The Australian Taxation Office has signed a 10-year deal with Canberra Data Centres, moving one of its data centers from Global Switch's Sydney facility into CDC's premises.

The AU$73 million (US$45m) move comes because CDC is 100 percent Australian-owned, while Global Switch has passed into Chinese ownership. Australian government agencies have been given until September to move out of Global Switch's facility, according to the Australian Financial Review.

The Review reports that the offices of Home Affairs, Foreign Affairs, and Trade are also looking to leave Global Switch, but may find it difficult to meet their deadlines.

The Australian Department of Defence said it would leave Global Switch at a cost of AU$200m ($151m) way back in 2017, but progress has been slow. While it has removed "top secret" data, Review said that it had been forced to extend its contract with Global Switch while it determines what to do with its unclassified data.

Switch off

CDC Hume 3.png
CDC's Hume 3 facility in Canberra – CDC

The ATO has two data centers, and the other is already in CDC premises. Both arrangements were set up under a AU$2 billion (US$1.3bn) centralized IT contract with services giant DXC, which has managed the ATO's IT for the last decade, under which DXC took space with the two providers.

The move will happen in the second half of 2020. It meets a government requirement to use a "certified sovereign data center," and funding was secured for it in Australia's 20-19-2020 federal budget.

The ATO and DXC will take this opportunity to "fundamentally" reshape its infrastructure, according to ITnews. The ATO's CIO Ramez Katf told the site last year: “It’s not what you might call a traditional lift and shift."

CDC has also become the home for Microsoft's Canberra cloud region. The company moved into CDC facilities in Fyshwick and Hume in 2018, aiming to serve government agencies. Australia's public sector is rapidly moving online, and favoring Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, and the local specialist cloud provider Macquarie Government.

With CDC home to a significant percentage of government workloads - and with that figure set to expand - concerns have been raised about how the country's government is run out of just a handful of facilities.

"It's far too risky to put all your data eggs in one basket, given we are totally reliant on data for the running of the country," telecommunications analyst Paul Budde told the Australian Review.