The New Cloud frontier – Australia Gets the Climate Right

Tony Simonsen

 

By Tony Simonsen, managing director, Equinix Australia

 

Australia is rapidly gaining a reputation for being the most fertile ground to house data. Despite heated competition in the Asia Pacific region, the Australian technology climate is enjoying a confluence of very attractive factors to make it a data destination of choice for local and global companies.

The Australian market is already recognized for its commitment to international cooperation, free trade and interoperability. The recent release of the government’s whitepaper ‘Australia in the Asian Century‘ positions the local technology sector and its emerging infrastructure as becoming “world leading, which supports the rapid exchange and spread of ideas and commerce in the Asian region.”

According to the whitepaper, Australia’s trade links with Asia will be at least one-third of GDP by 2025, up from one-quarter in 2011. This is a significant shift and a very welcome one for infrastructure players such as Equinix who are very well positioned to help foster these closer regional alliances.

The development of our National Broadband Network (NBN) is certainly a centerpiece of Australia’s infrastructure renaissance, but so are the data centers’ capabilities that we are rapidly being recognized for.

This month, Equinix made a further commitment to the Australian market with the opening of phase two of our Sydney-based SY3 (SY3-II) International Business Exchange data center (IBX).

The SY3 IBX will substantially increase our Australian capacity and supports the burgeoning infrastructure investment currently underway. See the video below for a tour of SY3-II.

The Australian Minister for broadband, communications and the digital economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, who opened the new facility said, “On an international scale, companies wanting to do business in Australia can experience latency issues so we are seeing many of those making the decision to deploy at onshore data centers in Australia. SY3-II demonstrates Equinix’s commitment to fostering data center development in Australia and Asia Pacific.”

As part of that infrastructure allure, Amazon has entered the Australian market as one of SY3’s foundation clients.

The Minister also noted that locally-located Australian companies increasingly needed to consider and adopt cloud services.

Significantly, our new facility was opened six months ahead of schedule due to customer demand. Gratifyingly on trend, the demand has come as a result of increased data usage and a rise in the number of companies transitioning to cloud.

Australia is really developing into the new cloud frontier. This has come about due to a number of factors. Although we do not have specific regulations in place for cloud computing, it will be core to issues that are being considered in the development and reform of revised laws and new standards. Australia is also a vociferous participant in the development of international and regional standards.

We have progressive cybercrime laws and comprehensive electronic signature, electronic commerce and privacy laws in place.

Intellectual property laws in Australia also provide a balanced layer of protection for cloud computing services and the digital economy.

SY3 IBX in Sydney, Australia

 

In 2012, Australia was recognized in the BSA Global Cloud Computing Scorecard as the number two country, after Japan, which was best poised to capitalize on the technological and economic benefits of cloud computing. The scorecard ranks 24 countries accounting for 80 percent of the global ICT market based on seven policy categories that measure the countries’ preparedness to support the growth of cloud computing.

One key to our ranking was our high marks for ICT readiness and broadband deployment. The report notes that cloud computing can only achieve its full potential if there is robust, ubiquitous and affordable broadband access.

The Equinix Sydney IBX is also the most densely connected data center in Australia with over 100 networks, including a direct link to the Southern Cross Cables Network and PIPE Pacific Cable (PPC-1). It is the only location where access to the two largest peering points is available.

According to Citi Research, the NBN is seen as a demand driver for cloud services within Australia and, by extension, for Australian data centers.

As the NBN is deployed, Australia is expected to have one of the best nation-wide infrastructures for fast onshore data transfer, which we trust will promote business and consumer confidence in cloud solutions. It will also open a whole new raft of communications and entertainment innovations that will go beyond IPTV and online gaming services.