Members of the Federal Government’s Interim Data Centre Panel have experienced varying levels of success when it comes to contracting through the arrangement. Canberra Data Centres has emerged as the most successful of the interim panellist, winning at least $11.5 million in Federal Government Data Centre contracts since the interim panel was established in 2009, according to Intermedium’s contract data.
Only time will tell whether a similar scenario will prevail when it comes to procurement through the final whole-of-government data centre panel, which has recently been announced by Special Minister for State Gary Gray.
The Data Centre Panellists named by Gray are:
- Canberra Data Centres (Hume, ACT);
- Datacom Systems (North Sydney, NSW);
- Global Switch Property (Australia) Pty Ltd (Ultimo, NSW);
- iSeek (Brisbane Export Park, QLD); and
- TransACT Capital Communications (Canberra, ACT).
Canberra Data Centres and Global Switch are the only two panel members to have transferred their membership of the interim data centre panel, established in September 2009 to meet the requirements of agencies already running low on data centre capacity while this final panel was under development, to the final panel.
According to AGIMO, Global Switch was engaged by the Department of Defence for long term data centre provision through the interim panel, however Intermediumhas only been able to locate and identify small published contracts between the two, amounting to less than $1 million.
The other members of the interim panel – Fujitsu, Harbour MSP, SPDEF #2 and Springfield Real Estate (owner of the Polaris data centre) – won little to no published contracts that can be identified as relating to the interim panel.
While these interim panel providers are not on the panel list published thus far, some may yet win a berth on the panel. Minister Gray’s media statement says that:
“It is anticipated that a small number of additional companies may be added to the panel in the near future.”
It is therefore also possible that companies not on the interim list, and not yet named as being on the new panel will emerge in the final list. Delays in advising of a position on the panel are usually the result of ongoing contract negotiations and the progressive advice of panellists has become a common practice to allow the panel to commence operation.
A relative newcomer to the Canberra arena is Brisbane data centre provider iSeek. The company has three data centres in locations across the Queensland capital but has not had any previous Federal Government business, according to Intermedium’s contract data.
The decentralisation of agency ICT activity to other capital city locations, which include Brisbane, may be one of the reasons this company made it onto the panel.
What they lack in Federal government experience, iSeek clearly make up in green credentials, with the company claiming that its Enterprise Class facility is “Australia’s greenest data centre”. It has a Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating of 1.3 and is one of Australia’s first facilities to employ free cooling.
In addition to projected savings of $1 billion, environmental objectives are key to the Federal Government’s Data Centre Strategy.
“There are times when pressures or incentives to achieve common goals are present such as the current focus on sustainability. These are drivers for, and opportunities to introduce, changes in the data centre facilities or the data centre ICT,” said the strategy document.
Further additions to the Data Centre Panel will include ‘greenfields’ data centres, or facilities still under development, and these are due to take place in 2011.
Before this happens, however, arrangements will have to be made for the transferral of agency’s data centre requirements to the panel member’s facilities.
“The next important step in this process will be the establishment of a panel of providers of migration services,” Gary Gray said.
“Agencies will be able to select providers from this panel to assist them to move from existing data centres to new data centres. This panel will be ready shortly.”