Global Switch and Polaris Data Centres are the only two suppliers to have won positions on both the list of companies invited to submit tenders for the provision of data storage to the NSW Government, announced on 1 July 2010 and on the Federal Government’s interim data centre panel, announced in December 2009.
The Federal standing offer arrangement was put in place to tide agencies over in their data storage needs until the planning stages of the Government’s long term Data Centre Strategy could be completed.
The 1 July announcement of the NSW data centre shortlist identifies five companies to be invited to submit tenders to host the two storage facilities that will become the centrepiece of the state’s data centre consolidation initiative.
The announcement comes only a day after the Federal Government approached the market for comments on its draft Statement of Requirement for its intended Data Centre Request for Tender.
Global Switch already hosts the largest data centre of its kind in Sydney’s CBD, and announced in March this year that it was seeking planning approval to build another in an adjacent position, at a cost of $200 million. It is the only shortlisted supplier who has offered a stand-alone tender in NSW, with all others on the NSW list comprising consortiums.
Polaris Data Centres is in a consortium with Leighton Holdings in a bid to win the NSW contract. However, it was been named on the Federal Government’s interim supplier panel in its own right.
The existing Polaris facility is owned by Springfield Land Corporation, the company behind the master-planned city of “Springfield” in Queensland’s southeast, and was initially designed to act as a primary and secondary disaster recovery facility for the town’s ICT precinct.
Springfield Land Corporation’s Executive Director of Commercial Development, Chris Schroor, said of Polaris’ Federal success that, “with dark fibre connectivity to Brisbane and Sydney, state-of-the-art security (including biometric fingerprint scanning and man traps) and the ability to function for 48 hours uninterrupted in the event of a power failure, the government can rest assured Polaris will provide them with the ability to continue to function smoothly”.
NSW Minister for Commerce Paul Lynch said that a formal Request-for-Tender would be released to candidates in the near future. If this release coincides with the issue of a federal RFT intending suppliers will be busy with two major responses to complete.
Not all suppliers who made it onto the Federal Government’s interim data centre panel were so lucky in NSW. Canberra Data Centres and Fujitsu Australia were among the 17 applicants who entered an expression of interest late last year for the NSW contract and neither made it to the NSW shortlist, despite their success with the interim Federal panel.