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The secretive, snowballing success of Canberra Data Centres

George Nott | May 15, 2017
Further expansion ahead for Federal Government's favourite data centre.

Nevertheless, CDC has 43 federal government departments and agencies within its facilities today. Part of the attraction has been CDC's ability to offer on-premise, colocation, hybrid private and private and all combinations of each.

"Each one of them is at different maturity levels moving along that continuum," Boorer said. "Normally you'd have to go four different places to achieve those outcomes. In our facilities you can do all of that and you can merge and mature seamlessly between each stage along that roadmap with a significant reduction in overheads - network cost overheads, security overheads and also performance overheads."

Security concerns are also allayed by CDC's 'top secret baseline'.

"We can accommodate top secret information, therefore secret, protected and unclassified is really easy to achieve because we've got that halo, pull-through effect. One agency with a stroke of a pen by government or an executive order can suddenly go from an unclassified to a protected organisation, or needs to talk to other agencies that are at a higher security domain level. We do it all in one spot," Boorer explained.


Critical mass

The critical mass of agencies is in turn attracting managed service providers and cloud service providers, resulting in a 'powerful ecosystem'.

"It's quite an amazing situation where the more government agencies come into our ecosystem, the more third party providers need to be there. And the more third party services are in, the more government wants to be in there," Boorer said.

Helping that snowball is the cost of moving data between sites and providers.

"A lot of people don't factor into the business cases how much it actually costs ingress and egress in cloud providers in moving the data around. What happens is they get this enormous sticker shock.

"I can list a number of government agencies who have spent 12 months IT budget in three months in cloud engagements because the governance and planning wasn't quite correct. So you've just got to be a little bit careful. That's why we're getting a lot of cloud providers setting up inside the ecosystem because there are no network costs to consume and you're right next door with the government data."

There's also the growing trend of moving workload to the where the data is.

"And the largest data aggregation point in Australia is inside our ecosystem," Boorer pointed out.


Best. Data Centre. Ever

In May last year, infrastructure investor Infratil joined with Australian government pension fund provider Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation to take a combined 96 percent, $784 million stake in CDC. Following the investment comes plans to expand operations, potentially beyond the ACT.

"Very soon we'll be building facilities outside of our normal jurisdiction and geography which will be quite exciting," Boorer revealed.


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