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What happened at the Sydney Cloud and Datacenter Convention

Thu, 25th Aug 2022
FYI, this story is more than a year old

We recently attended the Sydney Cloud - Datacenter convention at Luna Park in Sydney.

Some stories from the day:

Cloud - digital identity from the Minister

NSW Minister of Customer Services - Digital government Victor Dominello was at the event. He explained how his number one priority is digital identity.

Within digital government and digital identity, he sees many opportunities for the cloud and data centre sectors.

“Cloud computing is going to underpin everything we do in the future, and the privacy settings need to be in place”, said the Minister.

In particular, the minister pointed to moving education data into the NSW Services app will be extremely useful. Not too far away, you will be able to have your cybersecurity certifications loaded and verifiable.

With this education being incorporated, he sees it as an opportunity to collate information about the state's skills base, which will help in planning ways to alleviate the skills shortage.

“We have a vision for NSW to be the digital state, with security and trust at the heart of it all. Partnerships with the cloud - datacenter industry will be essential

The data centre industries' energy paradox

“At Schneider Electric we see the urgency that our customers want to address their energy usage”, says Mark Deguara, General manager data centres, Secure power division

Deguara points out that 90% of the world is expecting to be connected to the internet by 2030. In addition, by the same year, 500 billion IoT devices are expected to be connected to the internet.

This is driving what Schneider Electric predicts is going to be 61% annual growth in data globally.

As a result, today's 700 hyper-scale data centres will grow to over 1,000 in just two years.

The high prices of energy, the scarcity of energy in particular in Europe and the sustainability goals are all crunching data centres at once.

Deguara sees that some governments are getting concerned about data centres. The Netherlands recently rejected a data centre proposal from Meta on the grounds of its high energy consumption. Also, Singapore now has a strict sustainability framework that any new data centres must comply with.

“While we are not seeing this level of concern in Ausralia yet, we the recent power shortages have got government starting to talk about it

In defence of the data centre industry, there is tremendous demand, as well as bringing jobs, investment and taxes.

Schneider is working with clients in three areas of sustainability; carbon negativity, zero waste and water optimisation.

The crux of which is a much stronger move towards renewable energies. Its prediction actually sees a 50% increase in data centres but a 50% reduction in carbon intensity.

A distributed data center future

Leading Edge sees the traditional data centre model as too centralised. They are currently in the process of building a network of smaller scale data centres throughout the eastern seaboard of Australia.

Facilities are already operational in Tamworth, Newcastle - Dubbo, New South Wales. With Albury opening just next week.

The Tamworth facility is a tier three data centre, with 75 racks, 45 RU's and a strong focus on sustainability including use of solar arrays.

“These are metropolitan grade data centre infrastructure in a regional setting”, says Chris Thorpe, CEO, Leading Edge Data Centres.

Thorpe explained that regional Australia needs additional resilience and protection, with higher chances of storms, heat and weather issues.

In a recent study by Social Ventures Australia, the economic benefits of the companies regional data centre strategy was quantified. For the Dubbo region, benefits included $57m in direction contribution to the local economy, 621 jobs and reduced averted CO2 emissions.

Leading Edge is well underway with a number of NSW regional data centre builds, with builds starting soon in Victoria and land secured in Queensland.

Each of which would house between 30 and 75 units, with a power footprint of 600 kW to 1.5 MW.

Australia is a data centre leader in the region

According to ABB, Australia is seen as one of the four most active data centre markets in Asia Pacific. This is amongst Hong Kong, Singapore and Japan.

ABB has seen that the average size of a data centre in Australia has grown from 50MW in 2018, to 100MW in 2020 and now 200MW in 2022.

"With this exponential growth, ABB see's its position as helping customers balance sustainability, availability and cost" says Derrick Koh, Asia Pacific Regional Sales Manager, Power protection, ABB.

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