Australian data center operator Metronode will inject AU$150m (US$118.7m) into the expansion of three data centers this year: Sydney 2, Melbourne 2 and Illawarra 1.

Illawarra 1 is located in Unanderra, an eastern suburb of Wollongong, 55 miles (90km) south of the state capital. Along with the Sydney facility, it has been granted a Gold-level Operational Sustainability certificate by the Uptime Institute.

This means that both data centers meet Uptime’s strict management, operations, building characteristics and site location criteria. The anchor tenant at Illawarra 1 is the New South Wales government.

Government approved 

Melbourne 2, Metronode
Melbourne 2, Metronode – Metronode

The facility in Unanderra offers 4,628 sq m (approximately 50,000 sq ft) of white space and another 2,000 sq m (21,500 sq ft) of dedicated office space. Its latest data hall is due to be completed in November, and will provide for new enterprise customers as well as for the NSW government.

The Melbourne facility offers 4,880 sq m (52,500 sq ft) of technical space and 2,120 sq m (22,800 sq ft) to be used as offices. The expansion will see 8MW of extra power capacity added to the site.

Just like Illawarra 1, Melbourne 2 is part-leased to the local government via the GovDC scheme, a consolidation initiative led by the New South Wales state authority to facilitate the procurement of vetted ICT goods and services. It is similar to the British Digital Marketplace platform, except that it is mandatory for all Australian government agencies - to avoid wasting funds and relying on flawed systems.

Under GovDC, NSW agencies have consolidated 160 data centers into the two Metronode facilities, and in January the state government stated that it would be taking additional halls within those data centers as the program reaches its deadline of 30 August, by which all government agencies are expected to have migrated their services to GovDC.

Metronode’s Silverwater facility in Sydney, which currently offers 5,554 sq m (approximately 60,000 sq ft) of white space and 1,035 sq m (11,000 sq ft) of separate rentable space, only hosts enterprise customers.

Sydney 2, Metronode
Sydney 2, Metronode – Metronode

Servers for pensions 

Metronode, which has been valued at $1bn, is owned by the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (OTTP), one of the world’s largest institutional investors (and the administrator of the Canadian province’s school teachers’ pensions).

The group is reportedly looking to sell the business, having taken pitches from investment banks in recent weeks.

Potential buyers include Morrison and Co, who bought Canberra Data Centres for $800m last year, Equinix, Global Switch and IBM. OTTP will likely also target other pension funds such as Macquarie Infrastructure, Real Assets, Hasting Funds and IFM Investors.