occupied a sweet spot in the market.
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