The first container for the Gen-i data centre being
delivered last week. Photo supplied.
It may not be Google's data farm, but Gen-i regional
manager Peter Thomas believes the arrival of the first data
container represents a sign of the times for the company's
Dunedin data centre.
The container was delivered last week to the Telecom Central
Exchange building in lower Tennyson St.
The container, made by Rittal, came from Melbourne after
being used as a demonstration unit in several locations in
A partnership between Gen-i and Rittal resulted in the unit
being installed in Dunedin to house the New Zealand Genomics
Ltd (NZGL) computing infrastructure, Mr Thomas said.
Containerised data centres were becoming more common
worldwide and Rittal had supplied several recently within New
On a world scale, containerised data centres were a
cost-efficient way to house the power, cooling and space
requirements needed, he said.
Organisations such as Google used multiple containers, often
stacked to deliver large-scale computing for a fraction of
the cost of a large data hall or purpose-built building.
"Although not to the scale of Google units or installation,
this first Dunedin containerised data centre encapsulates all
of the features of larger and multiple container
The only external requirements needed were a connection to
the mains supply of the telephone exchange and sharing of the
backup exchange diesel generator if needed, Mr Thomas said.
In the coming weeks, the container would be prepared,
equipment installed and high-speed fibre connections
established with the NZGL network, he said.
NZGL provides New Zealand scientists with access to the
significant equipment needed for large-scale genomics
projects. It also provides the framework for co-ordinating
projects, analytical and bioinformatics support, and data
storage and sharing.
Three years ago, the Government committed $40.6 million over
10 years to establish NZGL - a collaborative infrastructure
of genetic sequencing technology and expertise.
The collaboration involves three organisations - the
University of Auckland, Massey University and the University