Mid-June completion target for data centre

00:43, Mar 10 2013
Telecom and Christchurch Airport executives at the multimillion dollar data centre that should be fitted out by the end of June.
Telecom and Christchurch Airport executives at the multimillion dollar data centre that should be fitted out by the end of June.

A small Canterbury data centre design consultancy team has started fitting out Telecom's new multimillion-dollar data centre near Christchurch airport.

The 1000-square metre $10.5 million centre is being built for Gen-i, Telecom's IT services spinoff that works with medium to large businesses.

Data Centre Design & Build works in the niche of helping companies with critical computers keeping them running and is the three-man company behind the Perimeter Rd centre near Christchurch International Airport. The airport owns the land and buildings and leases them to Gen-i.

The directors of Data Centre Design & Build are Ian Falconer, Kevin Black and Alan Strong, all of Canterbury.

Lead consultant Falconer said the trio rounded off the electrical, mechanical and telecommunications skills needed to pull off a data centre project and "re- engineered the whole concept of data centres".

They were behind the Colocation Company data centre, owned by Snap!, built in 2010 at the Lane Walker Rudkin site.


About a year ago, they set up Data Centre Design and Build to go after more work.

After designing the centre, the building shell was done by owner Christchurch airport which will lease the building to Gen-i.

Data Centre Design and Build took over the building for the internal fitout late last month.

Construction of the centre started in November and should be completed mid-June, which would be a quick build compared to the usual 18-month timeframe for such a project, Falconer said.

The Gen-i job was a "lights-out" installation, which meant the centre would be unmanned and controlled remotely from Telecom headquarters, although it would have areas for Gen-i staff to meet clients on site during the day.

The centre's power supply would have contingency systems to keep it running, no matter what happened, Falconer said.

It will take 50 litres of water each second from an artesian well 40 metres below the property which will be pumped in for the computer coolant systems.

The water is the perfect temperature for cooling and is put back, a few degrees warmer, into the well afterwards.

If that flow was interrupted, an on-site chiller unit with internal water supply would take over pumping the coolant.

The centre would hold about 600sqm of server racks, with the remaining space for backup batteries, meeting rooms and other facilities.

The batteries would switch over to power the servers if outside power was cut and diesel generators at the rear of the building would crank up to recharge the batteries and prepare to supply the centre's power load until external power was restored.

Falconer said their designs were "heaps" cheaper than usual plans, and would make the finished centre tidier and easier to maintain.

It was a small market, but the company could design all computerised installations where power had to stay on at all costs, he said.

Data Centre Design and Build were planning a server room for North Canterbury electricity network Mainpower and had done some consulting work in Auckland.

Gen-i South Island head Paul Deavoll said the "high-class facility" would give the company more capacity.

The company was getting more customers looking to host their systems at the centre, he said.

The new data centre will expand Gen-i's existing network of 14 data centres in cities and regional centres, linked by fibre, copper and mobile networks.

It will complement Gen-i's two Christchurch data centres in Hereford St and Hillmorton, helping to meet increased demand from clients seeking to shift their infrastructure to Gen-i data centres.

The Press