Regional Australia’s ‘first Tier III data centre’ opens

FKG Group’s $40 million Pulse Data Centre launches in Toowoomba

The $40 million Pulse Data Centre has opened today near Toowoomba, touted as regional Australia’s first Tier III facility.

The data centre is situated on a 29 hectare site which will become Toowoomba Technology Park – tipped to create 5000 new jobs in IT, media, telecommunications and agricultural technology – and has been built by family run construction and engineering firm FKG Group.

The build broke ground in June last year.

It’s location on the Darling Downs, better known for growing grain and grazing cattle, is 500m above sea level and boasts a temperate climate meaning which significantly reduces the facility’s energy consumption and costs, FKG said.

“The majority of the world’s largest data centres are located not in capital cities but in regional areas, which thanks to the latest technology can provide not only lower costs, but also scalability and access to national communications infrastructure,” said FKG executive chairman and founder, Gary Gardner.

“Together with our commitment to exploring opportunities for the development and production of our own power through clean and renewable energy sources, Pulse Data Centre is well positioned to become an extremely cost-competitive offering, attractive to businesses from around the world,” he said.

Businesses based in the surrounding technology park, itself part of a broader ‘Innovation Precinct’, will benefit from “high-speed, low latency, carrier-neutral fibre-optic communications” to the data centre, FKG said.

“We are currently in discussions with multiple strategic partners who are keen to work with us to progress the Innovation Precinct project and we are confident that we will turn the first sod by the end of the year,” Gardner added.

No data centre customers have yet been named; however, the company is targeting clients from the big end of town. Key selling points are direct inland routes to major commercial centres such as Sydney and Brisbane and physically diverse fibre connectivity.

“Customers ranging from leading financial institutions, government to global giants can take advantage of the centre’s flexible offerings, from single racks to extensive private suites, protected by a fully integrated video, building and rack access system,” said Pulse general manager Peter Blunt.

The site sits within 100km of 46 power stations, and fed by the same power loop which feeds the Brisbane CBD. Should the site need to up its power, the local provider is able to make infrastructure upgrades and supply 100 megawatts up from the current 10MW, Blunt told Computerworld in May.

Pulse is underpinned by Schneider Electric’s ‘Ecostruxure’ IT platform. The platform collects data from all sorts of mechanical, power and IT devices, such as switchgears and UPSs to PDUs, racks and in-row cooling systems. This enables real-time monitoring, incident management, analysis and efficient utilisation of assets, Schneider said.

“Our EcoStruxure platform of power, plus cooling, security and energy management solutions enable the data centre to reach that Tier rating, plus provide a physical infrastructure that can adapt quickly to future data demand driven by the digitisation of the economy and cities,” explained Schneider’s Pacific zone president Gareth O’Reilly.

The Queensland Government backed the project’s early development with a $10 million, interest-free loan via its Catalytic Infrastructure Program.

“Pulse Data Centre is another important piece of the infrastructure puzzle that places our region at the cutting edge of innovation across a broad range of industries including agriculture, education, health, IT and mining,” said Toowoomba Regional Council Mayor Paul Antonio.

Antonio anticipates the data centre, as part of an estimated $11 billion worth of developments underway in Toowoomba, will contribute towards an anticipated doubling of his city’s gross regional product over the next 15 years.

A 2016 Frost & Sullivan report forecast the overall data centre market to grow at a CAGR of 12.4 per cent till 2022, with the Australian market reaching more than $2 billion by 2021.

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Tags brisbaneregionalruralToowoombaregional australiaDCFKG GroupPulse DCDarling Downs

More about AustraliaCustomersQueensland GovernmentReillySchneider ElectricTechnologyToowoomba Regional Council

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