Macquarie Telecom to "build or buy" new Sydney data centre

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Macquarie Telecom to "build or buy" new Sydney data centre

Macquarie Telecom is set to "build or buy" a new Sydney data centre off the back of several wins for its cloud hosting business.

The publicly listed carrier and hosting provider will decide which route to take in the next six months, with the additional capacity slated to go online in the 2019 financial year.

MacTel has already commissioned a fourth data hall for its flagship Intellicentre 2 in Sydney, with the first hall full, second hall three-quarters full and third hall pre-sold to a unnamed Fortune 100 customer. Hall four will be commissioned in September.

The company has a total of 12.4MW of load across two data centres in Sydney and one in Canberra, with upgrades in progress to reach 14.5MW.

The six-year contract with an unnamed Fortune 100 company was announced in May 2016, backed up by a $15 million mechanical, plant and equipment investment to support 2.5MW of capacity. The expansion is due to complete in the third quarter.

The news came as Macquarie Telecom announced its 2017 results, with revenue up 8 percent to $219.7 million for the year to 30 June.

Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) was $40.3 million, a rise of 24.7 percent, and net profit after tax was up 170 percent to $14.2 million.

Macquarie Telecom landed major deals with Dell EMC-owned Virtustream and with Accenture in 2017.

MacTel is also bullish about its federal government business and has planned to invest $3 million of opex and $1.6 million of capex in Canberra, citing "strong and growing demand from our federal government agencies for secure cloud, including from tier one agencies like ATO".

Competition for federal government cloud has been heating up this year, most significantly with Microsoft's announcement of two Azure regions in the nation's capital.

Microsoft hopes to be certified to host Protected-level data in its Canberra cloud. There are only two providers currently certified for Protected data: Sliced Tech, which was No.1 in the 2015 CRN Fast50, and Vault Systems, a wholesaler that provides highly secure cloud services to government via partners.

Macquarie Telecom's GovZone is certified for hosting Unclassified data, and also has Protected certification for its secure internet gateway.

Chief executive David Tudehope said: "Sustained growth in profitability over the last three years has allowed Macquarie to consider opportunities to invest for future growth. We are well positioned to benefit from the megatrends of cloud and cyber security."

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