First data container delivered

The first container for the Gen-i data centre being delivered last week. Photo supplied.
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 Australia.

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 Zealand.

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 installations."

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 of Otago.


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