How a Perth data centre startup will compete with NextDC and Equinix

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How a Perth data centre startup will compete with NextDC and Equinix

Starting a co-location business in Australia might sound like a brave move considering the competitive market, but Perth-based Data Centre Limited reckons it has the edge to carve out a piece of the action.

The company told CRN it was planning its IPO and hopes to list on the ASX by January. After a soft launch in July, DCL's first client took up residence in August, with more move-ins expected in the new year.

The DCL team was on the hunt for resellers after opening space for 544 racks in Balcatta earlier in the year. At the time, the company said its ISO-containerised infrastructure was designed to host virtualised environments, high-performance computing and hybrid cloud deployment at a fraction of the cost of traditional data centres.

DCL director Peter Christie said the plan was to iron out any bugs before ramping up on racks and power.

“We had enough [power] for about 100 racks and we didn’t spend the money on extra power until we knew the engineering worked. Now we’ve done that, we’re going to do a power upgrade,” he said.

The success of DCL’s early adopter has given Christie confidence for the future.

“Having proved our engineering under working conditions and kicked off our tier-3 accreditation, we are now setting a course for rapid expansion across Australia, Asia and the Middle East,” he said.

A merger nearing completion between DCL and DX Platforms – the company that developed the internal infrastructure and technology behind the group’s co-location units – will see one end-to-end build, own and operate model come together under the DX Limited brand.

The company has partnered with Telstra, NextGen and Vocus to supply fibre to its data centres to provide Perth clients high-speed connectivity with their machines.

Its next big move will be to set up data centres in Brisbane, where, as in Perth, Christie anticipates his company’s ability to deploy on-site and deliver a lot of computing power will be attractive to mining projects running big automation operations.

"There is a strong correlation between [West Australian] customers and the customer base in Brisbane. Those customers are making more and more use of high powered computing that must remain close to the plant which is a perfect opportunity for our DX Platforms infrastructure to be deployed on-sit then tied back to central storage and compute in our Brisbane Data Centre," he said.

DCL’s plans for expansion lines it up to compete with NextDC and Equinix, which each currently own five centres in Australia, with more on the way. NextDC spent six years growing its business before reporting its first-ever profit in FY2016.

Not to be daunted, Christie believes his team has a unique selling point. “The way we build our data centres is we do them in a modular fashion, so our capital cost per-facility is a lot less. We can build a facility and get it in production for less than $6 million dollars.

“That means we can be more competitive and get to market faster.”

NextDC has commenced preliminary site work for two new data centres. Its new $75 million Brisbane data centre will be based in Fortitude Valley and provide an additional 6MW of capacity when completed. The company's second Melbourne data centre will be located in Tullamarine, cost $85 million and house 25MW after completion.

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